° Mechelen, Belgium 1974

lives and works in Mechelen — Belgium


Greet Van Autgaerden participated at Coup de Ville 2013.


Greet Van Autgaerden’s pictorial evolution started with primary construction, such as the building of camps. “What can you recall about the camps that you used to build as a child?” the artist asked a great many individuals. Thus began a search for the origin of the art of building, the need for shelter, and the relationship between nature and culture. Large paintings and drawings no longer make reference to specific camps. The reality has become more abstract and the use of colours imbues her paintings with a striking vitality.


Inside the former patrician mansion of the Sint-Niklaas textile baron Edmond Meert – currently the Fine Arts Salons – Greet Van Autgaerden harks back to the tradition of wall tapestry art. A painting measuring five by two metres, practically the length of the room, is set up diagonally against a construction in the space. The presentation is inspired by the vegetative elements of the fabrics that cover the walls in the room. Is she searching for the roots of the culture? “If you interpret my work in that sense, yes, then I am searching for the roots of the culture,” she admits. “People erect a construction, in this case a house, only to subsequently artificially introduce nature via decorative elements or paintings. I too quite literally depict a root system, comparable to a toppled tree that I realised earlier. As a consequence, there arises a game of reversals between indoors and outdoors, top and bottom, front and rear, and thus you find the wood of the floor at the top of the painting.” A second part consists of a large drawing, a reference to the technique used in wall tapestry art: the rear side of the representation on the painting. Weavers worked with the back of the tapestry facing them. They saw the front in mirrors. The drawing forms an inclined plane between the wall and the floor. For the first time, the presentation tends towards the space and becomes part of the work.