The wonderful Museum in Ixelles has done it again!! A brilliant exhibition called "Dialogue with Light" is currently on display here, showing the works of mainly two artists: Walter Leblanc and Jef Verheyen. Both artists studied at the Academy in Antwerp but rapidly developed their own ideas independently of each other. Their works are abstract (meaning you cannot recognize anything except for shapes and colours) but are visually so strong and pleasing that you will nevertheless want to take home at least half of everything you see. Certainly not to be missed and still open until January 22nd.
Jef Verheyen is working in an almost monochromatic ( = one colour) way but you will usually find very subtle changes from one colour to another. Beautifully executed too!
He is very good at making his work appear to be gently folded in certain places whereas in reality the whole effect is simply created with very subtle colour changes. Fascinating and very zen!
And the colours are just sooo calming and soothing and I could look at this for hours (but somehow feared that the work would not fit into my purse (as quite large-scale) and therefore decided to leave it hanging in the museum for everyone to admire). ;-p
Walter Leblanc is the master of twisting... not only your mind (figuratively) but quite literally the material he is working with. The artist does so in a perfectly executed and highly meticulous way, which give his works a wonderful beauty and make them very intriguing.
So here the front of the paper is white and the back is black and the artist simply sliced exact shreds on the upper and lower part of the piece, then twisted them so the back part shows and finally reattached them. I want to try this!!
These are actually two pieces where once the lower and once the upper part was altered but finally the works were merged into a single piece. So simple yet so beautiful!
Here he actually worked with plain cords, which were applied on the canvas in two different directions and therefore create an effect of light and dark. Clever!
But they also show some works from other artists of the same period, which are equally fascinating. This one is by the Italian artist Lucio Fontana. He painted the part below his canvas (usually black) and then simply cut one or several stripes into the canvas itself (so the lines are not painted on but are really just cuts). The effect however is extremely esthetic and decorative.
Piero Manzoni, another Italian artist, liked to work with monochromes ( = one colour, in his case this being usually white) but tended to give his pieces a certain texture by glueing objects onto the canvas. Very relaxing to look at.
Günther Uecker is a German artist who has a thing for nails and most of the work I know from him is actually executed with the help of this material. However, he manages to create wonderful, highly organic shapes and almost movement-like motions with this stiff, cold and rather boring household item. This work for instance strongly reminds me of a wheat field in the summer, gently swaying in the wind. Love it!