Abstract Matters Bieke Depuydt, Vincent Laute and Tim Stapel 14.November 2015 to 9. January 2016
Hundred years after that exhibition in Marsovo Pole, Petrograd where “the new realism in painting(…)” was brought to life by works of Malevich and other participating artists, abstract painting has lost most of its radicalism and political sting. “Through its aloofness, arrogance and desecration of all that is beloved and cherished, it flaunts its desire to lead everything to destruction.” Assessments like this, written by Alexandre Benois may well reflect the stir it caused at the time, but seem hopelessly outdated today. Abstract painting has far from extinguished figurative painting. Nonetheless it has opened a door that changed modern art for good. In this group show Galerie O·M·S Pradhan is pleased to present you three young artists who all developed their own formal approach in this field.
Vincent Lautes’ works include aspects that deal in a playful manner with traditional modernism- sometimes through formal and sometimes through symbolic references. One of these is the manner in which he approaches the canvas. In the P-Series it disappears as a carrier of illusion. By treating it as a layer of skin with tactile characteristics and breaking open its surface, the canvas becomes the object itself. Furthermore Laute also attaches a political and philosophical meaning to his work: the polyfacetted surface with its randomly created triangles, generated without a clear centre, is a reference to our postmodernist and highly technological society. In Squash the colourful surfaces become even more individualistic and isolated, while the colour and shapes in Stealth Black refers to the stealth technologies that are used in advanced military equipment.
In his sculptural work Vincent Laute uses the Rhombohedra from Dürers Melencolia I. Until today the meaning of this work stays shrouded in mystery. Panofsky interprets the melancholy of the angel as a creative mood, as a sign of genius that is inherent in the artists’ soul, while the general consensus about the polygon is that it symbolises the rise of mathematics and science, which would lead the way into an enlightened society during the Renaissance. By assembling this polygonal structure as a modular system into a string of molecules, Laute unites those two aspects but at the same time he also puts an emphasis on the strangle hold that science has over our everyday life.
Bieke Depuydts work is a continuous research into the boundaries of form and material in abstract painting. The starting point of her murals is mainly the silhouette of the space they are created in. By abstracting the pattern she then proceeds to generate a universally recognizable form and a timeless aesthetics. The colours are produced by herself, consisting of ashes made out of different materials that are associated to the space and its habitants. Through the ritualistic manner she chooses to produce the colour she creates an even stronger bond between the work and the space and instils another layer of meaning into her work.
The same effort and attention for detail goes into her paintings; the materials are carefully chosen and the forms and colours result in well balanced compositions. The paintings are applied on a carton which is prepared with several layers of undercoating and are presented in a sumptuous wooden frame. The choices of colours that she uses, like egg tempera, ashes, gesso and various other materials, not only display a fine sense for distinct coloration but also a high level of craft.
Tim Stapel mainly creates installations adjusted to a specific space. Through precise observation and the integration of minute architectural details, he opens up a discourse between the space and his work. In his formal approach he restricts himself to the basic forms of visual elements: colours, forms and lines. In that sense he might come closest to Malevich’s approach of abstract painting. Although there is no subtext in his work, as you find it for example in Malevich’s‚ Red Square: Painterly Realism of a Peasant Woman in Two Dimensions‘. It is all about form and shape- and in the case of this exhibition also about material and found objects. With the Series Candybags he transfers their imprints through the technique of Nitrofrottage on paper. Staying true to his artistic approach these works are the result of geometrical patterns.
Sofie Verbrugghen and Olaf Pradhan
Brussels, November 2015