Joan van Barneveld: MIRROR / STAGE

The Bonnefanten focuses in his programme on artists from the Euregio with extraordinary works. In this context Joan van Barneveld (Veghel 1978) will be exhibiting recent work on the third floor of the Bonnefantenmuseum, from 15 April. Van Barneveld, who is also a musician and music producer is known for his grungy paintings of abandoned sets and suburban villas, which are dominated by black. A few years ago, he started experimenting with photography and printing techniques. Van Barneveld's shift to photography and printing turned out well, but he needed more time to explore the implications thoroughly. He found that time last year, during a stay at the Van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. The exhibition marks the conclusion of this residency at Van Eyck. The exhibition opening will take place on April 14 from 18.00 to 20.00, and will be attended by the artist.


During his residency at the Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht last year, Van Barneveld went in a new direction. The most striking development is his return to painting and the transition from dark to light; from underexposed to overexposed, as it were. Whereas black evokes the aesthetics of rock and punk, these ethereal works relate to the white walls of the exhibition space. The overexposure swallows up all themes and content, while the paintings themselves seem to merge with the walls, as if dissolving. These works are redolent not so much of the underground as of alchemy; they seem to imitate the process of sublimation from solid to vapour. Central to the exhibition space, behind the empty stage stands a mirror. This installation sets the tone in the room, it does not refer to a sort of alter ego, but rather to Van Barneveld's personal view of music. Van Barneveld will give one performance with his band T.S.O.S., entitled MIRROR / STAGE

Joan Van Barneveld

In 2006, Joan van Barneveld put together a group exhibition with his own painting and that of other artists, with the telling title Lovehatelove. Ten years later, Joan's heart is still not in painting, and the difficult relationship with the medium appears to be a constant. Van Barneveld, who is also a musician and music producer, does not trust himself as a painter. It is not through lack of self-confidence or craftsmanship, as the response is too positive for that. His work is represented by galleries in New York and Los Angeles, and is in demand with museums and private collectors. But painting is not compatible with his desire for detachment; a state of mind that does characterise his repetitive, psychedelic music – surrendering to something bigger than yourself, along with an audience.

Van Barneveld immerses himself alternately in his music and his painting. In both practices, he wants to join his audience in surrendering to something that is bigger than ourselves. The two practices influence one another, but do not coincide. Where one switches to the other, they escape the boundaries of their discipline for a while. This intersection is where Van Barneveld gives us a different view of the world and where things that are empty and absent can still materialise before our eyes.

Joan van Barneveld, Be here now, 2015. Courtesy of LMAKgallery N.Y. Foto Romy Finke

Joan van Barneveld, Be here now, 2015. Courtesy of LMAKgallery N.Y. Foto Romy Finke