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.


1969 Born in Roeselaere, Belgium


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

solo exhibitions

2019 So Called Human, Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague, NL
2018 Quietly Humming Thoughts, Gallery Fifty One, Antwerp, Belgium
A Moment of Collective Concentration during the Expedition, Emergent, Veurne, Belgium
2017 To Be Determined. According to the Situation, SMAK Gent, Belgium
2016 Senhor Palhaço, Small Art Center, Antwerpen, Belgium
In Anticipation of Improvement – The Be-Part Exercises, Waregem, Belgium
2015 Native Constructions, Waldkirchen, Germany
Various parts, present on all levels, Art integration, Aalst, Belgium
Collection of Components, Teylers Museum, Haarlem, NL
2014 The Woodcut series. Muziekcentrum De Bijloke, Gent, Belgium
2013 S-trails, Loods 12, Wetteren, Belgium
Bookprsentation The Big Convoy, KIOSK, KASK, Gent, Belgium
2012 The Big Convoy, Galerie Annie Gentils, Antwerpen, Belgium
2008 Dirk Zoete, De Voorkamer, Lier, Belgium
Flemish Voodoo, Annie Gentils Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium
2007 vzw Croxhapox, Gent, Belgium
2006 Galerij Kunstzicht, Gent, Belgium
2005 Galerie Jan Dhaese, Gent, Belgium
2004 STUK Kunstencentrum vzw, Leuven, Belgium
2003 Manurewall, De Voorkamer, Lier, Belgium
2002 Living in a Head like a Homely Adventurer, 1:13, Galerie De Lege Ruimte, Gent, Belgium
1999 Pontormo on View, (academy gallery) K.A.S.K.- Hogeschool Gent, Belgium
1998 De Voorkamer, Lier. Belgium
TENT, Tour en Taxis, Brussel, Belgium
1997 vzw Croxhapox, Gent, Belgium
1996 High Performance Permanent Marker, Kultureel Centrum De Schakel, Waregem, Belgium
High Performance Permanent Marker, Sint-Pietersabdij, Gent. Belgium
1994 Woodcuts Gent, Belgium

group exhibitions

2021 Art Rotterdam, Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Rotterdam, NL
Drawing Now Alternative, Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Paris, France
2018 Comme les nuages, les formes du monde tournent les unes dans les autres, Centre d’Art Contemporain Chanot, Clamart, Paris, France
Drawing Now Paris, Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Paris, France
2017 Art 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
2016 Track & Trace I, II, 25 years Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague, NL
2015 Amsterdam 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
2014 Conflicts, Vierkante zaal, Academie Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
Een onvervalste leugen. Emergent, Veurne, Belgium
Separation of Concerns, Villa De Olmen, Wieze, Belgium
Museum on scale 1:7. 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
2013 Amsterdam Drawing, Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Galerie Annie Gentils, Amsterdam, NL
Constructies. Emergent, Veurne, Belgium
2012 Façade, vzw Netwerk, Aalst, Belgium
Duo 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
2011 Morrens en De Boe Productions, Aux Brasseurs, Liège Belgium
Temporary Stay, Kasteel D’ Aspermont-Lynden, Oud -Rekem, Belgium
2010 Tender 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
2009 Landart project, with Kultivator (S), Eva Fiore Kovakovsky (CH) Tue Greenford (DK) and Maartje Korstanje (NL) Art Station Wilheminapolder, Zeeland, NL
2008 Playtime, Benedengalerij, Kultuur Centrum, Kortrijk, Belgium
Monumental Architecture, vzw, Luipegem, Belgium
2007 New Collection, Stedelijk Museum Wuyts-Van Campen & Baron Caroly, Lier, Belgium
Open Studios, Atelierhaus des Bonner Kunstvereins, Bonn, Germany
2006 DOTS-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
2005 Artificial 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
2004 See Drawing, (cat.) Stedelijk Museum Wuyts-Van Campen & Baron Caroly, Lier, Belgium
Récolte/Harvest, (Provinciale Prijs Beeldende Kunst) (cat.) Caermersklooster, Gent, Belgium
Damn art, Damme (cat.), Belgium
2003 Sculpture in Park, (cat.) Felix Hap Park, Brussel, Belgium
Bestuifbegeerte, (cat.), Z 33, Hasselt, Belgium
Basics # 1 – drawings, Croxhapox, Gent, Belgium
2002 Where, De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, NL
De Zeeberg – video Tractor Tricks, Netwerk, Aalst, Belgium
Sixpacks – video Tractor Tricks, vzw Nadine, Brussel, Belgium
Art Concern, Kortrijk, Belgium
Galerij De Lege Ruimte, Gent, Belgium
2000 Cultural Centre, Strombeek Bever, Belgium
STUK – Leuven, Belgium
Argos informatiedagen video Tractor Tricks, Beursschouwburg, Brussel, Belgium
1999 Cultural Centre De Schakel, Waregem, Belgium
1998 Coming 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