There is a lot of painting that isn’t…. really painting. Like X-rays – you choose the limb – sure you see the bones but all the flesh is missing. Of course, this flimsy, skeletal approach to gesture, colour and idea can’t stand on its own two feet for long.

These approximations of painting are doubtless easier to produce, given the wilful non-compliance of paint as a material, not to mention the incongruity of using a stick with horsehair on one end as its coercive tool. But with photoshop and inkjet at hand, these “likenesses” of painting suit demanding production schedules but they ultimately miss the point of ‘why paint’?

In the studio of Koen Delaere you know that the absolute reverse ambition is in play for painting. In the Delaere laboratory there is a genuine anatomy class underway – the body is being undressed, dissected, pushed and pulled and then reformed, all to a rollicking soundtrack of The Velvet Underground to The Cramps. On the flatlands of Tilburg there is a gothic drama (think Mary Shelley) afoot because Koen Delaere is making paintings that “want to live”. Painting can and ought to be transformative in the way that music can be but only if it is analogue and unplugged – played live and loud.

Working on the floor, Delaere bulldozes paint, binder, ink et al, mostly along a vertical axis that leaves outrageous accumulations of material moraine at the terminations of the movement and indeed along the central seam. In the wake of these axial movements are wondrous tracks and strata that reveal sweeps of colour and energy. The deeper geology of the paintings are exposed through repeated excavations and what is unearthed by this persistent quarrying are rich seams of colour and form, of new structure and dynamism. The writer Michael Ondaatje said that “as a writer, one is busy with archaeology”. This ought to be equally true for a painter.

These are paintings that are fulsome and immoderate. At times they can seem borderline bombastic, but thank goodness, because each painting demonstrates Delaere’s preparedness to lose it all in pursuit of the form and chromatic adventure that these highly singular paintings evoke.

It is because of Delaere’s conviction to the activity of painting – both as a vital conceptual and aesthetic force, that he is able to restores our sometimes flagging faith in paintings’ ability to deliver an utterly embracing experience.