Widely known for his series of paintings inspired by unconventional perspective, for the past decade Koen van den Broek has been consistently influenced by urban landscape. Van den Broek often experienced these landscapes whilst on road journeys in the United States, where he would focus on one detail, taking hundreds of snapshots that he could later use as source material for his canvases. The detail might be a section of a road, cracks in the asphalt, or a particular shape of shadow.
The expression ‘Cut Away the Snoopy’ was used by the sculptor John Chamberlain to designate his notion of the artist’s obligation to remove those recognisable elements or points of association that occur in the composition for the sake of pure form. Chamberlain’s expression marks a turning point in van den Broek’s practice, as he pushes all remaining figurative elements towards the field of complete abstraction. Rather than drawing from photographs, as he has done for many years, van den Broek now reworks recurring features in his previous paintings, evolving his own formal vocabulary, combining into new compositions. Each of van den Broek's works is the result of a succession of transformations. In this way the new paintings are more overtly abstract, and almost completely detached from any source material or reference to specific landscapes.