Dirk Zoete

In his drawings, Dirk Zoete (1969) shows theatrical stages with buildings or ships on them. These constructions contain several floors upon which houses, objects and people have been placed, that seem to be part of a system. The human figures are depicted in a rudimentary manner, like dolls or large scarecrows, looking at the world from an observation post. The architectural inventions and Ark-like ships appear to be gargantuan, but are at the same time endearingly reduced in size by the theatre-like setting. Sometimes the stage setting is explicit, as in The Wild Bunch in which cowboys are placed on wooden horses against an American desert landscape backdrop or even two men in a rowing boat at sea that on second glance turns out to be a stage set.

The system of houses, paddle wheels, barns, people and animals that can be seen in most works, points to a desire for a simple, coherent world in which man is self-sufficient. Dirk Zoete also elaborated on this theme in a scale-model of a circular house that simultaneously serves as studio, home and farm; the ideal place for an artist to live an autarkical life. In other drawings the theatrical dominates, with harlequin like figures acting on a stage or a parade of wagons moving through the image. There is a reference to costumes of the Bauhaus and the constructivists but also to the carnivalesque and grotesque that has such a strong tradition in Belgium with artists like James Ensor and Felicien Rops.


1969Born in Roeselaere, Belgium


1988-1992Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Graphic Arts, Gent, Belgium
1996-1998Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Mixed Media , Gent, Belgium
lives and works in Gent, Belgium

solo exhibitions

2018Quietly Humming Thoughts. Gallery Fifty One, Antwerp, Belgium
2017To Be Determined. According to the Situation, SMAK Gent, Belgium
2016Senhor Palhaço, Small Art Center, Antwerpen, Belgium
In Anticipation of Improvement – The Be-Part Exercises, Waregem, Belgium
2015Native Constructions, Waldkirchen, Germany
Various parts, present on all levels, Art integration, Aalst, Belgium
Collection of Components, Teylers Museum, Haarlem, NL
2014The Woodcut series. Muziekcentrum De Bijloke, Gent, Belgium
2013S-trails, Loods 12, Wetteren, Belgium
Bookprsentation The Big Convoy, KIOSK, KASK, Gent, Belgium
2012The Big Convoy, Galerie Annie Gentils, Antwerpen, Belgium
2008Dirk Zoete, De Voorkamer, Lier, Belgium
Flemish Voodoo, Annie Gentils Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium
2007vzw Croxhapox, Gent, Belgium
2006Galerij Kunstzicht, Gent, Belgium
2005Galerie Jan Dhaese, Gent, Belgium
2004STUK Kunstencentrum vzw, Leuven, Belgium
2003Manurewall, De Voorkamer, Lier, Belgium
2002Living in a Head like a Homely Adventurer, 1:13, Galerie De Lege Ruimte, Gent, Belgium
1999Pontormo on View, (academy gallery) K.A.S.K.- Hogeschool Gent, Belgium
1998De Voorkamer, Lier. Belgium
TENT, Tour en Taxis, Brussel, Belgium
1997vzw Croxhapox, Gent, Belgium
1996High Performance Permanent Marker, Kultureel Centrum De Schakel, Waregem, BelgiumHigh Performance Permanent Marker, Sint-Pietersabdij, Gent. Belgium
1994Woodcuts Gent, Belgium

group exhibitions

2018Drawing Now Paris, Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Paris, France
2017Art On Paper Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Brussels, Belgium
Façade 2017, Face Your Freedom, Middelburg, NL
Adèle, Galerie Zink, Waldkirchen, Germany
Le Nouvel Observateur, Hof ter Saksen, Beveren, Belgium
Seventeen, Gallery Fifty One, Antwerp, Belgium
Art Rotterdam, Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Rotterdam, NL
Greetings from Ghent, Galerie Zink, Waldkirchen, Germany
Art Brussels, Galerie Zink, Brussels, Belgium
Drawing Now Paris, Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Paris, France
The Stage Between (the) More and Less, KROMUS + ZINK, Berlin, Germany
Based on many faces, Coup de Ville, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
Drawing Front, Drawing Center, Diepenheim, The Netherlands
2016Track & Trace I, II, 25 years Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague, NL
2015Amsterdam Art Fair, Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Amsterdam, NL
Vormidable. Flemish Sculpture, Beelden aan Zee, The Hague, NL
Drawings, film Belgian Sculptors, parallel to Vormidable, Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague, NL
2014Conflicts, Vierkante zaal, Academie Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
Een onvervalste leugen. Emergent, Veurne, Belgium
Separation of Concerns, Villa De Olmen, Wieze, Belgium
Museum on scale1:7. Project: Galerie Ronny Van de Velde , Antwerp, Belgium
Koninklijke Musea Schone kunsten van België, Brussel, Belgium
The Baker Museum, Florida, USA
Kunsthal, Rotterdam, NL
Zee. Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Den Haag, NL
2013Amsterdam Drawing, Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Galerie Annie Gentils, Amsterdam, NL2012Duo exhibition with Martin Assig (Ger.), Dirk Zoete. Galerie Maurits van de Laar. The Hague, NL
Hermetic City,Garage, Rotterdam, NL
Arcadian Boxes, Gallery Siakos-Hanappe (curator Steven Jacobs) Athens, Greece
2011Morrens en De Boe Productions, Aux Brasseurs, Liège Belgium
Temporary Stay, Kasteel D’ Aspermont-Lynden, Oud -Rekem, Belgium
2010ender Buttons, studentrestaurant ‘De Overpoort’, Gent, Belgium
Two of a Kind,Klingental, Basel, CH
The Power of Drawing,Gallery Geukens en De Vil, Antwerp, Belgium
Frieze Art,stand with Wesley Meuris, Els Vanden Meersch, Herman Van Ingelgem, Paris, France
2009Landart project, with Kultivator (S), Eva Fiore Kovakovsky (CH) Tue Greenford (DK) and Maartje Korstanje (NL) Art Station Wilheminapolder, Zeeland, NL
2008Playtime, Benedengalerij, Kultuur Centrum, Kortrijk, Belgium
Monumental Architecture, vzw, Luipegem, Belgium
2007New Collection, Stedelijk Museum Wuyts-Van Campen & Baron Caroly, Lier, Belgium
Open Studios, Atelierhaus des Bonner Kunstvereins, Bonn, Germany
2006DOTS-expo, Square Room, Academy, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
Bruegel Revisited, (cat.) Kasteel van Bouchout, National Botanical Garden, Meise, Belgium
What is/What Could Be,W139. Amsterdam, NL
Brainbox Project, Unit 4, Croxhapox,Gent, Belgium
2005Artificial landscape, The Enchanted Forest, (cat.), Sint-Maria-Aalter, Belgium
Croxhapox, Gent basics # 2- objects, Belgium
Kunst en Zwalm 2005, Zwalm (cat.), Belgium
Artuatuca, Cultural Heritage Festival,Tongeren, Belgium
Les Ventinelles Edition 2005, Flandres, Angles, France
2004See Drawing, (cat.) Stedelijk Museum Wuyts-Van Campen & Baron Caroly, Lier, Belgium
RécolteHarvest, (Provinciale Prijs Beeldende Kunst) (cat.) Caermersklooster, Gent, Belgium
Damn art,Damme (cat.), Belgium
2003Sculpture in Park, (cat.) Felix Hap Park, Brussel, Belgium
Bestuifbegeerte, (cat.), Z 33, Hasselt, Belgium
Basics # 1 – drawings, Croxhapox, Gent, Belgium
2002Where, De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, NL
De Zeeberg – video “Tractor trucs”, Netwerk, Aalst, Belgium
Sixpacks – video “Tractor trucs”, vzw Nadine, Brussel, Belgium
Art Concern, Kortrijk, Belgium
Galerij De Lege Ruimte, Gent, Belgium
2000Cultural Centre, Strombeek Bever, Belgium
STUK – Leuven, Belgium
Argos informatiedagen video Tractor tricks, Beursschouwburg, Brussel, Belgium
1999Cultural Centre De Schakel, Waregem, Belgium
1998Coming People, Vereniging van het Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst, Gent, Belgium
Onix Shoe, Schoenfabriek – De Voorkamer, Lier, Belgium
Beursschouwburg, Brussel, Belgium
Argos informatiedagen video De wintertafel, Gent, Belgium