The Thing That(‘s) Left
Curated by Patricia Smith at DEAN PROJECT
Included artists: Ryan Brown Rik De Boe Johan De Wilde Norma Markley Peter Morrens Patricia Smith Hannelore Van Dijck
DEAN PROJECT is very pleased to present The Thing That(’s) Left a collective exploration of a state of mind that has to do with silence, emptiness, and the residual experience that is left when all explanations end. Artist Patricia Smith has invited 6 artists (4 from Belgium and 2 others from New York) whose work embodies these qualities and at the same time retains a strong visual presence. Several artists employ text or narrative, yet manage to subvert logical explanations. These works exude mystery – masterfully producing the tangible sensation that something is missing, or has been taken away. Confronted with these moody creations, the viewer contemplates the impossibility of categorizing or defining the images, and experiences their fragility and impermanence.
Ryan Brown (US) creates arrangements of what appear to be meticulously hand crafted books that in fact offer nothing more than stimulating covers – their contents reside solely in the imagination of the viewer. Brown’s whole working process is a statement against the quick and trivial cycle of mass media reproduction and distribution that undermines our ability to distinguish what is real and authentic.
Rik De Boe (BE) specializes in large-format engravings which he describes as a hallucinatory prose of every-day life. His most recent work is a series of drawings of what he could see in the last few seconds before his death – a storyboard for a film he will never be able to make. His work often deals, in a melancholic way, with the passing of time, memory and the illusive quality of it. He is not really interested in originality but more fascinated by déjà vu effects. He also works with video mostly based on found footage.
Known for his meticulous pencil drawings whereby the imagery re-/dis-appears through the imagination and eye of the beholder, Johan De Wilde (BE) takes his topics both from everyday situations he comes across, as well as historical events. Juxtaposing the concept of palimpsest with that of mechanical reproduction, De Wilde adapts a highly personal drawing technique whereby he manually though systematically and seemingly mechanically builds up each drawing line by line. Creating drawings that are trapped between the abstract and the narrative, De Wilde questions the seductive force of an image and the way the beholder reads it.
It is the clash or intersection of sex and Americana that Norma Markley (US) paints with cut paper, draws with thread, embroiders on towels, or writes with the glow of neon tubing. She coaxes these incongruent elements until they sit well together, creating works that have been described as “thoughtful symbols of throwaway culture.”
Peter Morrens (BE) dedicates himself to a sort of Italian ‘combinazione’, a complex manoeuvre made of arrangements that serve up facts, fiction and lies. Morrens fuses ideas and reacts to all stimuli, shaping a visual production that explodes in myriad directions. He uses a variety of techniques: drawing, printing, painting and photography, and also writes and constructs installations, interfering with the space itself.
Patricia Smith’s (US) delicate ink and watercolor drawings function as organic architectural plans developed from internal emotional processes. Her recent series, Incidents, maps actual experiences filtered through the distorting lenses of faulty memory, subjective emotion and wishful thinking. The distortion itself may serve as a faithful record of personal experience, or might be an intriguing fabrication – the viewer is left with doubts.
Hannelore Van Dijck (BE) works exclusively in the ephemeral medium of charcoal, creating curiously dreamlike mirages of walls of ceramic tiles, expanses of water, or bland architectural details. Her drawings range from intimate works on paper to huge site pieces in galleries, in empty buildings, and on the streets.