ARTE, esposizioni. Galerie Templon, Parigi-Bruxelles: Jan Van Imschoot, La danza del male sfuggente

Mentre volge al termine la spettacolare retrospettiva dell'artista fiammingo allo SMAK di Gand, il pittore svela la sua ultima opera a Bruxelles: un'esplorazione del male attraverso i secoli in esposizione dal 29 febbraio al 20 aprile 2024

Questo evento è frutto di un rigoroso e meticoloso processo di esplorazione che ha ispirato capolavori e archivi museali selezionati. Jan Van Imschoot narra una storia che si articola attraverso diciassette tele barocche dominate dal colore. La farfalla, simbolo dell’anima o della psiche, svolazza discreta tra i dipinti, ora forma opulenta e oscura,  che cela al pari di un’eclisse, un plotone d’esecuzione messicano, ora posandosi sul volto di Leopoldo II, figura dinastica che fu dietro la sanguinaria gestione coloniale del Congo belga. La pena capitale è un tema ricorrente in Van Imschoot: oggetto di fantasia, fonte di intimidazione, vestigia della storia e, a tratti, anche folklore nazionale.


Jan Van Imschoot, The danse of elusive evil: exhibition from 29 February to 20 April 2024, Brussels – As the spectacular retrospective of Jan Van Imschoot’s art at the Ghent SMAK comes to an end, the Flemish painter unveils his latest work in Brussels: an exploration of evil through the ages. This latest show is the fruit of a rigorous and meticulous process of exploration inspired selected museum masterpieces and archives. Jan Van Imschoot narrates a story unfurling across 17 baroque and colourful canvases. The butterfly, symbol of the soul or the psyche, flutters unobtrusively through the paintings, now an opulent, dark form concealing, eclipse-like, a Mexican firing squad, now landing on the face of Leopold II, the dynastic figure behind the bloodthirsty management of the Congo. Capital punishment is a recurring theme: as an object of fantasy, source of intimidation, vestige of history or national folklore.


Under the discreet patronage of Caravaggio, Van Imschoot offers a fresh interpretation of the myth of Holofernes murdered by the seductive Judith. He depicts the enchanting Mata Hari, victim of occupied France. He portrays a scene from Chinese television, fictional but perverse, of the last day of a sentenced woman, held captive by two police officers and draws the outlines of a young South African woman in the hands of her executioner in a white jacket and top hat. «For the world to believable, we need diverging views and confrontation between these views», explains the artist. «Art, in all its forms, plays a vital role in this humanist necessity. Art makes our thinking more flexible, lets our minds travel beyond borders». In his hands, the painting becomes a playground for exploring the triangular relationship between his three greatest passions: art, language and truth.


I know you. I do. O’ stranger’, exhibition from 2 March to 27 April 2024, Rue de Beaubourg, Paris. Painter Atul Dodiya, regarded as one of the greatest Indian artists of his generation, is showing in Paris a new series of canvases inspired by Bollywood classics.  The exhibition’s entry point is the Mumbai movie world of the 1960s that marked the artist’s childhood. The title “I know you. I do. O’ stranger” is inspired by the film Charulata (1964) by Satyajit Ray. The deceptively ordinary chosen scenes are the fruit of complex compositions where the actor’s fame takes a back seat to anonymity.  “A recurring theme in my cinematographic stories,” explains the artist, “the characters encounter each other just like strangers.” Liberated from all narrative context, their mysterious beauty is revealed, leaving the viewer free to interpret their meaning. In the manner of a filmmaker, Atul Dodiya directs our gaze through space, from one canvas to the next. Certain fragments of a roll of film seemingly pay tribute to the technical feats of cinema. Others highlight the emergence of a new consumer society, with hand-crafted movie sets becoming, in the hands of artist, some sophisticated furnishings and interiors.


The outward appearance of an economy of means conceals a demanding and meticulous painting technique. Atul Dodiya transforms freeze frame photographs in a preliminary monochrome print. Projected onto the canvas, he goes over the scene in black and white until chiaroscuro transcends movement. He completes the image’s metamorphosis by covering it in translucent oil paint, swapping the vibrant palette favoured by Bollywood films for a pastel, almost ephemeral, colour range. This transformation of the image as it is filmed, photographed, illuminated and colourised becomes a metaphor for the impact of modernity and globalisation on perception and traditions. «In this very personal selection of moments frozen in time – he continues -, the unreal becomes a new story, another truth». Daniel Dezeuze: exhibition from 2 March to 27 April 2024, Rue du Grenier-Saint-Lazare, Paris; as it welcomes Claude Viallat to its New York space, Galerie Templon is dedicating a spring show in Paris to another founding member of the Supports/Surface group. Daniel Dezeuze, now 82, is showing his latest work, encompassing sculptures, paintings, drawings and an installation, in the gallery’s space at 28 Rue Grenier-Saint-Lazare from 2 March to 27 April 2024.


Daniel Dezeuze has spent almost fifty years deconstructing the painting, exploring its traditional media and materials in his quest to delve into the role, history and practice of painting. The impulse to spurn the canvas began very early on his career: he flips stretchers against the wall, playing with empty spaces and three-dimensionality to push the boundaries of artistic traditions. His work is steeped in craftwork practices and anthropology, reflecting his interest in nomad and non-European cultures. His remarkable journey has led him to experiment with what are seen as basic materials, wood, metal gauze, net and fabric, as well as subverted objects. His oeuvre has heavily influenced new generations of European painters, and features in numerous public collections, including at the Centre Pompidou, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Musée Fabre in Montpellier, Carré d’Art in Nîmes and Musée d’Art Contemporain (MAC) in Marseille.


Grenier Saint-Lazare: 28 rue du Grenier-Saint-Lazare 75003 Paris, France; Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 7 pm.

Beaubourg: 30 rue Beaubourg 75003 Paris, France; Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 7 pm.

Brussels (Bruxelles): Rue Veydt 13/A 1060 Brussels, Belgium; Tuesday – Saturday

11 am – 6 pm.