Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

Baroque, the Contemporary Way, Curated by Luc Tuymans

  • Berlinde De Bruyckere - In Flanders Fields
  • Fred Bervoets - De gezegende Nederlaag
June 1, 2018
Balasz Takac is alias of Vladimir Bjelicic who is actively engaged in art criticism, curatorial and artistic practice.

In the Belgian city of Antwerp, a special 2018/19 cultural project dedicated to its baroque heritage is being prepared. Simply titled  Antwerp Baroque 2018. Rubens inspires, this city festival will expose the significance of Peter Paul Rubens’ art through various programs, and will be crowned by the opening of the Rubens Experience Center and the re-opening of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp in 2019-2020.

Within the program, a special exhibition Sanguine | Bloedrood will take place at the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp. The curatorial concept is released by Luc Tuymans, an acclaimed Belgian painter, who tends to juxtapose historical and contemporary artworks.

Carla Arocha – Stéphane Schraenen Circa Tabac, 2007. Mirror and steel structure, 1400 x 150 cm. Courtesy Carla Arocha, Stéphane Schraenen

Focus On The Exaggerated And Opulent

Baroque was, without a doubt, the most frivolous phenomenon in the entire art history, and the very term descends from the Portuguese word for a pearl of irregular shape. It possesses a certain ambiguity – at the same time it is used to describe something exaggerated and something exciting.

Driven by that tension, Luc Tuymans introduced a concept based on establishing a new set of connections between the old masters and the contemporary artists.

The suggestive title Sanguine | Bloedrood evokes the duality of the energy flow of life and death. Tuymans tends to underline how both the baroque period and the contemporary moment are characterized by the sense of overwhelmingness; such a contrast reveals a myriad of political, social and cultural reflections.

Left Caravaggio - Boy bitten by a lizard Right Francisco de Zurbaran - The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian
Left: Caravaggio – Child bitten by a lizard, 1597-1599. 65,8 x 52,3. Courtesy Fondazione di Studi di Storia dell’Arte Roberto Longhi di Firenze / Right: Francisco de Zurbarán – The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. Oil on canvas, 199,70 x 105,50 cm. Private collection | Musée national d’histoire et d’art Luxembourg

The Highlight of The Exhibition

Aside from the curatorial concept being released by the artist, this exhibition is also special because it is going to feature the almost forgotten piece by Edward Kienholz, a famous American installation artist, and assemblage sculptor.

The masterpiece Five Car Stud was exhibited for the first time at Documenta in Kassel in 1972 and afterward was located in the storage of Japanese collector. Currently, it is a part of Collezione Prada in Milan, and with their approval and that of Nancy Reddin Kienholz, the work is now going to be revived.

Five Car Stud represents an allegory of violence; it is an installation which shows the castration of a young Afro-American in the South of the US as a revenge for the alleged intercourse he had with a white girl. Regardless of the time span, the installation piece has not lost its power and is quiet relevant in the contemporary moment.

Edward Kienholz - Five Car Stud
Edward Kienholz – Five car stud, 1969-1972. Installation. Courtesy Collezione Prada, Milano, Courtesy Fondazione Prada

Sanguine | Bloedrood at M HKA

This astounding survey which gathers more than thirty national and international artists on the present day perception of baroque is made possible by a number of exceptional loans including a selection from the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp and the KMSKA, the institution which together M HKA organized the exhibition.

Sanguine | Bloedrood opens on 1 June and the audience will have the chance to see it until 16 September 2018 at the Museum of Contemporary Art (M HKA) in Antwerp.

Featured images: Nadia Naveau – Deaf Ted, 2014. Plaster, Figaro’s Triumph, 2014. Plaster, Roi je t’attends epoxy en plasticine, 2014. Courtesy Collection Nadia Naveau & Base-Alpha Gallery; Berlinde De Bruyckere – In Flanders’ Fields, 2000. Horse skin, polyester, metal, plastic, blankets dimensions variable. Collection M HKA/Museum of Contemporary Art/Flemish Community; Fred Bervoets – De gezegende Nederlaag, 1971. Oil on canvas 237 x 275 cm. Private Collection, Dendermonde. All images courtesy M HKA.