De Historiek van Kamer (III) [The History of Room (III)]


Room (III) has a special presence within the oeuvre of Jan Vercruysse. The series of four Rooms in total, which he created between 1983 and 1986, is the turning point in his oeuvre from two-dimensional to three-dimensional works. In Room (III), Vercruysse translates the themes that already surfaced in his Portraits of the Artist into a sculptural form: it portrays the problem of the role of art, the artist and the absence of an 'image' in three dimensions. In this way, the Rooms are Vercruysse's first attempt at defining a space in which one can reflect freely about the position of art.

The Rooms are defining for the direction Vercruysse would choose after finishing the series. Important early series like Eventails, Atopies and Tombeaux can all be reduced to the project Vercruysse started when he created his Rooms. Moreover, these series would ensure Vercruysse's position as a key reference for the international repositioning of the artistic production in Flanders. In this way, Room (III) is also art-historically significant.

Apart from the significance within the context of Vercruysse's oeuvre and of the Flemish art scene, Room (III) also bears historical relevance within the context of M HKA. The work is one of the earliest works that became part of the collection of M HKA. It was initially going to be shown during Inside-Outside, the first exhibition M HKA organized after its conception in 1987; however, Vercruysse insisted on having another work shown. The work was heavily damaged in 1999 during an exhibition at KMSKA. Only in 2010, for the collection presentation The Artefactum Years, did Room (III) get renovated and was shown once more.

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