Tim Van Laere Books, 2024
Tim Van Laere Gallery presents its seventh solo exhibition by Adrian Ghenie. This exhibition features a new series of oil paintings and charcoal drawings that focus on the strange shift that has occurred in the artist’s studio practice over the last decade. According to Ghenie, the artist’s solitude in the studio has changed due to social media: “We still have this need to be alone, but we are not. We are alone there, but at the same time with collective voices. There are people you can interact with through a tablet or a laptop or an iPhone. I’m not alone anymore, but neither connected either. The strange feeling that I’m somewhere in-between. This will eventually change the way we do art. You have these apps that allow you to modify, extend, blend things together. It made me think of science fiction, the species of the Borg who are all interconnected. It’s me in the studio in this limbo with my thoughts. But at the same time with this collective mind inside, and that is the image of me. And I think we all start to function in this trinity.”
Adrian Ghenie is one of the most significant contemporary painters today. His unique style is characterised by a remarkable wealth of pictorial fragments with a fluid and hallucinatory spatial arrangement, resulting in a collage-like assemblage of distinct pictorial motifs, a hedonistic sensuality and an innovative, radical and eclectic interpretation of the most diverse subjects. With a deep understanding of the dark side of human history, Ghenie explores the complex layers of our collective past and present. His artworks become visual time capsules, raising questions about human existence, complex developments throughout history and the limits of artistic expression. With this expressive painting and drawing technique, Adrian Ghenie demonstrates mastery of historical styles ranging from Baroque chiaroscuro to the lushness of abstract expressionism. His most recent works however show a new development in which he abandons his dark color palette for fresher tones. This shift is also noticeable in subject matter, where Ghenie moves away from his exploration of historical events to focus on the representation of the human body.