Ghent - S.M.A.K. - Raphaël Buedts / Nick Ervinck / Michel François25/08/2009
GHENT - S.M.A.K. - RAPHAEL BUEDTS / NICK ERVINCK / MICHEL FRANÇOIS
September 05 - November 15, 2009
The monumental monograph and exhibition in the S.M.A.K. are necessary levers in making the public aware of Raf Buedts' unique contribution to art. The artist, a sculptor who worked exclusively in wood and whose main concern was to be able to work in the area between functional furniture and a contemplative sculptural practice, died in April 2009. His sculptures reveal his fascination with the special quality of wood: the assembled volumes are placed on unorthodoxly assembled pedestals made of wooden slats, planks, branches, sheets and sticks. He also used rope, lead, canvas, silk, bricks, painter's easels and occasionally included shells in his 'bits of furniture'. His work was aimed at making the material emotionally tangible. He drew thin chalk lines and paint stripes on the wood to evoke energies and connections. Besides this he devoted himself to painting abstract landscapes, and drawing was also an important part of his work as a whole.
September 05 - November 22, 2009
This virtual world which Nick Ervinck explores is strange and at the same time, due to its spatial and detailed execution, surprisingly realistic. Polymorphic and synthetic shapes seem to penetrate the authentic and real museum spaces and transform them into a completely fictional world in which monumental structures begin to float and become living sculptures reminiscent of organic, abstract sculptures such as coral or rock formations. Through the seemingly synthetic and extremely detailed finish however, these forms contrast with their organic formal idiom and sometimes acquire a clearly futuristic undertone. What is so intriguing is that it is precisely through this paradoxical effect that Nick Ervinck manages to make his sculptures - which have been generated from purely digital sketches - appear completely virtual in the real world - in this case in the Kunst Nu space in the S.M.A.K. They form a perfect, seamless synthesis between real and virtual sculpture. Nick Ervinck also treats the space itself in such a way that it largely loses its status of a real museum space and instead acquires the charisma of a jet-black background often used in 3D animation programmes in which designers are able to see the newly designed (virtual) objects from every angle.
October 18, 2009 - January 10, 2010
The Belgian artist Michel François has been working with sculpture on all scales since 1981 and through all media, including photography, video and installation. His work is essentially a representation of the live in all its forms (with a preference for vegetable, mineral, organic and human movement). He expresses vivacity concrete and plastic vigour in moving, unstable and proliferating works. Like deictics, linguistic particles that change their meaning with context, Michel François' objects and images do not stop transforming, associating, replaying to form themselves into transitory forms as if by crystallisation. A physiological artistic model, based on growth, deployment or disintegration, always read to be seen as fixed in an expansion of forms and meanings.
After his participation in the Venice Biennial (1999) and Documenta 9 in Kassel (1992) and his numerous personal exhibitions through the world, this exhibition at S.M.A.K. (Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst of Ghent) is his first big retrospective. The exhibition can be looked upon as a complex of scenes that is being brought up to date and renewed. More than a relationship of existing works it is conceived on the process of recycling, renewed transformation and connection of forms and materials. Sculptures, installations, photographs, videos are therefore retextured and reinterpreted in space to throw the gauntlet down against any fixed and normalised conception of artwork.
On the occasion of this exhibition with a retro-and pro-spective character, a catalogue will be compiled.
Raphaël Buedts, ôbeeld, ovaalö (eik, potlood, krijt, H 42 cm)
Photo: S.M.A.K., Dirk Pauwels, 2009