Dr. Hugo Heyrman
The artist Dr. Hugo Heyrman occupies a unique position within the art world. Looking back at an artistic career of more than forty years, we are confronted with an oeuvre that has long played a pioneering role - beginning in the nineteen-sixties, when he introduced Belgium to performances, actions, and conceptual art together with Panamarenko. These artistic projects, trendsetting for their time, were often framed in terms of ecological critique - such as the proposal for an auto-free inner city.
At the beginning of the seventies, he set the tone with video art. Some will associate his name with the first digital experiments in the art world, and may not even realize that even from within all these diverse media, he still considered himself a painter. Conversely, even in his very earliest painted work, we already recognize that filmic zoom-function which enabled an entire generation of Flemish painters to break new ground in the nineties. Because he enjoys international renown in both the academic world - with his insightful analysis of synesthesia - and the booming alternative world of young digital artists on the web, no one seems to suspect that his ever-present painter's intuition is still behind it all.
Starting from a transparent mode of artistic thought, he consistently plays on the possibilities of various media to give form to that which is the essence of representation: the abstraction of every representation. This publication offers insight into the development of an artistic vision. The work of Dr. Hugo Heyrman makes a statement about the poetics of painting, about observational thinking, and about questioning the truth of images.