Joost Pauwaert shows cannons, a rotating saw blade, a swinging anvil and marching hammers at the Barbé Urbain Gallery

Barbé Urbain Gallery in Ghent presents the first solo exhibition of the Belgian artist Joost Pauwaert (°1985, lives and works in Ghent, Belgium). The exhibition, entitled Concerto for Two Cannons, a Saw, an Anvil and some Hammers, shows all new work and is, according to the artist himself, "an ode to the beauty of power". ​

Visiting the exhibition is a special experience, an event in which you surrender yourself to the dramatic staging of an artist who is as fascinated by mechanics and kinetic power as he is by violence, destruction and transience. Once past the thick concrete wall with steel gate, which serves for the occasion as the entrance door to the gallery, you will find holes in the wall and the floor, a rotating saw blade, a rocking anvil, marching hammers and two cannons positioned opposite each other. ​

Pauwaert makes sculptural work and moving installations that stage violence and danger. However, he succeeds in disguising these works with beauty and mystery in a balanced way.

After his training at the academy, Pauwaert spent some time doing conflict photography, in Palestine and China, among other places. Although the subject matter fascinated him, he was looking for a more physical way of creating. He then started working for a furniture maker, who taught him the tricks of the trade. Yet he realised that the finished products were not at all as interesting as the heavy machinery and the beauty of the force behind these instruments that destroy and create. Pauwaert therefore decided to concentrate on work that refers to the power of destruction as an ode to the balanced beauty of instrumentation. His sculptures are mostly kinetic, or the result of movement.

Joost Pauwaert has participated in group exhibitions and events such as Nightshift (2018, De Studio, Antwerp), the Belgian Biennale (2019, Hall of Floralies, Ghent) and Staycation (2020, Barbé Urbain Gallery, Ghent). Since 2020 his work Twee Grote Hamers (Two Big Hammers) has been part of the permanent collection of the Verbeke Foundation in Kemzeke.

Joost Pauwaert
Concerto for Two Cannons, a Saw, an Anvil and some Hammers
29.05 - 12.07.2021
Barbé Urbain Gallery
Penitentenstraat 29
9000 Ghent



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