Biography

Summary : Eng/NL
1957
Born on 12 October in the Vandekerckhove-Pottie family in Ingelmunster. He grows up with the scent of turpentine and oil paint. Father Jan is a talented draftsman and portraitist, mother Martha loves art.
From 1963
Spends much time on drawing, among others, a comic strip version of the Lion of Flanders and illustrations for Norwegian and Greek mythology. Early television images are also translated into children's drawings: the ski jumping on New Year's Day in Garmish Partenkirchen, the final sprint in the Tour of Flanders, the mountains of the Tour de France and Captain Zeppos. A happy childhood which he often spent with his meanwhile deceased and childless godfather Raf, gardener and nature lover on the rural estate De Lampetten . It is here that the seeds of his fascination for gardeners in greenhouses and 'closed' gardens were sown.
1969-1975
Studies at the St.-Jozefscollege in Izegem, subject Latin - Mathematics. At that time he makes countless drawings and etchings about Dante's Inferno .
1975-1979
Studies art history at the University of Ghent and makes his thesis about the British artist David Hockney. During this period he makes his first oil paintings, depicting for the most part hermits in a blue neon-lighted city.
1980
Meets his later wife Christine Declercq and moves to Brussels where he makes his debut as an artist. Meets Willy Van den Bussche, former director of the PMMK, for the first time.
1981 and 1983
Selected for the Prix de la Jeune Peinture Belge in the Paleis voor Schone Kunsten in Brussels.
1983
Prize winner of Stimulans , nominated by Willy Van den Bussche.
1984
Moves to Ghent, where he initially sets up his workshop in the Bernard Spaelaan. Via the exhibition Prijswinnaars in the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst in Ghent (currently the SMAK) gallery owner Marc Deweer gets acquainted with the work of Hans Vandekerckhove.
1986

Is selected by Deweer Art Gallery for a first solo exhibition in the newly-built gallery for international contemporary art. Shows paintings with sitting figures in claustrophobic interiors. These figures are representations of Hieronymus as depicted in the famous etching by Albrecht Dürer. Since then he has exhibited his work every two years in the Deweer Art Gallery.
Is invited in Washington and New York for the Belgian 20th Century Art at the IMF and in gallery Denise Cadé.

1987
Moves to a nineteenth-century industrial building in Ghent-centrum. Lives a very secluded life with his wife and children, Artuur (°1982) and Laura (°1988). Winner of the Kunstbeeldprijs (Holland) .
1988
Exhibits the paintings Sacra conversatione in the Deweer Art Gallery. As a hermit he has sufficient time to satisfy his passion for literature and especially his preference for books written by Thomas Mann, Gerard Reve, Samuel Beckett and Céline. He breaks through the limits of his ivory tower by travels, long walks and frequent cinema visits with as absolute favourites the film makers Andrej Tarkovski, Akira Kurosawa and Stanley Kubrick.
1989-1993
Spends the summers in Tuscany and Umbria and is fascinated by Late Medieval and Renaissance painting. Especially the frescos by Giotto in Assisi and the frescos by Fra Angelico in Florence lie at the bottom of his personal view on painting.
1990
Exhibits the series Illuminations and Cimabue in the Association for the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst in Ghent.
1991
Selected for Modernism in Painting in the PMMK.
1993
Participates in the Belgische Kontraste in the Transart Gallery in Cologne.
1996
Selected for Confrontaties, 101 Belgische kunstenaars (Dublin, Johannesburg, Luxembourg, Brussels, Antwerp, ...)
1997-2004
He is strongly attracted by the English landscape, Cornwall, the Scottish Highlands and isles, and the mysticism of nature in Dungeness, where film maker Derek Jarman has his garden.
1997
The death of godfather Raf and the visit to Dungeness are the basis for the paintings Een schilder is een tuinman and De hof van Heden in Gallery De Boeck . Is also inspired by the castle garden of Paule and Karel De Boeck. In an article by Paul Geerts in the Financieel Ekonomische Tijd of 06/03/1999 Vandekerckhove says that "The garden is the domain of childhood. It also refers to the initial beginning, the source, when creation and love coincided."
Visit to the workshop by Willy Van den Bussche, who encourages Hans Vandekerckhove to continue on the road he has taken.
2000
Is selected for the exhibition Contemporary Art of Belgium in the CBE-Frankfurt. Hof&Huyser in Amsterdam selects a number of recent paintings for a solo presentation in the gallery.
2002
Selected for the exhibition De tuinen van Granada in the PMMK.
2003-2004
Solo exhibition in PMMK Ostend, entitled "Stalking Hiëronymus" (with Kiefer and Penck). High press coverage.
2005-2006
Spends time in Wales and continues the landscape paintings.
2007
'My head is my only home', first publication about Vandekerckhoves paintings (1997-2006), edited by Ludion. Presention in SMAK with selection by curator Philippe Van Cauteren
Presentation of paintings from private and public collections in Madrid.'La mirada ciega', a dialogue with works of Juan Muoz.
Spends summer in the French Alps for a walking journey in search of a mountain greenhouse.
2008
Discovers moutain greenhouse in the Spanish national park Monte Perdido
Selected for the exhibition 'Doing it my Way, Perspectives on Belgian Art', an Exhibition by the Stiftung fr Kunst und Kultur e.V Bonn (GE) in museum MKM, Duisburg
2009
Realises Picture Palace, designed for the Liedts-Meesen foundation and its art platform Zebrastraat, Gent. 40 paintings out of private and public collections in Europe were brought together.
Picture Palace as illustrated (hardcover)publication is realised by Lannoo editors.
Experimental film maker, Svend Thomsen, founder of Artcinema OFF/OFF, archives the exhibition and the opening (with performance of Stef Kamil Carlens, frontleader Zita Swoon and Pjeroo Roobjee, artist-friend)
2010-2014
Research of modern and contemporary architecture as a painters motif. Can architecture function as ecological and spiritual shelter?
Starts up the project 'Watching the Architect', which results in monumental paintings inspired by Mies vander Rohe, Peter Zumthor e.o. Meets journalist Kristien Bonneure, author of Stil-Leven. Bonneure writes about the sound of Vandekerckhoves paintings, published in the exhibition catalogue of White Cube Art Gallery (BE)

Fascination for the light of water results in the solo exhibition curated by W.Van den bussche, former director of Mu.Zee: ''Something in het Water does not compute
2015
Working on the book Gimme Shelter with author Eric Rinckhout