Michaël Borremans, Man Looking Down at his Hand (2007) Oil on canvas, 36,0 x 30,0 cm Collection Debra Photo: Courtesy Zeno X Gallery, Antwerpen


From the 14th of May to 26th of June 2011 – The Műcsarnok

Poetic quality and surprising associations have been the chief merits of Belgian art ever since René Magritte. The justly world-famous contemporary visual art of Belgium is in part defined by a generation of artists who treat painting, film and installation as kindred genres that complement one another. The trend became the signature of, and was made world-famous by, such artists as Luc Tuymans and Wim Delvoy – already presented at Műcsarnok and Ernst Museum, respectively –, Marcel Broodthaers, or another member of the middle generation of Belgian painters, Michael Borremans of Ghent, whose works the Hungarian audience can now see in Műcsarnok.

Borremans seeks answers for the anxieties of our age with the help of depth psychology. His visual idiom, which handles the surrealist tradition poetically, relies above all on mystery. The gloomy pictures feature strange objects, details, presentations, and references to different traditions in painting, and to bygone eras – the thirties –, while the use of these features is marked with analysis, reflection and psychology.

Michaël Borremans’ brushwork and models connect the past with the present, the tradition with the current mentality and life. Diverse in size, his pictures have a peculiar, insistent radiance, which is probably why all major museums and collections of contemporary art in the world maker certain they own one or more of the artist’s works. An added interest of his oeuvre is that he also presents his visions in films, which bring to life, in the form of slow motion pictures, the symbols and signs of the paintings.

With more than 100 oil paintings, drawings and films on view, the exhibition is realized in cooperation with the Württembergische Kunstverein, Stuttgart.

Michaël Borremans (1963) studied photography at the College of Arts and Sciences Saint-Lucas, Brussels. It was in the mid-1990s that his interest turned to painting and drawing. He has had exhibitions in a great many countries (Museum Für Gegenwartskunst, Basel; S.M.A.K., Ghent; Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; La Maison Rouge, Paris; De Appel, Amsterdam; Centre of Visual Arts, Coimbra; Zeno X Gallery, Antwerpen; David Zwirner Gallery, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo; Royal Palace, Brussels), and his works can be found in the collection of the MoMA. In 2010 he made a series of paintings on commission from the Queen of Belgium. He lives and works in Ghent.

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