ARNDT is pleased to show a solo presentation by Belgian artist Wim Delvoye at Art International Istanbul 2013.
Belgian artist Wim Delvoye (b. 1965) is one of the key artists of our era, an unsettling, surreal, contradictory artist, tied to a decontextualized symbolic duality, yet a legitimate child of Flemish artistic tradition. By quoting and inserting Gothic architecture in functional objects and industrial machinery Delvoye aestheticizes them and takes the creative process to the extreme.
By tackling the issue of the ornament head-on, Wim Delvoye succeeds in transgressing it, breaking through the supposed coherence between the decorative motif and its material support. He became more widely known, because of his famous monumental work, the Cement Truck, a life-sized cement truck carved out of teak wood in the style of the seventeenth-century Flemish baroque. Wim Delvoye then continued to explore the artistic styles of the past and their interpretation with contemporary themes and techniques, moving from traditional carved wood to laser-cut steel to create sculptures of modern construction equipment in a Gothic or baroque style. As a contemporary artist, Wim Delvoye has rehabilitated the ornament, reintroducing it to the current artistic scene after it had been eradicated from it in the twentieth century.
In 2009 he was a guest at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, in 2010 at the Musée Rodin in Paris, in 2011 at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels and in 2012 at the Louvre, where he set his sights on the Napoleon III apartments, all gilt and crimson velvet, showing his creations as a counterpoint to the museum’s collections. It is in this vein that the artist, who was searching for a perfect location to establish an interaction between his works and Muslim art, discovered the fabulous treasure called the Aleppo salon, with its profusion of arabesques, which were in tune with his artistic concerns. At Art International Istanbul 2013 Delvoye shows fourteen recent works, in bronze, steel and made of tyres, for which he designed a specific set-up combining history with modernity. The sculptures further the artist’s interest in the dialogue between Western and extra-European arts, more specifically with the Islamic arts, by combining his steel lacework sculpture with geometric patterns and an Arabic-Islamic inspiration.