The Van Abbemuseum Collection consists of over 2800 artworks. We publish texts and images on an ongoing basis, but this record is currently in the process of being documented.
Recurring motifs in the work of the ‘s-Hertogenbosch-based artist JCJ Vanderheyden are ‘limits’ and ‘division’. Vanderheyden gives shape to the concept of ‘limits’ by painting one or more frames or borders within which the canvas remains blank or is painted white. In doing so, he draws attention to what is and what is not there, or what can or cannot be perceived. When he paints a ‘division’, it is usually a horizontal one that is not quite straight and not exactly in the middle of the canvas. This imperfection means the painting does not look geometric, but rather landscape-like, with the division acting as a horizon. This creates the illusion of space, whereas the canvas is essentially flat: another play on perception. "Deling" (Division) from 1965 has a very subtle border. First the whole canvas, including the edges, was painted black, then the bottom half was painted white almost up to the edges. The black edges draw attention to the object-like nature of this painting: not only is it flat, it also has a depth. The artist painted three short lines along the central vertical axis. These might be seen to suggest new divisions with which to create a block pattern. This is another motif that keeps recurring in Vanderheyden’s work.
From the 1970s onwards, Vanderheyden also worked with video and photography. The central questions are always: what can I see, what do I want to see, how do I make visible what cannot be seen?
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