Monday, June 20, 2011

Flemish painter Michael Borremans shows "Eating the Beard" in Budapest

"Eating the Beard" Michael Borremans, oil on canvas, 50 x 42 cm (2010)

Like a classically trained violinist who electrifies his instrument, Belgian painter Michael Borremans (b. 1963) in his Budapest retrospective (14 May - 24 June) spirits us away into another world--his.

Budapest's Mucsarnok/Kunsthalle contemporary art museum at Heroe's Square serves as his venue for "Eating the Beard," freely interpreted as "almost impossible."

This is his 30th solo show since graduating with a MFA in 1996 from the Hogeschool voor Wetenschap en Kunst in Ghent, where he lives and works.

It is his third exhibition bearing the same title. 

The artist expresses psychological themes through disciplines similar to those of Velazquez and Goya with what curator Zsolt Petranyi calls "gloomy colors."

"The tension or calmness of anxiety, fear or expectance are the basic emotions most characteristic of the message in Borremans's paintings," she writes.

While perhaps two-thirds of his works are paintings, all but three in the 40 x up to 60 cm formats, each sparkles with detail and illusion.

"Disembodied" is the word that kept creeping into my conscousness as I viewed his works.

Two large salons showcase his draughtmanship, watercolors, ink and pencil drawings, many on older paper or cardboard.

In these smaller format works (20 x 30 cm range), he juxtaposes scales of disbelief with larger figures dwarfing much smaller ones.

About his two films, curator Petranyi writes: "The moving image presents painting and drawing as reality, creating a sense of mystery and uncertainty in us."

The Flemish artist has exhibited in Norway, Belgium, the United States, Hungary, Germany, Japan, Ireland, the UK (London) and Switzerland (Basel).

Here are some images I shot of his show fairly representing the retrospective.

In a separate post, I will offer you video clips from his graphics and films.

Rock on and practice peace and love.
Stefan, the ArtTraveler™

Experience a rewarding week-long mosaics or sculpture workshop, a  walking holiday or both in the mountains of Andalusia, only 40 minutes from the beach. See: and

Moira Schepel, rear center, and one of her sculpture workshop graduating classes, photograph by Stefan van Drake (2008)

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ArtTraveler Semana Santa, Palm Sunday, 17 April procession video, Canillas de Albaida.

 (All images in this post photographed by Stefan van Drake.)

"The Burden of Ideas" Michael Borremans, 24 x 30 cm, mixed media on cardboard (2000)

Untitled oil on canvas by Michael Borremans

"Mask" Michael Borremans, oil on canvas, 40 x 50 cm (2008)

"The Nude" Michael Borremans, oil on canvas, 200 x 160 cm (2010)

"Holy Child" Michael Borremans, oil on canvas (2001)

"One" Michael Borremans, oil on canvas (2003)

Oil on canvas by Michael Borremans

"The Case," oil on canvas, Michael Borremans (2009)

Oil on canvas by Michael Borremans

"Red Hand, Green Hand" Michael Borremans, oil on canvas, 40 x 60 cm (2010)

"Girl with Feathers" Michael Borremans (2010)

"Ceramic Salami" Michael Borremans (2001)

"On Display" drawing by Michael Borremans (2007)

"The Swimming Pool" Michael Borremans, pencil and watercolor on cardboard, 58 x 51.8 cm (2001)

"Small Museum for Brave Art," drawing by Michael Borremans (2000)

Drawing by Michael Borremans

"The Presentation" Michael Borremans, oil on canvas (2001)

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