/ Story of Numbers

Jean Claude Wouters

About the

“A painting speaks for itself, being neither abstract nor figurative.”
— Jean Claude Wouters

In terms of the numbers viewers find in the title his works, Jean-Claude Wouters points out that his creations remained untitled before they are put on display in exhibitions. He believes that each piece of work is an independent soul, telling its own story through either how it is presented or what lies beneath. Upon that knowledge, titles are then given to make it easier for later discussions among.

As for photography, Wouters titles them after the subject photographed, coupled with two numbers as suffixes. They are not simply serial numbers, nor are they marking years. Instead, they are marked according to the artist’s technics and process of working up the images. Each piece of work is therefore unique, given the differences in the brand of negative film, the number and size of reels, and the number of shots the artist takes. Wouters jokes about his creations often being one of its own and one piece only. Therefore, this way of documentation, kind of like the Morse code exclusive to his works, may help him keep track of the work details when he gets old.

The paintings in Jean Claude Wouters:Light of Void are series of works since 2016, as Wouters paints and washes the same canvases over and over again. The numbers viewers find in the work titles today mark the countlessly times Wouters repeats the painting, cleaning, and even putting on a new canvas, before the paintings are done. In case you may be wondering how to know when a piece of work is finished; the answer lies in the painting itself.

Jean Claude Wouters:Light of Void

2022.11.23 - 2023.09.03

ALIEN Art Centre

Curatorship and Setting-up
Yaman Shao, Jérôme Neutres


With the support of

Marunouchi Gallery tokyo, 2009. Courtesy of the artist.

NohoModern Gallery L.A., 2003 Courtesy of the artist.