For PRIME, Axel Vervoordt Gallery presents a group exhibition of leading artists that deserve the spotlight because of their outstanding practice rooted in the language and events of modern life.
Michel Mouffe, living and working in Brussels, is an artist who explores the foundations of painting by challenging its limits. As he uses space to establish a dialogue, Mouffe’s work overcomes the two-dimensionality of the canvas. His almost monochrome paintings use colour as a means of expressing a certain humanity and the limitlessness of space, confirming their presence by the abstract vibrations of the painting’s materiality.
El Anatsui is a sculptor who lives and works between Ghana and Nigeria. Growing up in the 1960s, Anatsui experienced a time typified by a profound search for social and personal identity. This search has become a central theme in his work. He investigates the erosion of tradition, as well as its survival and transmission into the future. He has addressed a vast range of social, political and historical concerns, and embraced an equally diverse vocabulary of media and process.
Kimsooja’s visual language directly addresses profound questions of human existence. It explores identity in the face of change and social flux, time, memory and the human body's relationship with the material world. Concerned by experiences of cultural dislocation in her native South Korea, she reflects on current socio-political issues such as migration, exile and violence, to expose art's complicated connections to political life.
Other selected artists are Bae Bien-U, Lucia Bru, Otto Boll, Renato Nicolodi, Marco Tirelli, Angel Vergara and Ann Veronica Janssens.
Axel Vervoordt Gallery would like to focus on the oeuvre of artist Ida Barbarigo for REDISCOVERY. Feeling the need to forget what had been done before, and to unlearn how to paint, Ida Barbarigo strived to develop her own personal style, a language that held no references to prior artists. This search led to a process of removal. What ultimately remained was simplicity and suggestive lines, making her work tumble into abstraction. Her drawings allude to what is depicted with moving lines that are emotionally charged.
Barbarigo’s explorations of Paris and Venice accumulated in a focused interest for walks and analysing public spaces. These walks were an act of ecstatic vagabonding whereby she wandered around areas such as squares, terraces, and cafés, while observing the light, colours, sudden revelations, and people’s behaviour. The resulting paintings are emotionally and electrically charged spaces that give the impression of an intuitive personal calligraphy, offering a glimpse of that what cannot be seen – the wind, air, void, time, and energy; all passing through.
A recurring subject is that of the chair. Barbarigo worked on this repeatedly in a series of oils and small watercolours in which the chair is treated as a structural and compositional element. The titles are often snatches of conversation overheard by chance, words uttered by some of the occasional occupants of the chairs.
Her paintings are a message to be looked at, a cluster that offers evidence of her profound familiarity with the psychological understanding of the human being, conveyed with a realism that reveals a new aspect of the city. They are a logbook, which consists of a variety of series that seek not to evoke but to invoke the silent spirit of the present.