His fountain, however, is not a masterpiece of artistry and engineering, a simply set piece designed to inspire wonder, or a symbol of the economic well-being of the city. On the contrary, it has become a complete hybrid that does not make the separation between the sculptural construction, the source of water, the urban setting and the presence of the onlooker. Verhoeven’s fountain becomes one with the whole environment because the artist has drenched everything, from the jets of water, over the basin and the plaza to the benches, in the same anonymous pink colour. The result is one single component, but one doesn’t know if it is a fountain, a sculpture or a plaza.
For his exhibition at the gallery, Gert Verhoeven has approached the hybridisation of the fountain from a different angle by miniaturizing it and putting it into a domestic/artistic context. The pink and black home fountains that gurgle and sprout sculptures of water will further explore their status as works of art and their interference with the surrounding space.
In addition to the sculptures, Gert Verhoeven is showing two new series of drawings: one based on the model sheet of a story board; the other one playing with different constellations of arrows.José Lerma
(1971) was born in Spain, lived in Puerto Rico and studied in the United States. He currently is a resident at the Core Program in Houston, Texas. The exhibition at Xavier Hufkens is his first project in Belgium.
The paintings and drawings by José Lerma represent cartoonish, calligraphic figures with a sardonic undertone. Although his characters almost never have faces, they succeed in conveying profound and contrasting feelings of existential pain and loneliness. With his loose painting style and specific subject matter, Lerma constantly hovers between drama and irony, melancholy and absurdity. Lerma’s work belongs to the lineage of Philip Guston, Peter Saul and Carroll Dunham, although it is slightly less sinister.
José Lerma paints and draws with energy and intensity, fully exploring the expressive possibilities of the paint itself and creating his authentic, startling atmosphere on the basis of a subtle chromatic harmony and a balanced composition. “I felt painting could not be beat at being painterly…”, he says, “it felt like the most natural manifestation of the medium… I did not want painting to comment but to have autonomy from other mediums.”
- - verberg extra tekst