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Michaël Borremans
An installation view of David Zwirner gallery’s booth at Frieze London, dated 2021.
Installation view, David Zwirner booth, Frieze London, 2021
Installation view, David Zwirner booth, Frieze London, 2021
An installation view of David Zwirner gallery’s booth at Frieze London, dated 2021.
Installation view, David Zwirner booth, Frieze London, 2021
Installation view, David Zwirner booth, Frieze London, 2021
An installation view of David Zwirner gallery’s booth at Frieze London, dated 2021.
Installation view, David Zwirner booth, Frieze London, 2021
Installation view, David Zwirner booth, Frieze London, 2021
October 13–17, 2021

The gallery’s presentation at Frieze London 2021 includes a focus on new work by Michaël Borremans, Carol Bove, and Oscar Murillo.

Michaël Borremans’s works, which will occupy a dedicated space on the booth, include a selection of new paintings from his recent series Merry Missiles and Coloured Cones. In these enigmatic compositions, Borremans continues his exploration of artifice, staging constructions that are derived from historical depictions of the human figure. He subverts classification by shifting between portrait and still life genres—using cones as both surrogate and pure form. Combining technical mastery with subject matter that defies straightforward interpretation, his charged canvases address universal themes with a specifically contemporary complexity.

Works by Harold Ancart, Mamma Andersson, Lucas Arruda, Kerry James Marshall, Raymond Pettibon, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rose Wylie, and Lisa Yuskavage will also be on view.

Borremans will also participate in a conversation with fashion designer Dries Van Noten for Frieze Masters Talks, a platform for leading artists, museum curators, writers and critics to discuss the history of art and its continuing significance in contemporary practice. 
The cover of a book, titled Michaël Borremans: Badger’s Song, published by Hannibal Books and Franz König Books in 2020.
Michaël Borremans, The Badger’s Song (Hannibal Books and Franz König Books, 2020)
Michaël Borremans, The Badger’s Song (Hannibal Books and Franz König Books, 2020)
An interior spread from a book titled Michaël Borremans: Badger’s Song, published by Hannibal Books and Franz König Books in 2020.
Michaël Borremans, The Badger’s Song (Hannibal Books and Franz König Books, 2020)
Michaël Borremans, The Badger’s Song (Hannibal Books and Franz König Books, 2020)
An interior spread from a book titled Michaël Borremans: Badger’s Song, published by Hannibal Books and Franz König Books in 2020.
Michaël Borremans, The Badger’s Song (Hannibal Books and Franz König Books, 2020)
Michaël Borremans, The Badger’s Song (Hannibal Books and Franz König Books, 2020)
An interior spread from a book titled Michaël Borremans: Badger’s Song, published by Hannibal Books and Franz König Books in 2020.
Michaël Borremans, The Badger’s Song (Hannibal Books and Franz König Books, 2020)
Michaël Borremans, The Badger’s Song (Hannibal Books and Franz König Books, 2020)
An interior spread from a book titled Michaël Borremans: Badger’s Song, published by Hannibal Books and Franz König Books in 2020.
Michaël Borremans, The Badger’s Song (Hannibal Books and Franz König Books, 2020)
Michaël Borremans, The Badger’s Song (Hannibal Books and Franz König Books, 2020)
The Badger’s Song, published by Hannibal Books and Franz König Books in 2020, is an overview of all Michaël Borremans’s work in series dating from 2013 through 2020. This catalogue concerns seven different series of paintings, including Black Mould, Fire From the Sun, and Girl with Hands. The majority of the works have never before been published, and working in series is a recent development in Borremans’s oeuvre.
An installation view of an exhibition titled, MICHAËL BORREMANS MARK MANDERS: Double Silence, at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, dated 2020.
Installation view, MICHAËL BORREMANS MARK MANDERS: Double Silence, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, 2020. Photo by Keizo Kioku
Installation view, MICHAËL BORREMANS MARK MANDERS: Double Silence, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, 2020. Photo by Keizo Kioku
An installation view of an exhibition titled, MICHAËL BORREMANS MARK MANDERS: Double Silence, at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, dated 2020.
Installation view, MICHAËL BORREMANS MARK MANDERS: Double Silence, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, 2020. Photo by Keizo Kioku
Installation view, MICHAËL BORREMANS MARK MANDERS: Double Silence, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, 2020. Photo by Keizo Kioku
An installation view of an exhibition titled, MICHAËL BORREMANS MARK MANDERS: Double Silence, at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, dated 2020.
Installation view, MICHAËL BORREMANS MARK MANDERS: Double Silence, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, 2020. Photo by Keizo Kioku
Installation view, MICHAËL BORREMANS MARK MANDERS: Double Silence, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, 2020. Photo by Keizo Kioku
An installation view of an exhibition titled, MICHAËL BORREMANS MARK MANDERS: Double Silence, at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, dated 2020.
Installation view, MICHAËL BORREMANS MARK MANDERS: Double Silence, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, 2020. Photo by Keizo Kioku
Installation view, MICHAËL BORREMANS MARK MANDERS: Double Silence, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, 2020. Photo by Keizo Kioku
September 19, 2020–February 28, 2021

Double Silence brings together the work of artists Michaël Borremans and Mark Manders for the first time at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa. 

Following European art’s tradition of exploring universal human values, Michaël Borremans and Mark Manders work reflects on our contemporary era of globalization. The paintings of Borremans, who mines Baroque traditions to portray the dark recesses of the human soul, and the sculptures of Manders, with their striking pieces of bodies—created in accordance with the artist’s concept of “self-portrait as a building”—both delve deeply into complex psychological states and relationships.

In Double Silence, Borremans and Manders invite viewers into a space and time in which the artists themselves engage in dialogue through their work. The word “double,” meaning twice as much, twofold, but also two together, different aspects (e.g., “dual personality”), and the formation of a pair, organizes their artistic exchange.
Installation view of an exhibition titled, Michaël Borremans: The Duck, at Galerie Rudolfinum in Prague, dated 2020.
Installation view, Michaël Borremans: The Duck, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, 2020. Photo by Martin Polak
Installation view, Michaël Borremans: The Duck, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, 2020. Photo by Martin Polak
Installation view of an exhibition titled, Michaël Borremans: The Duck, at Galerie Rudolfinum in Prague, dated 2020.
Installation view, Michaël Borremans: The Duck, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, 2020. Photo by Martin Polak
Installation view, Michaël Borremans: The Duck, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, 2020. Photo by Martin Polak
Installation view of an exhibition titled, Michaël Borremans: The Duck, at Galerie Rudolfinum in Prague, dated 2020.
Installation view, Michaël Borremans: The Duck, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, 2020. Photo by Martin Polak
Installation view, Michaël Borremans: The Duck, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, 2020. Photo by Martin Polak
Installation view of an exhibition titled, Michaël Borremans: The Duck, at Galerie Rudolfinum in Prague, dated 2020.
Installation view, Michaël Borremans: The Duck, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, 2020. Photo by Martin Polak
Installation view, Michaël Borremans: The Duck, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, 2020. Photo by Martin Polak
Installation view of an exhibition titled, Michaël Borremans: The Duck, at Galerie Rudolfinum in Prague, dated 2020.
Installation view, Michaël Borremans: The Duck, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, 2020. Photo by Martin Polak
Installation view, Michaël Borremans: The Duck, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, 2020. Photo by Martin Polak
January 22–July 26, 2020

With his innovative approach to painting, the Belgian artist Michaël Borremans (b. 1963) addresses universal themes on his canvases that resonate with a specifically contemporary nuance. His oeuvre is characterised by a strong, unsettlingly psychological aspect. With thirty works on display, The Duck presents a cross-section of Borremans’ painting practice as well as video installations. For the very first time, the artist will also exhibit three of his latest paintings made in Autumn 2019 specifically for Galerie Rudolfinum.

“Michaël Borremans’ paintings present static scenes that in actual fact are an illusory reflection of the artist’s imagination. His way of grasping reality has much to do with the pictorial world of Dutch painting from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Even though he often links his pictorial subjects with latently present violence, they stand out with the extraordinary beauty of their execution,” notes the exhibition curator and Galerie Rudolfinum director Petr Nedoma.

The specific illusive quality of Borremans’ paintings betrays the artist’s interest in film and photography. Scenes depicted in unnaturally slow motion, precise details and the vibrant character of the paintings attest to an endeavour to bring us closer to the transcendental dimension of spiritual questions, albeit with a lightly ironic tone.

Behind this lies the loss of a forgotten, long set aside innocence of the painted image, the refusal of the possibility of direct observation of reality and its reproduction through painting. Today, painting can no longer merely document reality. It always entails a submersion into the long tradition of the imaginative world of painting as such.

To accompany the exhibition, Galerie Rudolfinum has published a catalogue containing an essay by exhibition curator Petr Nedoma and text by art historian Petr Vaňous, as well as reproductions of all the exhibited works. The publication was nominated for The Most Beautiful Czech Book of the Year 2020 Award in the “Catalogues” category.
 
Front cover of a book titled Michaël Borremans: Fire from the Sun, published by David Zwirner books in 2018.

Published to accompany the inaugural exhibition at David Zwirner’s space in Hong Kong, Michaël Borremans: Fire from the Sun features new scholarship by British art critic, curator, and cultural historian Michael Bracewell. It marks the first in a series by David Zwirner Books of small-format publications devoted to single bodies of work.

Michaël Borremans’s new paintings depict toddlers engaged in playful but mysterious acts with sinister overtones and insinuations of violence. The children are presented alone or in groups against a studio-like backdrop that negates time and space, while underlining the theatrical atmosphere and artifice that exists throughout Borremans’s recent work.

“The scenes depicted by the majority of paintings comprising Fire from the Sun show a state of being or society in which the primal is uncontrolled, without bearings, in a state of anarchy,” Bracewell writes. “ historic Romanticism subjugate to mysterious controlling forces that are neither crudely malevolent nor necessarily benign.”

Published by David Zwirner Books in both English only and English and traditional Chinese editions.

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