Dip into human psyche with Gaillard and Claude

Last week, I went to one of my favourite gallery in Brussels MOT INTERNATIONAL where they have currently a show on portrait Repeated Affinity featuring works of Aleksandra Domanovic, Gaillard & Claude and Manfred Jade. Although I found the work of Domanovic and Jade very interesting – it is photography, I would like to show you the work of Brussels based duo Gaillard and Claude who create their own marble paper, which represent a mental “painting” of our mind.



MOT INTERNATIONAL describes the work of the artists as a portrait of a society:

“Both of the works Untitled from the series Le groupe et la famille by Gaillard & Claude are exposures of the human psyche. The artists have produced two pieces of unique marbled paper, together with a single handmade 250 gram pill of paracetamol. This combination of a trivial remedy, enlarged to give it the potential to heal hundreds of people’s headaches, together with the dense, abstract magma of the marbled paper, confronts the viewer with a simultaneously chaotic and calming nebula. The works can be described as atmospheric portraits, in which a group of individuals is depicted in eternal motion between the personal and the collective.”


Unfortunately the show ran until 16 March, but I am sure there will be other occasions to see the work of the duo.

Repeated affinity
curated by Constance Barrère Dangleterre
26th January 2013 – 16th March 2013

MOTINTERNATIONAL BRUSSELS – Rue Vandenbrandenstraat 1, 1000. Brussels, Belgium


Painting versus Object


Being ourself working on a Painting vs Photography exhibitions (Ponyhof team is back to work after a long maternity leave break!), we got quite caught by the title of Standpoint gallery’s latest exhibition in London: PAINTING-VERSUS-OBJECT running until 8 december. Exploring the added-value of contemporary painting nowadays, we are quite interested in the interaction between painting and the 3D.

The starting point of this exhibition is the same one anyone dealing with contemporary painting would start with. Painting is seen as derelict, “dangerous, anachronistic, overemotional, disengaged with current practice in current academic driven circles.” This is why we often observe a shift to installation, performance or digital media in painting students’ curricula. This being said, any visits to exhibitions, galleries or museum contest this fact and proves that painting is still a valid contemporary practice.

PAINTING-VERSUS-OBJECT looks into the “territory negotiated between painting, painters, objects and the wold they inhabit, from contrasting perspective.” While some artists presented are engaged with collaged paintings (John Holland, Katja Pudor), other are creating painterly constructions (Clare Mitten, Sean Edwards, Mia Taylor) or painted structure (Andy Wicks).

Sadly, we cannot be right now in London and can only rely on the pictures but would encourage you to go if you can and give us your impression, whether it is as good in real as it promises! It finishes on Saturday 8 December though.

45 Coronet St, Hoxton, London N1 6HD

Open Wednesday-Saturday 12-6pm

Until 8 December


Angel Vergara at Almine Rech, “the feeling of jubilation with regard to painting”

Angel Vergara is not a painter in the classic sense of the word. He became known through his performances as straatman (streetman) when he was drawing hidden under a white sheet what was happening around him. Since then, he created painted films and staged the act of painting in various ways in his pictural production.  Almine Rech presents  in Brussels until 29 September 2012 a new solo show of his new project.

Courtesy Almine Rech Gallery

For the Almine Rech exhibition, Angel Vergara paints on images drawn from the media after he first edited and assembled them. Those images are the starting point and the frame serving his act of painting, aiming at enabling images to regain their colour, thickness and consistency they may have lost.

What is interesting in Vergara’s work is his dedication to painting as a medium, despite the originality of his approach: “While the words “and yes I said yes I will Yes” are borrowed from the closing line of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses, for Vergara they also serve as a pretext to proclaim, over and over again, the feeling of jubilation with regard to painting.”

The visitor is offered a “painterly journey” in the gallery staged by the artist himself and which presents his emancipated approach to painting.

ANGEL VERGARA and yes I said yes and I will Yes. 07 – 29.09.12 / Brussels –  Almine Rech

Article on Angel Vergara and the act of painting (in French): http://www.exporevue.com/magazine/fr/interw_vergara_macs.html

Gerhard Richter – Panorama (II)

Yesterday I went to visit the so-much-talked-about Gerhard Richter exhibition at Centre Pompidou: PANORAMA. It’s the third part of an exhibition that travelled already at Tate Modern London and the Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, taking on each time a different stage.

Although, I thought to have seen quite an extensive part of Gerhard Richter works, I really enjoyed to see a very didactic and indeed panoramic exhibition of M. Richter’s oeuvre. The rooms are organised chronologically and thematically. The scenography presents an interesting triangular room in the middle, a promontory room inspired by 19th century panorama. I was also glad to be able to see again the John Cage series, who inspired him the famous: I have nothing to say and I say it illustrating Richter’s prolific and varied oeuvre. But the reason why I appreciated so much to see this exhibition is that it is a statement that painting is not dead, Gerhard Richter worked all his life to defend painting as a medium by re-inventing it constantly and transforming thereby the history of art.

Instead of images I prefer to leave you with the last quote of the exhibition. “Room 10: continuing to paint”:


“A lot of people find other media more attractive – put a screen in a museum and nobody wants to look at the painting anymore. But painting is my profession, because it has always been the thing that interested me most. And now I’m of a certain age, I come from a different tradition and, in any case, I can’t do anything else. I’m still very sure that painting is one of the most basic human capacities, like dancing and singing, that make sense, that stay with us, as something human”.


Liv Vaisberg


Centre Pompidou, Paris

Until 24 September 2012

Daily except Tuesday



Gerhard Richter – Panorama

Last chance to see Vincent Geyskens at S.M.A.K.

We are not spoiled with hot spells here in Belgium so it can be difficult to convince oneself to spend the rare sunny day within cold museum walls rather than, say, hanging in the parks playing boule or lingering on terraces over wine and pastis (which is pretty much what I have been indulging in lately). But if you ask me, it is definitely worth checking out Vincent Geyskens’ solo show UnDEAD at the excellent Gentse museum of contemporary art, S.M.A.K.


Vincent Geyskens, Zelfportret, collage on wood, 2001

The title refers to the many times that painting was declared dead without ever really accepting this fate and sans disappearing from the art scene. But gone are the days of schools, groups and movements: individualism is on the rise everywhere in society and, in similar fashion, painting today is a solitary venture of personal views and expression. As Geyskens puts it in the exhibition leaflet: “Anyone painting today knows that he is alone”.

He therefore dismisses the painter’s dilemma of abstract versus figurative ways of expression as nonsense, what matters is the personal way of thinking and not which of the forms this takes.

In all cases, his work is very painterly and investigating into the possibilities of painting as a form of expression. My random phone snapshots really don’t do the work any justice, so get to S.M.A.K. for the full effect.

Vincent Geyskens, ‘Horescum G.A.T’, 2008, oil on canvas, 60x60cm

As for his figurative work, many of the paintings presented at the show take for subject the human body. Whereas photography for some reason focuses on skinny, proportionate models, painting has a way of rendering the beauty of “imperfect” flesh. In painting, the meatier the model, the better, and cellulite can become enthralling. And if it is true that painting is vain (and useless), it is still possible to imagine paintings that make many other forms of expression seem much vainer and hopeless still.

Vincent Geyskens – UnDEAD will stay open at S.M.A.K. until 2 September.

Charline von Heyl



I’ve always felt with her a sense of common purpose, ambition and predicament: that painting should engage an urgent sense of responsibility to life in this moment, yet with no roadmap for how to even begin, there is a void which begs the question: what is real? What can be made vivid? What is the cost of launching oneself into this act against all odds of making it new and vital?”

Jacqueline Humphries on Charlotte von Heyl in Tate etc.