Bert Loerakker is born in Breda in 1948. He studies at the Akademie für Bildende Kunst in Tilburg. In 1969 he moves to Helmond in the Netherlands. Since 1980 he has worked at the Centrum Frans Masereel, Belgium, for some time during the year. In 1985 he travels and studies in Italy, Spain, and the United States.
»Loerakker is a painter who grew up at a time when the museum walls were full of Conceptual Art and Minimal Art. The »tick,« as he calls it, which he got from this exposure, is the kinship he feels with the pictorial language of Minimalism (…)« and the work of art »(…) as an object that exclusively refers to itself« (Tegenbosch, 2000). Loerakker sees himself as a painter of landscapes, and deliberately links his work to the tradition of Dutch painting which – already in the 17th century – created impressions of nature that were detached from its object: »The shape I use, the triangle and the bow, are to me clearly associated with mountains and inclines within the landscape« (Loerakker 2001).
Loerakker’s mostly untitled works, which he has shown in numerous single and group exhibitions since 1974, refer to an even more basic engagement with color and form. Starting with the monochrome, white or grey canvases of the 1980s, this engagement runs like a thread through his work up to the conceptual landscape or color paintings. His Diptychen approach a precise probing of calculated – abstract painterly as well as conceptual – qualities of painting, juxtaposed in identical format. Loerakker’s works read like didactic texts of seemingly opposed, spatial and atmospheric, representational as well as abstract experiences of landscapes that want to overcome polarities.
The drawings that are created along with the paintings are not conceived as drafts for the paintings, even if formal relations may emerge. Much more directly related to his painted works, instead, are Loerakker’s photographs which he also integrates in his Diptychen to capture pictorial qualities that transcend genres. Moreover, the more recent experiments with digital printing techniques create immediate formal as well as content-oriented relations between painting and the »painterly« qualities of the technical or the graphic media. By now, these experiments make up the most extensive segment of Loerakker’s work and lead from the photograph and its coarse screen version to the monotype or the silk screen print that are all »cloned« into a pictorial constellation.
Bert Loerakker lives and works in Helmond.
Bert Loerakker 2001: Ausst.-Kat. Neuss, Essen-Werden, Zwolle, Einhoven 2001
Bert Loerakker 1988: Eenendertig Tekeningen / Thirty one drawings, Eigenedition 2001