Michaël Borremans, The Devil’s Dress, 2011 203 x 367 cm Oil on canvas Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund Courtesy Zeno X Gallery Antwerp and David Zwirner New York/London © Photographer Ron Amstutz.

Michaël Borremans, The Bodies (I), 2005 60 x 80 cm Oil on canvas Courtesy David Zwirner New York/London ©Photographer Ron Amstutz.

Michaël Borremans, Sleeper, 2007-2008 40 x 50 cm Oil on canvas Private Collection Courtesy Zeno X Gallery Antwerp © Photographer Peter Cox.

Michael Borremans, a Contemporary Key to Historical Reference

Michaël Borremans, Weight, 2005 35.5 x 27.5 x 4 cm Framed 15” lcd screen – colour: VGA DVD (4:3) (duration 9.44 min.) (ed. Of 3 – AP) Courtesy Zeno X Gallery Antwerp, David Zwirner New York/London and Gallery Koyanagi Tokyo.

Michaël Borremans, Automat (I), 2008 80 x 60 cm Oil on canvas Private Collection Courtesy Zeno X Gallery Antwerp © Photographer Peter Cox.

Michaël Borremans, The Angel, 2013 300 x 200 cm Oil on canvas Courtesy Zeno X Gallery Antwerp © Photographer Dirk Pauwels.

 

Bozar Centre for Fine Arts
23, Ravensteinstraat
+32 2 507 82 00
Brussels
Michael Borremans. As sweet as it gets
February 22-August 3, 2014

The Belgian artist Michaël Borremans (born in1963, Geraardsbergen) made his international breakthrough in the late 1990s and has since participated in various group and solo exhibitions in Belgium and abroad. In 2014, BOZAR, in collaboration with the Dallas Museum of Art, will present a much anticipated retrospective of his work in his home country. Michaël Borremans. As sweet as it gets gives an overview of his varied body of work from 1990 to the present, with an impressive selection of  about 50 paintings, 40 drawings, and 5 films.

The exhibition lays bare the mutual relations between these various art forms and takes visitors on a journey into the artist’s mysterious and hallucinatory visual world. There is a certain dimension to Borremans’s works which are teeming with symbols and references to historic paintings. His work constitutes a subtle subversion of the iconographic conventions of painting and he often refers to historic masters such as Velázquez, Goya, and Manet. At the same time, his work is firmly rooted in the present and frequently alludes to literature, photography, and film as sources of inspiration. Borremans’s work exudes a sense of alienation and disruption with often quite unconventional compositions, unsettling scenes, and suggestive psychological spaces. In so doing, it ties in with the rich, surrealist past contained in the works of other Belgian artists such as René Magritte and Paul Delvaux.

Together with the artist, the exhibition’s organizing curator Dr. Jeffrey Grove selected well-known works, as well as works that have been rarely shown, from private and public collection in Europe and the United States together with the artist.

After the Centre for Fine Arts the exhibition will travel to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Israel (04.09.2014 > 31.01.2015) and the Dallas Museum of Art in the United States (15.03 > 05.07.2015).

Michaël Borremans (born in 1963, Geraardsbergen) obtained a Master of Fine Arts from the Hogeschool voor Kunst en Wetenschappen Sint-Lucas Gent, majoring in engraving. Until the age of 30 he worked as an art teacher, engraver and photographer. After producing his first drawings and paintings in the late 1990s, Borremans has built a mature body of work over the past two decades which has garnered international attention.

Borremans’s work has already been the subject of solo exhibitions at several museums, including the Museum Für Gegenwartskunst in Basel (CH, 2004), S.M.A.K. in Gent (BE, 2005), La Maison Rouge in Paris (FR, 2006), the Kestner Gesellschaft in Hannover (DE, 2009), the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver (U.S., 2010) and the Kunsthalle Helsinki (FI, 2011).

Works by Michaël Borremans are also held in several public collections internationally including the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas); S.M.A.K. (Ghent); The Art Institute of Chicago; The Israel Museum (Jerusalem); Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles);  the Museum of Modern Art (New York), National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa); the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis).

In 2012 Borremans was awarded the 2011-2012 Prize of the Flemish Community for Visual Arts.

Michaël Borremans is represented by Zeno X Gallery in Antwerp and by David Zwirner in New York.

The exhibition catalogue aims to be the “ultimate tome on Borremans.” Besides an overview of the exhibited works, the beautifully illustrated publication will also provide a retrospective of Michaël Borremans’s work to date, in words and images. The book contains an in-depth interview between the curator and the artist as well as 50 essays by authors, curators, filmmakers, and musicians such as David Lynch, Katerina Gregos, Thomas Gunzig, Hans Rudolf Reust, David Van Reybrouck, Caroline Lamarche, Marc Didden, Michael Amy, Jan Hoet, and Mauro Pawlowski. The artist has been closely involved in the design of this publication.

Michaël Borremans, The Branch, 2003 80 x 60 cm Oil on canvas Private Collection Courtesy Zeno X Gallery Antwerp ©Photographer Peter Cox.

Michaël Borremans, The Avoider, 2006 360 x 180 cm Oil on canvas The High Museum of Art Atlanta Courtesy Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp and David Zwirner New York/London © Photographer Ron Amstutz.

Michaël Borremans, The House of Opportunity (Im Rhönlandshaft), 2004 18.26 x 25.24 cm Pencil, watercolor & gouache on cardboard S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent Courtesy Zeno X Gallery Antwerp.

Michaël Borremans, 10 and 11, 2006 36 x 42 cm Oil on canvas Private Collection Courtesy Zeno X Gallery Antwerp © Photographer Peter Cox.

Michaël Borremans, The Preservation, 2001 70 x 60 cm Oil on canvas Private Collection Courtesy Zeno X Gallery Antwerp ©Photographer Peter Cox.

Michaël Borremans, The Glaze, 2007 83.3 x 71.25 cm Oil on canvas Private Collection Switzerland Courtesy Zeno X Gallery Antwerp © Photographer Peter Cox.