Galerie Templon in Paris is presenting Belgique, a group show featuring nine artists, all leading figures of the Belgian contemporary art scene: Michaël Borremans, Peter Buggenhout, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Thierry De Cordier, Wim Delvoye, Jan Fabre, Hans Op de Beeck, Luc Tuymans and Jan Van Imschoot. The exhibition was born of Daniel Templon’s desire to pay tribute to Belgium’s creativity via a selection of artists he particularly loves.
It was developed in dialogue with Philippe Van Cauteren, artistic director of S.M.A.K, Museum of Contemporary Art in Gent. Over twenty works loaned taken from museums, private collections and the artists’ studios provide a subjective and beguiling overview of Belgian contemporary art from the 1990s through to the 2010s, combining drawings, paintings and sculptures.
The choice of works is personal and instinctive, opening the door to a series of unexpected encounters. Wim Delvoye’s subverted gothic objects sit side by side with the melancholy seas painted by philosopher and poet Thierry De Cordier; expressionist fantasies produced by the rarely exhibited Jan Van Imschoot rub shoulders with experimental work from the highly versatile Jan Fabre, an artist the gallery has represented for fifteen years. The exhibition conjures up many worlds, from Hans Op de Beeck’s night-time landscapes to Michaël Borremans’ still life and Luc Tuymans’s immobile characters. It also explores the violence of flesh and blood, physically present in Peter Buggenhout’s assemblages and simulated in Berlinde de Bruyckere sculptures.
Philippe Van Cauteren has written the preface for the Belgique catalogue, published to mark the exhibition and featuring a text by Bernard Marcelis.