From 7 September to 7 October 2017
Flore de Brantes and Amaury de La Moussaye have a wide eye, and they love the conversation between worlds and eras. For their big annual event at Hangar Art Center, the dialogue will be transatlantic, between New York and London, between the canvas on the wall and the furniture on the ground, between drawing and volume, between Richard Höglund (the American) and Julian Mayor (the British).
The first one starts from writing, the second from the structure, but both attach themselves to matter.
Richard Höglund's paintings are multiples of himself: the small figures depict the very dimensions of his face (30 x 26 cm), the large ones those of his outstretched body limbs (366 x 223 cm), inspired by Le Corbusier’s Modulor. To him, writing "is a drawing" and drawing marks a stage "between spirit and language". On canvas, he draws a conductive thread, in the electrical sense of the epithet, which runs and entangles its scratches with the energy and fluidity of the choreographer. It is a transfer of forces, a journey of forms, a series of visual signs inscribed on matter, echoes of Twombly. His paintings are of light insistence.
The series is called Sea Pictures, from Sir Edward Elgar’s cycle, Sea Pictures. But how not to think of Turner's Sunrise with sea monsters ? These ties are not subjections, but "vestiges of will and desire". "With Sea Pictures, I wanted to point out man not through his resemblance but through his trace, and his humanity by his mark and his measure. The sea is the reflection of the spirit as the mirror is a reflection of the face".
His compositions are true performances. Executed at the silverpoint on a medium made of linen cloth prepared with bone powder, they are among the largest formats on this medium. He also handles gold, lead, tin, marble dust, goes back to Italian painting treaties, buys his pigments in Florence and creates paintings commensurate to his body, "inner self-portraits, a gesture in time".
This verse from a youth poem by Mark Rothko comes to mind: "you break through the mist of my dreams"*. To delicately break through this temporal mist, Richard Höglund went to fetch the golden light of the sun on the Tagus. This artist of international stature exhibited in New York, Dubai, London, Prague and Switzerland, will be in Brussels for the first time.
Julian Mayor sculpts the void. His works are also performances of the material: welding and metal, this time. To do this, he developed a techno-craft. "Digital technology evokes a view of mathematical precision onto the world. While craftsmanship is only a matter of improvisation, imagination and play. Both have long followed two parallel paths. His art brings these parallels together. "Digital creates structure and geometry ; the hand brings to each piece uniqueness and warmth." He finds inspiration in design blogs, in software tools and in the hardware tools of the workshop. Four of his objects marked the last ten years. The shape of his first chair, General Dynamic (2004), one of the key design objects of the decade, crystallized the process of the computer, still in its experimental infancy. Structured in architectural folds and facets, by then the object was totally novel. "As a digital visualization, the form delivers some clues, but the imagination must complete the surfaces.” Clone Chair (2005) explored the boundary between the original and the copy, a real conceptual question mark. The Fernando Chair (2011) fills up the facets of General Dynamic with reflections, marries and contrasts the polished mirror and the raw weld, in a set of interfaces. Parallax Table and Chair (2014) plays on the displacement of the gaze and what he calls "the secret blackness of carbon", bred from Formula 1 and combat fighters, both fabric and material. This fiber concentrates mystery, high-tech and hand-made work. Julian recounts his weldings like so many imperfect scars, traces of his fighting and his bare hands games with the mirror-finished metal and the monolithic surface of carbon fiber Designed on a computer, after the model stage, he leaves them to rest and thinks scale, proportion and materials, which generate other models. The metal parts are then laser cut, folded and welded. Its objects are as many performances that betray robustness and fragility.