Ronny Van De Velde
From the mid-sixties onwards, Fred Bervoets has been developing a highly personal breed of neo-expressionism. Trained at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, and supported by the legendary Zwarte Panter Gallery in Antwerp, Bervoets has enjoyed several exhibition in Belgium and abroad. Two aspects appear as constants in his work, the first being the narrative self-portrait. Bervoets’ oeuvre can be read as one kaleidoscopic, encyclopedic autobiography in which uncountable, mutant self-portraits play their tragic-comic role. A second characteristic is the continuous tension between the ‘action painter’ and the ‘story-teller’, which is one of the motors of his pictorial and graphic practice. Since the early nineties, Bervoets’ work has been dominated by etchings that are totally unorthodox, both in subject, in scale and in technique. In these monumental tableaux, Bervoets the narrator takes command, referring to anecdotes of daily life and memoirs of youth and childhood. In contradiction to these extra-large compositions, Bervoets has created a cabinet of etched and hand-colored self-portraits for Museum to Scale 1/7.