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Almine Rech Gallery Bruxelles: IDA TURSIC & WILFRIED MILLE - THE WEEDS
- 9 Mar 2012 to 11 Apr 2012

Current Exhibition

9 Mar 2012 to 11 Apr 2012

Almine Rech Gallery, Bruxelles
20 Rue de l’Abbaye
B - 1050
T: +32 32 26 485 684
F: +32 26 484 484

March 9 - April 11, 2012
Almine Rech Gallery Bruxelles



March 9 - April 11, 2012 / BRUSSELS

Opening Thursday, March 8th, 5 to 8 pm

«Next to your lordly wall, in dignity of enclosure, comes your close-set wooden paling, which is more objectionable, because it commonly means enclosure on a larger scale than people want. Still it is significative of pleasant parks, and well-kept field walks, and herds of deer, and other such aristocratic pastoralisms, which have here and there their proper place in a country, and may be passed without any discredit».
John Ruskin, The Work of Iron in Nature, Art and Policy (1858), in The Two Paths (1859)«Misled by so much lightness and the apparent ease that reigns therein, one’s eye seeks in vain, through careful attention and repeated exploration, to discover the secret; it fails, loses itself in your touch; and, tired of its eff orts, without ever being satisfied with its pleasure, it distances itself, comes closer, and leaves only after pledging to return».
Louis-Guillaume Baillet de Saint-Julien, Caractères des peintres français actuellement vivants (1755)

26th Dragoons
Wild flowers have invaded the surroundings of the studio in the former barracks of the 26th Regiment of Dragoons in Dijon. For one or other reason, it was necessary to move out and find a new location. Located on a small winding road deep in the département of Bourgogne, next to a river, the warehouses of an abandoned rope factory were just what they needed. From now on, I&W, the «dual painter», will live in Dijon and work in Diénay. In the mornings, they keep an eye out for does leaping across the road, while in the evenings, they watch out for the huddled families of wild boar which can unexpectedly shoot across the road. Between the two? The almighty kingdom of pa inting.

Savageries of Diénay
In the late 1970s, a series of erotic-pornographic films were made that were set in nature. It was probably a way of capturing a lost dream, a long-forgotten ideal, a longing for a communal utopia – probably also a way of recovering the first experiences of the «Nordic» films that had triggered so many fantasies. These films created thoroughly unreal scenes: dazed game, dumbfounded squirrels and curious deer observe the lovemaking in its most frivolous to most ritualized forms. Perhaps one of these images of insouciance lies beneath the white grids of I&W – perhaps, on occasion. Spectators are liable to lose themselves, and their quest for meaning can be frustrated. What is hidden in these paintings, and should we seek it out? Are we not faced with an abstraction? What, for heaven’s sake, is there to be seen?

«There will be girls and landscapes»
«There will b e girls and landscapes» is the first thing I was told about this exhibition. «Girls and landscapes »for viewers to watch or get a glimpse of, but also animals, and things that grow spontaneously, like weeds. How important is this modest dramaturgy? No response. Or else: it’s the painting viewers must see. There are those gridded, metallic, misleadingly grey visions, with hidden secrets; there are also the small wild flowers, and girls, of course, which are now clearly visible. One of them, seated naked on a piece of wood, is greedily swallowing spaghetti – or is it linguine? – al nero di seppia¬, the ink staining her smile. The feast is set before one of those fake idyllic landscapes found in cheap little eating-houses (I’ll have to have another look at the Mona Lisa). The two other girls, in watercolours, have been extracted, torn from their magazines, and stare out at us, just as they stare fixedly at the gridded canvases. I&W are not only interested in pornography, eroticism, icons, decorative effects or optical illusions. It is obvious that there is something more beneath all that.

Burgundian nostalgia
Squirrels observe the painters at work through a glass roof in the new studio. The artists are preparing their first exhibition at the Almine Rech Gallery in Brussels. This kingdom of painting is bathed in an atmosphere that contrasts sharply with that found in the canvases, presenting a clash between the visual and the mental, a discrepancy between the container and the contents. Maybe they recall that Diénay was once the scene of a dispute, a real dispute in the history of art. In the autumn of 1890, Edgar Degas visited his friend, the engraver Georges Jeanniot, who was residing in Diénay. This is where Degas carried out his first monotypes, based on recollections of landscapes glimpsed on board the train. Upon seeing these monotypes, the writer Ludovic Halévy told Deg as they were wonderful «états d’âme», or «states of mind». This only stirred up Degas’ temper. «States of mind», «states of mind»… Halévy, Degas responded, had understood nothing, and it was absolutely vain to use such pretentious language. There are only «états d’yeux», Degas claimed, or «states of eyes»…

Mysterious ocular candy
The works of Ida Tursic and Wilfried Mille are deceptive, like traps consisting of pure paint. We have here a small overview of the medium’s range of possibilities and irresistible force of attraction. The subject is equally important and self-effacing. Viewers can be enthralled by a gaze or by a texture. A mystery unveils itself in one canvas, but then a thick stroke disrupts our vision. Everything is painting, but nothing is so at random: a page torn out from a magazine, the reproduction of a print covered in paint and then burned, a pict ure of nature, an erotic image, a landscape in the picture, a fence… It is up to each viewer to recover the right ‘state of eyes’, to enter into these pictures, these mysterious candy-like works imbued with savagery, eroticism and nostalgic derision. The pleasure of creation, the pleasure of contemplation.

States of mind, states of mind… There are only states of eyes.
Jean-Marie Gallais


March 9 - April 11, 2012
Opening Thursday, March 8th, 5 to 8 pm

The Almine Rech Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition by Joel Morrison in Brussels.

This body of new work, as visually arresting as it is theoretically complex, illustrates the dynamic range of Morrison’s visual language. Working in a variety of cast metals, the flawless surfaces of Morrison’s nickel, stainless- steel and bronze sculpture command a visceral engagement. Amid the light play, the mirrored surfaces reveal an amalgam of contradictory shapes and textures. “Two dissonant themes run through my work”, says Morrison, “the historical ‘West Coast’ aesthetics (shiny, reflective surfaces that play with light), and the notion that an artwork should be the subject of long contemplation”. A sense of humour pervades this delightful chaos. Everyday objects - waffles, bubble-wrap, meat tenderizers and wooden spoons - assimilate within the framework of an 18th century neoclassical bust. Quick, Expressionist line drawings take shape as sculpture; a different incarnation of the playful, historically referential theme. Morrison’s oeuvre synthes izes histories of artistic discourse into a dialogue of juxtaposition, where Minimalism meets Baroque, process meets theory, high meets low.

Born in 1976 in Seattle, Washington, Joel Morrison lives and works in Los Angeles, California. In recent years he has taken part in several exhibitions, among which Six Solos at the Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, Ohio, 2011), the California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art (2006), and New Works at Griffin Contemporary in Santa Monica (2004). His work was also shown in the Project Room of the Santa Monica Museum of Art in California in 2003.

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