The Archaeology of the Interior
Growing up in the medieval city of Bruges, as a child Belgian artist Pierre Bergian developed a fascination with its abandoned old houses, along with those in the neighbouring cities of Lille and Ghent. He was intrigued by the architecture and archaeology of these spaces - to him they were shrouded in an air of mystery.
Bergian believes that he is not alone in this fascination and that many of us are intrigued by the interiors of buildings because they are places where we spend the largest part of our lives. As a new show of his work opens at Purdy Hicks Gallery in London later this month, these images of his home and studio space offer a revealing insight into the work of an artist who describes himself as being fascinated by "the archaeology of the interior".
The artist's home reveals that alongside his passion for Architecture, Art History and Archaeology (he studied the latter two and has worked as an Archaeologist and a writer and publisher on design antiques and architecture), he also has a love of books.
Architectural details and patterns decorate many of the walls - clues perhaps to some of the inspirations Bergian draws upon in his work.
Bergian is interested in how light pervades a space. "I never paint artificial light." he says. "I love sunshine coming into a room with a lot of shadow. I make a difference between morning and afternoon light or evening light. I also like the light of the winter sun, coming in very deeply. Moonlight is fascinating! Especially in old houses, when this light reflects on the walls, floor and ceiling. Light in a building can be so delicate."
These images of his home, like his paintings, seem to capture something of the quality of light and effect of shadow found in 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings.
Bergian paints empty rooms, or more accurately, rooms that are empty except for a solitary piece of furniture - a ladder perhaps, or a piano or a table. His work explores space and structure and makes use of the presence of architectural components.
Pierre Bergian, The Museum Ladder, 2012.
The paintings shown here are from his most recent body of work which can be seen in a forthcoming exhibition in London later this month.
Pierre Bergian, Two Small Doors, 2012.
Pierre Bergian, One of the Three Sisters, 2012.
Pictures of Paintings | Paintings of Pictures by Pierre Bergian is at Purdy Hicks Gallery from 27 March until 27 April 2013.
Images: Pierre Bergian