March 29, 2019

This Belgian artist was born in Kortrijk in 1958, but built up his career as an artist in the region of Bruges. In the early years he experimented with a combination of figurative and abstract elements, eventually focusing on the abstract. He evolved from precisely delineated areas of colour to freer forms within the abstract. At the turn of the century, his oeuvre also undergoes an enormous turnaround. From the busy, often black-edged, paintings he switched to the white works typical of his 21st century style. Such work is known as ‘The Spot’, under which title he also published a book about his work in 2004. On the white canvases he only applies a few spots of paint. Contrary to what might be thought, these biomorphic forms are not coincidental. The artist applies these accurately, drawing the shapes with paint, as it were. He has reduced his painting style (and literally his use of paint) to what is for him the essence of what must remain. Such work also fits within the principles of ‘Amor Vacui’, the love for the emptiness. A concept that was mainly shaped by the emergence of minimalism, Fohan applies this in a current context. It is the embrace of the emptiness, whereby the artist requires the viewer to fill this void himself with his imagination and creativity. Often labelled as lacking in effort or too simple, but as Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. His early work was very successful in Europe, in addition to his home country he also exhibited in France, Germany, Sweden, etc. His new work received even more international attention, resulting in solo exhibitions in New York and Tokyo. In 2019 a new book about his artworks was published, titled ‘Amor Vacui’ (Snoeck publisher).