I cordially invite you to the vernissage of Henri Jacobs' solo exhibition GEOLOGIES on Saturday 22 April form 15:00 till 18:00 hours, the artist is present. The gallery is open as of 13:00 hours. As a farmer's son, Henri Jacobs (b. 1957) often stood upside down in the sand, the poor high sandy soils of the Kempen region of North Brabant. To dig and harvest potatoes, to plant and cut asparagus, to pick Brussels sprouts. The surface therefore interests him, the horizontal surface of the landscape on which we walk, in which we plow and plant, in which we dig and trot.

Soil, sand, earth, fields, the surface erodes, dries out, cracks, folds, subsides, impoverishes, is exhausted and tired. From this awareness of the surface, Jacobs creates paper braids from two or more sheets of colored, drawn or printed paper. These braids are assembled into a book that is presented lying down and that you leaf through. The magic of the book is the two-sidedness of each leaf, the fact of recto - verso that seems so obvious but makes the leaf in the book unique. Flipping the pages is counting time, ticking away seconds, minutes, hours.

Beneath the surface that is constantly manipulated lie the geologies, lies the bed that carries the surface. Painted relief illusions of meandering folds, cracks and fissures depict the geological layers of the earth. Jacobs' zigzag drawings are grafted onto the grid, the grid that makes the paper manageable and calms down the wind that blows. A grid gives grip, takes possession, occupies and removes the void by replacing and occupying it with subtle dots at regular intervals.

In addition to horizontality, verticality is also present in other drawings. A vertical infrastructure of stairs in empty shells of houses, from basement to attic, with window and door openings in walls as thin as paper. Empty sets where the stage is abandoned, where humans are left out. A place to stop, where storytelling has stopped.

he tapestries woven at Flanders Tapestries in Wielsbeke (B) are the oldest works in the exhibition. These jacquard-woven rugs were the result of a long process of deconstruction of the painting in the early 2000s. Velázquez painted the back of the painting on the front, Mondrian destroyed the image and then only painted the frame. Henri Jacobs cut the linen into strips to weave it into a surface full of openings, so that you can see through the oil-stained surface to the wall. Then he started weaving and braiding, the surface became two-sided image bearing and the surface became the object of investigation. The paper braids of pages from sketchbooks, art books or maps and plans have the character of a palimpsest where new layers are constantly overwritten on underlying writing.

Furthermore, the exhibition features a ceramic floor mosaic that has been slowly . It consists of spatial geometric ceramic components that are assembled on the floor into a continuous mosaic: un tombeau pour la terre.


Journal Drawing 1002 (hommage à Vaclav P.), 2021, pencil, ink and watercolour on paper, 54 x 38 cm

Journal Drawing 967 (Surface Research, floorplan of a home – recto), 27 February 2020,
pencil, ink, watercolour, gouache on braided paper, 54 x 38 cm

Journal Drawing 1020 (ploughing  version 4), 13-08-2021, pencil, watercolour on paper, 76x56 cm

Firecarpet, 2004, jacquard woven tapestry, wool, cotton, acrylic on trevira chain, 300 x 180 cm

Kolkata Pavement Patterns, Run in the Alley, 2018–2022, ceramic floormosaic, sizes variable