Jan De Cock

Profile: Jan De Cock

jan-de-cockBorn 1976 – Belgium

www.jandecock.net
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Jan De Cock is a contemporary Belgian visual artist. De Cock creates large structures – usually in plywood – that refer to early modernist and suprematist sculpture and architecture. He also creates photographical and video work. He was educated in Ghent and Brussels. In 2003 he entered in the competition Prix de la Jeune Peinture Belge(“Prize for Young Belgian Painters”) but was not awarded. After Luc Tuymans he was only the second Belgian artist to have an exposition in Tate Modern. De Cock appears to be influenced by the work of Russian installation artist Ilya Kabakov, and the work of Dutch artistAernout Mik.

De Cock is the first living Belgium artist that gets an exhibition in MoMa, which opened on January 23, 2008. In the interview he states: … our understanding of the artwork is not fixed, but constantly changes and mentions Alain Resnais, Jean-Luc Godard and Eadweard Muybridge. Jan De Cocks oeuvre has echoes of Donald Judds Minimalist aesthetic and treatment of space as well as Marcel Broodthaerss questioning of the context of art.

While there have been several opportunities to see Jan de Cock’s sculptures and photographs over the past few years, his site-specific art first made an international splash last summer at Manifesta 5 in Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain. For that installation de Cock took over an abandoned ship-building warehouse, erecting a large structure that, as is typical for his work, mined the fecund territory between art and architecture. Part sculpture, part building, de Cock’s supersized piece filled the interior of the warehouse space and spilled out onto the roof, literally blurring the boundaries between inside and outside.