Zeno X Gallery turns 40 this year and is celebrating this anniversary with a series of exhibitions at the gallery Antwerp South. These shows shed light on the gallery's various decades. From April 2 onwards, 40 YEARS Zeno X Gallery: the nineties presents the seven artists who joined the gallery in the 1990s: Luc Tuymans (1990), Marlene Dumas (1993), Mark Manders (1994), Cristof Yvoré (1994), Anton Corbijn (1996), Dirk Braeckman (1999) and Johannes Kahrs (1999). The show brings historical works into dialogue with recent pieces created specially for this exhibition.
While the focus in the 1980s was on installation art and architecture, the centre of gravity shifted to painting in the 1990s, starting with the representation of Raoul de Keyser in 1988. In his first exhibition at Zeno X Gallery in 1990, entitled Suspended, Luc Tuymans showed both The Cry and the triptych Käthe Grüsse. The portraits Dolls I, Dolls II and Dolls III build a bridge to the historical triptych: they are also inspired by the dolls made by the German toy company Käthe Kruse. The handmade dolls are characterised by their realistic appearance; for instance, they are made with real human hair since 1928.
The work Pornoblues by Marlene Dumas was shown at her first exhibition in 1993, Give the People What They Want. Besides eroticism, Dumas explores themes such as love, death and war, often referring to art history and current affairs. Dutch writer Hafid Bouazza translated the prose poems collected by Charles Baudelaire in Le Spleen de Paris and Dumas made paintings to accompany them. She was inspired by both the subjects of the poems and the specific tone of the Dutch translation. In late April 2022, Het Parijse spleen will be published by Querido. Baudelaire (double) was recently on show at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. Marlene Dumas currently has a retrospective exhibition at Palazzo Grassi in Venice.
Fox / Mouse / Belt by Mark Manders was shown during his first exhibition at the gallery in 1994. It has featured in many international solo exhibitions. During the Venice Biennale in 2013, the sculpture was also presented in a local supermarket and lately in a DIY shop in Tokyo. The more recent work Unfired Clay Head shows one of the artist's best-known subjects, an androgynous head that seems to be made of clay, like a moment frozen in time.
The works of Cristof Yvoré originate from a recognisable everydayness that is reduced to its simplest form of expression. For years, Yvoré painted the same subjects, such as vases, flower arrangements, curtains, house façades and room corners. He always paints these still lifes from memory and often using impasto. Work by Yvoré is currently on view at the recently opened Leienpaleis in Antwerp.
Anton Corbijn is best known for his black-and-white photographs of iconic figures from the music and film world, but in the 1990s he also portrayed writers such as William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. These photos were shown in his first solo exhibition at Zeno X Gallery in 1996. The image of Naomi Campbell dates from 1994 but was only recently developed and released by the photographer.
Both works by Dirk Braeckman are being shown in the gallery for the first time. The work E.P.- S.V.-93 featured in solo exhibitions at S.M.A.K. in Ghent in 2001 and at Kunsthalle Erfurt in 2012. Braeckman's images are suggestive impressions of reality in which the naked body is often of central importance.
The paintings by Johannes Kahrs are always based on photographs or film stills. Kahrs is showing new work. Untitled (zu bett gehen) (2021) was inspired by the opening scene of Ingmar Bergman's film Persona. The contrast with the iconic work Girl with Yellow Wig (2005) shows that in recent years Kahrs has been experimenting more and more with the materiality of paint.
Press release courtesy Zeno X Gallery.
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