Looking out at imaginary worlds

Meeuws investigates the tension between floral arrangement and landscape in his Window pieces. He was inspired by a work by Ambrosius Bosschaert: a flower still life in a niche with a view of the landscape far away. Whereas Bosschaert opts for the contours of a lesser pronounced landscape, Meeuws makes his underlying landscapes hyper-realistic and full of details. With that he reverts to Flemish primitives.

The landscapes show planned nature, constructed space and advancing urbanization. High, brutal buildings from all kinds of places and cultures penetrate the green. Meeuws uses industrialized agriculture as a landscape form, with an ironic tulip field. One work shows the Dutch IJsselmeer, which was an inland sea until it was tamed by dikes. This IJsselmeer is pictured with highways and an unsettling garbage bin. In a number of works, a dead tree gets a prominent place. Many landscapes are visually full and busy. People have created the crowds, but are mostly absent. The fierce clouds seamlessly fit in with this silence.

The window comes from the studio in Eindhoven, where Meeuws worked at the time. He looked out on an impoverished neighborhood. Meeuws exchanged the image of social sadness for better images from his own inner world. The load of gloom remained, but now with beautiful images, according to the artist.

Dr Karine van ’t Land