10 MAY
12 JUL. 2O19

Body in the head. Head in the body. Looking out and then looking in. Two games simultaneously.

We are delighted to present Koen Delaere’s second solo-show at the gallery.

Under the title Body/Head Koen Delaere is showing a new group of works involving the notion of corporeality as a vantage point for a visual language of physical experience.Painting as an absent/ present body and the use of paint and material as traces of action within the painterly work. Delaere, known for his highly structured and rhythmic paintings, taking sensation from experiences outside of his studio, such as the deserts in Nevada or live concerts by bands like Oneothrix Point Never and Cocaine Piss, focuses in his current works on his own inner perspective and forms of knowledge coming from the body that inscribe in painting. The works on display express a multitude of different actions in and out of sync. Generous color gradients, fluid squeegee movements and forceful traces of materiality that leave marks and fingerprints on the canvas and tell of delicacy, strength and the play on different forces. Next to the endeavor to get to the track of knowledge behind thinking and to pursue the wilfulness of movement, Delaere surveys the state of physical and spatial limitation as a potential for one’s own painting practice.

“To expose myself and take it from there, cannibalizing my own work, using patterns to invent new strategies, open endedness, stubborn, sabotage, destroy the painting I know. I’m interested in the physical handling of the idea, the execution as a bodily experience, to cut through the ego. To work it, get your hands dirty, make failures, transform these failures in something which has a potential. These practical concerns relate to the realness. Working with this real body and real tools, applying real material on a real support and having it in real space. This engagement with the literal establishes relations with the real. For the new group of works I use different modes of organization: There is the application of the material done by hand, leaving all kinds of marks, disruptions and fingertraces. There is the organization of the material using tools for drywalling, but also using my hands, my body, my Body-memory, moving around in the studio, moving around the canvas (doing the studio-dance). There is the organization of color. Color as a highly personal and intuitive means. I act out different scenarios in the studio using systematic and spontaneous action, materiality and color as a means to work as impulsively as possible within a predefined format of possibilities.

How to paint: meaning is revealed in practical concerns and the consequences in choices. Recording physicality. Beginning a blank canvas, facing the blankness. Going beyond thinking, anti-design, a structure against which to work. Outside/Inside, Body/Head, two games simultaneously. Collapse these games together. Outside space /Inside space. You start to wonder what a body is, submit yourself to this, explore absolute personal freedom within this.”

*I’ve been thinking about how our desires and fears manifest in our bodies, and how our bodies carrying these stories, resist the narratives our culture places on top of us, starting the moment we are born. It’s our idiotic minds that override everything. But our body has a point of view, it keeps it’s secret, makes its own stories. […] I lift my head, square my jaw and stare hard into the back wall of my cell (studio) as if I can see through the wall out into space, straight into the sun.

The more we understand our bodies, the more we understand the universe and vice versa. […] The physical world seems only a membrane between humans and the speed and hum of information. Soon microbes will be created that convert corn into plastic.

“But fuck you fear. There is still room for painting.”

*Lidia Yuknavitch: The book of Joan, Edinburgh 2018
The text is based on the words of the artist.