Sergio De Beukelaer

Although my work is clean-cut, abstract, geometrical and almost academic, it always starts out from a strong desire for 'reality' – with all its formal consequences...

This urge for reality of course has nothing to do with the pictorial 'realism' which just remains stuck in imitation (mimesis). Such imitation is after all dominated by a great lack of 'imagination'. And the ploy of 'resembling' is, in my opinion, 'dead' and invariably leads to a 'dead' image.

If the image produced should nevertheless be very realistic and carry much of this imitation; in it will indisputably lie an approximation, whether subtle or not, of abstraction.

It is a matter of making an 'abstraction' out of reality, if need be an 'abstraction from an abstraction', a transition of pictorial thinking and acting. If this event occurs within the framework of what is supposed to represent a painting, one obtains an exceedingly strong image.

All circumstances in 'contemporary' art indicate that it is essential to formulate a point of all-embracing 'abstraction'. No critical objection can hold me back. I do not persevere out of obstinacy but out of sincere astonishment and conviction...

Besides 'color', white also plays an important role in my work. White is the color of abstraction itself, an objectification of things, or better still, of the reigning realism.
My ambition is that from the current time (reality) clean-cut shapes can be distilled which are symbolic of this world. This for me as a painter is an idea of utmost importance...

To put it clearly: because of the visual complexity of many realistic, figurative images, all that remains for me is the possibility and opportunity to construct geometrical surfaces presented in a sometimes very simple manner. It is a craving as an artist (and a human being) for total purity, a sign of surrender and serenity.

This purity can of course also be found in 'Minimal art', but in the current context it is not sufficient for an innovating image of spatial painting. One can consider my approach as a ' chunk 'of minimal serving as a guidepost, as it were, to 'more'; an idea of 'more' directly linked to my personality and leading to innovation but also to a shift.

A shift by way of attracting (philosophical) banality and at the same time 'originality' – although it seems to simple to be true.
The atmosphere of 'toys', 'playfulness' and 'freshness' can play a crucial part in the development of a new series of works.

Essence ultimately does not lead to impoverishment, but on the contrary to a complete description


The work of Sergio De Beukelaer (°1971,Deurne) looks simple but combines a variety of paradoxes.
For example, De Beukelaer uses numerous codes of post-modernistic art from the 1960s and 1970s, such as abstraction, geometry, monochrome and the “hard edge” technique. But he does so with an irony and playfulness that cannot be reconciled with the attitude of minimalists and fundamental painters. As part of this eclectic approach, classical-modern boundaries are pushed back, without there being any “post-modern” criticism of his predecessors from minimal-, pop-, op-, and concept art.
Apparent contrasts, such as figuration and abstraction, flat and spatial, word and image, painting and sculpture, both contaminate and fertilise one another. In the concept of the “fat canvas”, a three-dimensional painting, the artist leaves the field of classical painting and conquers the painting the space. The shapes, colours and dimensions of De Beukelaer’s works are tempting, but behind the power of these compact images,
a surprising impact lurks on closer inspection.                                                                                          

(Johan Pas.)