Bert Brouwer

Bert Brouwer


Bert Brouwer (Hilversum, 1956)

Bert Brouwer displays his works on canvas stretchers. The canvases are play-acting, pretending to be paintings. Oil on canvas/ Öl auf Leinwand. The exhibition, however, is entitled 'Ink on canvas'/ 'Drückerschwarz auf Leinwand'.The word 'show' refers not only to 'exhibition', but also to 'performance', and Brouwer's canvases are well aware of this. The depictions on the canvases are linocuts, gouged out of large plates by Brouwer and pressed onto the canvas with a spoon.The dimensions of the images and the use of the small gouge tools demonstrate that Brouwer is not taking the easy path. The prints are created in a laborious way. It verges on 'monnikenwerk' – literally 'a monk's job' - which is the Dutch expression for laborious, time-consuming work. Since the medieval monks were the ones who kept 'cultural heritage' alive before the art of printing was invented, Brouwer considers his way of working as a tribute to the craft.Bert Brouwer uneconomically repudiates the convenience of the 'technical reproducibility', preferring instead the inconvenience of the linocut technique. At the same time, with this antiquated technique, he undermines the bombast of the True Art Of the Grand Gesture, which is an unexpectedly enduring phenomenon.The images used have been found by Bert Brouwer and cut out from newspapers, magazines and instruction manuals. He intuitively selected instruction booklets for construction toys, visual drum lessons, pictures of one-legged magicians, professional wallpaperers, private detectives, swimming and war heroes, dead philosophers and Jacks of all trades. If he were to file the pictures, he would need boxes with labels such as 'ephemeral', 'romantic', 'past glory', 'outmoded optimism' and 'how to become a sports hero/musician/better person in 12 simple steps, with illustrations'. Initially, the pictures relate to the visual arts as a variety show relates to theatre drama.With a copier, glue, ink and an eraser, the grey and intermediate tones are removed from the pictures, after which the images are cut up and filtered until they have a nineteenth century appearance. With an overhead projector, Brouwer then projects the image onto the linoleum, traces the image, cuts it out and prints it. He kindly refuses to use the computer in favour of an archetypal kind of technical reproducibility.Tracing, cutting out, projecting, gouging, printing, mounting and exhibiting the images transforms them into physical objects, things, works of art. Their marginal existence has changed. By introducing them in the art world (is it a promotion, role play or a tactical stunt?), Bert Brouwer displays the dormant but authentic power of not quite yet forgotten imagery.Tekst André Groothuizen

Kunstwerken van Bert Brouwer in onze collectie

Bert Brouwer
"Poor Dick I"
HxB: 80 x 70 cm - Gemengde techniek

Huurpijs € 15,- p/m
Verkoopprijs € 600,-