The Secret Passage

13 May - 10 July 2021






Installation views


Click here for for viewing works and prices on GalleryViewer


'The secret passage' is the first solo exhibition by Jan Verbruggen at ESD Gallery – Eva Steynen.Deviation(s). The exhibition focuses on a new series of oil paintings and works on paper, based on sketches made during the Belgian lockdowns. Verbruggen is a story teller. The eight large canvases he painted for this exhibition show surrealist fragments from a fictive event. As a spectator we witness how the intimate atmosphere of a living room is literally intruded by floral landscapes. Verbruggen paints in a search for secrets passages in his body of work. Whereas his personages on the canvas find a way to escape to a different, hidden room that is hors-champ and often symbolic. 


For these series Verbruggen used the classical oil painting technic of the 'grisaille' under-painting, which permitted him to define composition, lighting and the atmosphere of his work and develop a clear vision of the overall sense of the painting. With a lush and baroque colour pallet Verbruggen's sceneries turn estranged and reveal a certain 'unheimlich' feeling. These imaginary spaces create an in-between world that is transformative and offers an insight behind the surface of the visible; an 'embodied space'. A secret passage where the private and outside world literally immerse.


Jan Verbruggen (°1980, works and lives in Brussels) holds a Master in Visual Arts-Fine Arts of the LUCA School of Arts, Brussels. For several years he was chairman of 'W-O-L-K-E' an artist run initiative to create innovative spaces for artistic encounters. His works have been exhibited, among others, at BOZAR (Brussels), Bellevue Museum, Brussels, Gallery Fortlaan 17 (Ghent), SecondRoom (Antwerp & Brussels), Somos Art, Berlin (D), DOM (Brussels), Positions Art Fair Berlin, Eva Steynen.Deviation(s).