Rinus Van de Velde at Tim Van Laere Gallery in Antwerp: a new film, sculptures, and drawings in oil pastel, colored pencil, and charcoal
Tim Van Laere Gallery presents A Life in A Day, Rinus Van de Velde's seventh solo exhibition at the gallery. In this exhibition, the artist not only presents new drawings in oil pastel, colored pencil, and charcoal but also premieres his third film, A Life in A Day, of which he also shows a selection of sculptures that are part of the film.
Rinus Van de Velde's oeuvre reads like a multiverse, in which different storylines always run parallel to one another. He has already created several alter egos that allow him to appropriate different personas and explore worlds that do not (yet) belong to him. The anchor point between all these worlds is always the artist himself, who through a path of impersonations, constructed lies, and appropriations comes closer and closer to the truth about his own person and his artistry.
Rinus Van de Velde
A Life in A Day
31 August - 7 October 2023
Tim Van Laere Gallery
Jos Smolderenstraat 50,
A Life in A Day
In his first film, The Villagers, Van de Velde started from a predetermined narrative, where he played a small spectator role himself. That narrative already evolved into a more abstract form in his second film, La Ruta Natural. For this film, the artist had a mask made in his likeness so that one of his assistants could play the role of the artist. This allowed Van de Velde to observe himself from a distance and portray and analyze his artistry. That mask is also deployed again in A Life in A Day. Whereas in La Ruta Natural the storyline still focused on the creation and destruction of his various alter egos, A Life in A Day approaches Van de Velde's artistry in a more intimate and pure way, taking us along into the artist's inner process.
The film opens with a very mundane scene where the artist wakes up, gets dressed, and then walks out the door with his briefcase to start his day. The motif of the briefcase plays an important role here as the depiction of a bundle of thoughts, ideas, and visualizations. It also plays an important role in the depiction of the encounter between the artist and his gallerist Tim Van Laere, with the briefcase taking the place of the dialogue between these two players as an interaction of thoughts and ideas. After his everyday encounters, the artist then enters his imaginary universe, where he walks into a natural scenery. Here, in his own solitude, the artist finds a moment of peace and takes his place like a pleinairist to create new work. We find this desire of the artist also in the oil pastel drawings in the first space of the exhibition, where the majority focuses on natural landscapes. Then he takes a shortcut to an underground, deeply hidden space, where we find the artist's inner vault. In this archive, all ideas, thoughts, images, and texts are collected by the artist, who carefully systematizes them. That process of exploring, deepening, appropriating, and reinventing is also clearly visible in this exhibition, in which he shows drawings in charcoal, oil pastel and colored pencil as well as sculptures. All of these works speak volumes about the artist: about his ambitions, doubts, concerns, his moments of happiness, but also of loneliness, frustration, and sadness. The predominance of the artist's personal voice in all his works makes it possible for him to appropriate any style, without losing his own identity in it. Works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Ensor, Matisse, Armen Eloyan, and Alfred Wallis are unmistakably redirected to a Rinus Van de Velde. The fact that the artist looks a lot to his predecessors and also immerses himself completely in their work is also portrayed in his latest film, in which he climbs up through a hatch against all gravity into a swimming pool that refers to David Hockney. In this scene, too, Van de Velde appropriates the pool by the simple act of washing out his brushes in the pool, thus changing the color of the water.
Rinus Van de Velde
Rinus Van de Velde (b. 1983 in Leuven, Belgium) lives and works in Antwerp. Work by the artist is in several international collections, including S.M.A.K. (Ghent), M HKA (Antwerp), Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium (Brussels), CAC (Malaga), Kunstmuseum Luzern (Lucerne), FRAC des Pays De La Loire (Nantes), Museum Voorlinden (Wassenaar), Kunstmuseum (The Hague), AZ Artgestion Collection (Bilbao), Kunsthalle Sao Paolo (Sao Paolo), KWM Art Center (Shangai), KPN Art Collection (Netherlands), Stad Antwerpen (Antwerp), Erasmus University (Rotterdam), Belfius Art Collection (Brussels) and Colleccion Solo (Madrid).