Bart Geerts, PhD in the Arts

"The Painterly: Painting Revisited" started from a very general preoccupation with the position and relevance of contemporary painting. Therefore I have questioned painting  and our relation to its tradition and heritage. I have proposed the painterly as a notion to refer to the relations between contemporary works of art and specific points in painting’s history. The painterly is a way of establishing links between different practices that have somehow been inoculated with painting’s heritage. These practices do not try to re-instigate painting’s tradition, nor are they concerned with an essentialist purification of the medium. Rather they take the liberty to use or abuse that tradition in order to create compelling works of contemporary art. This kind of revisiting of painting had a double purpose. Firstly, it was meant to provide some answers as to how the painterly functions in my own practice and that of other contemporary artists. Secondly, it aims to outline an interpretive framework that can be used to analyse and discuss works of art that have been grafted onto painting’s history, but may extend well beyond it.


  • Prof. dr. Hilde Van Gelder (supervisor, KU Leuven)
  • Prof. dr. Volkmar Mühleis (co-supervisor, KU Leuven/LUCA)

Research Unit: Image

Duration: completed 2012