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Hugo Heyrman

Related: Belgian contemporary art


Belgian painter, multimedia artist and a theorist of new media. Born in Antwerp (1942), where he lives and works. From his earliest work, Dr. Hugo explored the human condition and the art-mind connection. His multimedia art practice includes net art, film, video, sculpture, photography, painting and drawing. In his online project 'Museums of the Mind' he continues his research, theory and experiments on the telematic future of art, the senses & synesthesia.

Originally, Dr. Hugo opted for a musical education, but transferred to the visual arts. He graduated from the Royal Academy and became a laureate of the National Higher Institute for Fine Arts in Antwerp. In addition, he studied nuclear physics during one year at the State Higher Institute for Nuclear Energy in Mol. He received a doctoral degree, PhD in art sciences, from the Universidad de La Laguna, Santa Cruz de Tenerife with a thesis on 'Art & Computers: an exploratory investigation on the digital transformation of art'. In 1995 he coined the terms 'tele-synaesthesia' and 'post-ego'. Since 1993 he is a working member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts, Brussels. Since 2000, representative of the Belgian Synaesthesia Association. He is currently professor at the Royal Academy for Fine Arts, Antwerp.

During the sixties, Dr. Hugo profiled himself as an avant-garde artist with 'happenings' film- and video experiments. In 1970-73 he made a 'Continental Video & Film Tour' with his 'Mobile Museum of Modern Media' through Belgium, Germany, France and the Netherlands. For his 'Street-life' paintings, he was elected laureate of the 'Jeune Peinture Belge' (1974) at the Palais des Beaux-arts, Brussels. In monumental series on 'Water', 'Light', 'Time', 'A Vision is Finer than a View' and 'New Models of Reality', Dr. Hugo paints the existentially tension between between ideas and images; an appeal to several senses at once "I bring the visual and the conceptual, synesthetically closer together". For Dr. Hugo ideas are tools; his experimental approach to surface, texture and colour contributes to the possibilities of painting. With poetic intensity he continues the innovative adventure of the visual arts.

Online since 1995, Dr. Hugo became one of the pioneers in Net.art. He participated in 1988 at the 'First International Symposium on Electronic Art' (FISEA) in Utrecht. In the Fuzzy Dreamz series, a work in progress since 1996, he transforms his painting experiences into digital media and vice versa. He took part in various Net.art projects, including the online exhibitions, Digital Studies: Being In Cyberspace 'ALT-X-site' (1997) New York and 'Revelation' ISEA 2000, Paris. His works have been presented in major international exhibitions ranging from Antwerp, Brussels, Basel, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona and Chicago to the Biennale of Venice.

Museums of the Mind

http://www.doctorhugo.org, Dr. Hugo's Museums of the Mind

"In our minds we have private museums, silent places for our memories, imagination and dreams." A virtual museum project: exploring the telematic future of art and mind. Sources on net art, net films, paintings, the senses and synesthesia.

Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerpen


Sixties Happenings

Doctor Hugo (Hugo Heyrman) & Panamarenko
  • 07.09.1965. Nu Happening ! Bezette Stad II en III, (Happening Now ! Occupied City II and III), Hugo Heyrman - Yoshio Nakajima - Wout Vercammen, Antwerp, Groenplaats.
  • 08.06.1965. KYRPWWAWAX, Happening in een Heerlijke Nieuwe Stad (KYPRWWAWAX, Happening in a Brave New City), Ostend, Casino-Kursaal.
  • 09.25.1965. Happening News, Antwerp, Meir and Groenplaats.
  • 10.02.1965. Godsdienst Vorst en Staat, (Religion, King and Fatherland), Antwerp, Groenplaats.
  • 10.09.1965. Happening in the Modern World, Antwerp, Groenplaats.
  • 03.12.1966. Het Lange Wapper Gasmonster terug in aktie, Air Base, (The Lange Wapper Gas Monster in Action Again, Air Base), Antwerp, Groenplaats.
  • 03.18.1966. Milky-Way Happening, Hugo Heyrman - Bernd Lohaus - Panamarenko, Antwerp. Opening exhibition of the Wide White Space Gallery.
  • 12.16.1966-67. De Premiere van de Hersenexpansie in Kleuren! Stunt-Happening, Hugo Heyrman - Panamarenko (First Night of the Brain Expansion in Color!), Antwerp, Wide White Space Gallery.
  • 01.18.1968. Happening, Brussels, Royal Flemish Theatre.
  • 07.06.1968. Happening, Stapel ijsblokken (Happening: Pile of Ice Cubes), Antwerp, Conscienceplein.
  • 07.13.1968. Happening: 10.000 m3 graszone, (Happening: 10.000 m3 Area of Grass), Antwerp, Conscienceplein.
  • 07.20.1968. Groot Electronis Uitbazuincomplex, Antwerp, Conscienceplein.
  • 07.27.1968. Wereldpremiere, Maquette van Projekt Reservaat, (10 Hectarenplan) World Premiere, Model of the Reservation Project (The 25 acres Plan), Antwerp, Conscienceplein.
  • 08.03.1968. VAGARATZJI, Antwerp, Groenplaats and Conscienceplein.

    Solo Exhibitions

    2001 Doctor Hugo, Museums of the Mind, Recent paintings, Mineta Move Art Gallery, Brussels (3 october - 24 november).

    2000 Doctor Hugo, The Fuzzy Logic of Icons, New Paintings, Mineta Move Art Gallery, Art Brussels (31 march - 4 april).

    1998 Doctor Hugo, Fuzzy Dreamz, New Paintings, Mineta Move Art Gallery, Brussels.

    1993 Models of Reality, St. Jorispand, Elzenveld ‘93, Antwerp.

    1991 A Vision is Finer than a View III, Galerij De Zwarte Panter, Antwerp.
    1991 A Vision is Finer than a View IV, 12th Modern Art Fair, Galerij De Zwarte Panter, Paleis 11, Heizel, Brussels.

    1990 Hugo Heyrman, De Brakke Grond, Vlaams Cultureel Centrum, Amsterdam.

    1989 A Vision is Finer than a View II & Kringloop van het Straatleven, Galerij De Zwarte Panter, Antwerp.

    1987 Legends of the Sea, Galerie Het Roze Huis, Antwerp.

    1986 A Vision is Finer than a View I, Mineta Move Art Gallery, Brussels.
    1986 De Kringloop van het Straatleven, Galerij De Zwarte Panter, Antwerp.

    1985 Face to Life, Galerij De Zwarte Panter, Antwerp.

    1984 The Nature of Reality, Chicago International Art Expo, Navy Pier, Chicago, USA.
    1984 Hugo Heyrman, Retrospective, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp.

    1983 Impressions of Ireland, Mineta Move Art Gallery, Brussels.
    1983 Hugo Heyrman, Mineta Move Art Gallery, Internationale Kunstmesse, Bazel 14 ‘83, Basel.

    1981 Kringloop van het Straatleven, Galerij De Zwarte Panter, Antwerp.
    1981 Le Cycle de l’Leau, F.I.A.C. ‘81, Mineta Move Art Gallery, Grand Palais, Paris.

    1980 Kringloop van het Water en het Licht, Mineta Move Art Gallery, Brussels (Prijs van de Kritiek/ Belgische Vereniging van Kunstcritici).

    1979 Kringloop van het Water, Galerij De Zwarte Panter, Antwerp.

    1978 Kringloop van het Water, Mineta Move Art Gallery, Brussels (Prijs van de Kritiek/ Belgische Vereniging van Kunstcritici).
    1978 Hugo Heyrman, Galerie Fagel, Amsterdam.

    1975 De Waarneming Waarnemen, Galerij De Zwarte Panter, Antwerp (Prijs van de Kritiek/ Belgische Vereniging van Kunstcritici).

    1972 Artworker Star 3, Multi-Art Gallery, Antwerp.

    1971 Helder Rood, Vuil Groen, Verblindend Wit, (cancelled exhibition), Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp.
    1971 Artworker Star 1 en 2, Galerij Penta, Antwerp.

    1966 De Première van de Hersenexpansie in Kleuren!, Stunt-Happening, Hugo Heyrman - Panamarenko, Wide White Space Gallery, Antwerp.

    1964 Kunststrukturen, Hugo Heyrman - Panamarenko, CAW, Comité voor Artistieke Werking, Antwerp.
    1964 Hugo Heyrman, Tekeningen, Galerij Nederlands Kamertoneel, NKT, Antwerpen.


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