Over de expositie
The renowned Belgian artist Michel François is showing at Xavier Hufkens for the first time. Michel François integrates the whole ground floor into a lively exhibition, which includes sculptures, installations, objects, photographs and video. As usual, the artist creates a space of reflection or self-awareness by showing recognisable processes and objects he has playfully turned upside down and inside out. There is a melting eagle, a bronze chips tree, lamps and images of lamps, an artificial fire, walls and holes, … Each image or sculpture refers to another which in turn is alluding to the reality outside the exhibition space. The ensemble expresses a multitude of possibilities, similar to the ramifications of a cactus or the pattern of an octopus and typical of Michel François’s refined and idiosyncratic view of reality.
Xavier Nellens (1970) is a Belgian painter who, after his last exhibition in Brussels in 1999, left on a long journey. He sailed the Atlantic Ocean on a small sailing boat, lived in Cuba for more than two years, made a clandestine film about Cuban dissidents and afterwards moved to New York, where he rented a studio and worked for another two years. Back in Belgium, he started a new series of paintings which are presented at his exhibition at Xavier Hufkens.
Xavier Nellens’s paintings are abstract but still bear traces of figuration and text. The artist believes very strongly the meaning of his works is defined by their origin (their cultural and sociological context) and by the symbolic references he has embedded in the act of painting. For him, painting is inextricably bound with obsession and, in particular, with the search for truth about man and life. In this sense, his paintings are an interrogation as well as an attempt to create answers.