New York, NY (PRWEB) September 19, 2008
Berlinde De Bruyckere won international acclaim when in 2003 her seminal work, The Black Horse, was exhibited in the Italian Pavilion of the Venice Biennale. She has since participated in the Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art and is included in the New Museum of Contemporary Art's current exhibition After Nature. She has exhibited at Hauser & Wirth, Switzerland; Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Germany; Foundation for Contemporary Art, Netherlands; La Maison Rouge, Fondation Antoine de Galbert, France and Galleria Continua, Italy. Berlinde de Bruyckere's work is included in the permanent collections of the Saatchi Gallery, United Kingdom; Kunst Museum Luzern, Switzerland and the De Pont Foundation, Netherlands. There will be a new fully illustrated book on De Bruyckere published by STEIDL in the fall.
De Bruyckere is an artist whose work responds to ubiquitous suffering and loneliness by showing us the beauty in our vulnerability. Images of pain and human fragility move her to respond with compelling wax and epoxy sculptures that are filled with quiet pathos. De Bruyckere always creates her sculptures without heads because faces are too accessible and she doesn't want the viewer focusing only on a face and viewing the rest of the sculpture as incidental. She feels that the pieces are communicative enough in their bodies and gestures, and don't need heads to be complete.
These sculptures often begin with a found object, around which De Bruyckere imagines her figures. After photographing models in hundreds of intricate poses she chooses a position and makes a cast of the parts of the body which she believes to be essential to that position. The casts are then used to make a silicone mould; the beginning of an elaborate process which ends with the artist painting on multiple layers of wax pigments by hand. This subtle coloring process leads to incredible realism in the skin tones, the result of numerous thin layers. It is these layers that often make the figures appear emaciated and bruised but the figures also generate an overwhelming sense of peace. It is this duality that allows the work to remain ambiguous. For example, despite what may be readable in some of the sculptures, there is no intentional political statement in De Bruyckere's work. Rather, her work transcends recent events and responds to the broader concepts of anguish and humanity's desire to assist and to protect the afflicted.
A strong understanding of animal anatomy (De Bruyckere's father was a butcher) coupled with her great interest in Old Masters explains the prominence of the horse in her visual vocabulary. Although the horse sculptures often appear gripped by rigor mortis there is also a marked quietness and dignity to them. This exhibition will mark the artist's first departure from using horse hide. The horse sculpture exhibited at Yvon Lambert New York will be made entirely from wax as her human figures have been made. De Bruyckere says that she chooses the horse as her subject because she feels that the horse, an animal of such radiating majesty and noblesse, comes closest of all animals to representing human beings.
For further information contact Bettina Prentice at 212 242-3611.