After a residency in the Van Goghhuis in Zundert in 2012, Loek Grootjans developed the idea of building an asylum for Vincent van Gogh, a gathering place for all major attributes of the grandmaster’s life: drinking water from Zundert, ground on which he was born, mummified pears and fried vegetables from the vegetable garden, found pigment from St. Rémy de Provence …
Vincent’s Asylum derives from the ‘Storage for Distorted Matter’ project.
The attributes of Vincent’s Asylum are first shown outside the pavilion in C&H gallery.
Loek began painting in the late 1980s as a painting of pure monochrome paintings. These originate in an experiment conducted by Grootjans in 1988. He locked himself up for a month in a light-deprived space. This resulted in “seeing” only two colours: green and brown. This colour-experience allowed the artist to apply exclusively to brown and green monochrome paintings from that moment onwards. He was very serious and uncompromisingly committed to this task … starting with the amount of paint to be used, something that Grootjans has always determined very accurately in advance. Each spilled drop or splash was accurately recycled. This system implied a “delayed stop” with his painting. In 1998, Loek Grootjans cleared out his studio and gathered all the spilled paint from the floor, till the last visible splash and spatter of paint. He collected these paint-scraping in a Petri dish and gave it the title ‘The Final Remains of a contemporary monochrome painter …’ Gradually, everything goes into ‘Storage for Distorted Matter’.
A long-term project by Loek Grootjans. Everything that the artist leaves mentally and physically gets a place in this project. Everything associated with the artist and his world is stored, recorded and archived. That’s how he ‘stores life’. The effort to include everything has always played a major role in Grootjans’ work. The impossibility of that attempt could be seen as a “hopeful” failure.
Loek Grootjans collected for his project ‘Storage for Distorted Matter’ (2008 to the present) almost everything, bottles with traces of grandmasters, own faeces, earth on which Vincent van Gogh was born, masterpieces of the twenty-first century that can not be made, water in which drowned bodies arrived at Vlieland, the light that Piet Mondriaan first saw when he arrived in Domburg … But also simply his own dust, which was sublimed in the work ‘The Remembering Department’ in his solo exhibition in the S.M.A.K. (2010) and where the work was also included in the collection of the museum.