Lex ter Braak: Bilderbaumbuch

The Orangerie, 10 September – half October 2021

Bilderbaumbuch is a long-term project by Lex ter Braak. In September ter Braak has a solo at gallery Dudokdegroot in Amsterdam (3 September – 10 October, 2021) and will work in the Zone2Source Orangerie after the launch of his book Levensvormen on September 9th. About his work period Lex writes: “I would like to use this opportunity to map the trees in the park and create a tree work based on one of the tree species”.


Bilderbaumbuch is an ode to the immense versatility of the tree. The tree that dies and is reduced to a stump when its usage time is up. Lex ter Braak follows the movements of the tree in his drawings, photos and paintings. He refers to poets who wrote that leaves remember the sky, that a crown overflows with sounds and that the tree contains a grander life of the upper and lower world. For him, the tree is a source of language, of signs that can be read and heard, of cultural-historical references. He is an example of living symbiotic and solitary at the same time – and despite his power of precarity.

In his novel Levensvormen (Life forms),  published by Van Oorschot and presented at Zone2Source, Ter Braak elaborates on this and the tree is the yardstick for Auden’s poetry line: A culture is no better than its woods.

A quote from Life Forms: ‘Is it conceivable that we can find in new language and new images what we have lost and that we can create a liberating reality with it? Can we free nature from our falsified clichés, cut it free from the fossilized language that chokes it, break away from the decals that have stiffened it into a well-thumbed album?’

Park Studio