January 31st, 2013

Guy Mees at Anyspace

Artist: Guy Mees

Venue: Anyspace, Brussels

Exhibition Title: Lost Space

Date: October 25 – November 24, 2012

Click here to view slideshow

Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.


Images courtesy of Anyspace, Brussels

Press Release:

Anyspace Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition by Belgian artist Guy Mees (1935-2003). This posthumous tribute exhibition aims to reintroduce this exceptional work to a generation that misreads this leading figure of the Post-War Belgian Avant-garde. Nevertheless Guy Mees’s experimental researches are close connected with the one of a new generation of emerging artists. We will show some works of his most emblematic serie: the Verloren Ruimte (lost space).

Dirk Snauwaert, in the catalog ‘Guy Mees’ (Ludion, 2002), analyses the work of the artist (excerpts):

“The title verloren ruimte – ‘lost space’ – is a recurrent theme in Guy Mees’s work. He first used this term for a group of works with industrial lace, sometimes incorporating noen light, whiche were created between 1960 and 1966. They comprise both two-dimensional reliefs and free-standing sculptural volumes. Twenty years or so later the title cropped up again with a second group of works, for which he constructed coloured strips of paper cutouts into wall reliefs, which he pinned directly to the wall. (…) The ‘lost space’ is both a textual and a visual reference to the shattered pictorial space, where not only the act of painting, but also the representation and the bordering framework are called into question. (…)

The earliest black reliefs give Mees a place in the evolution described as ‘sculpturalization’ of painting and ‘pictorialization’ of the space – blurring the distinction between the disciplines of painting and sculpture. (…). At the turn of the decade (1960) not only had he changed from black to white – from a non-colour to another – but he had also introduced another texture and membrane: layers of white lace stretched over one another. (…) Parallel to this group, he worked on simpler panele that have lace stretched over them. Now and then a fluorescent noen tube is added. By disappearing behind the physical properties of materials and processes, Mees distances himself from the subjectivist expressive aesthetic of art informel and enters the area of the objective, technological experiments with movement and light of kinetic art and op art. Some of the reliefs show a remarkable ambivalence in that they are situated between the kinetic experiments with light vibrations and rhytms and the trivial, kitschy aesthetic historically associated only with neo-dada or Nouveau Réalisme. (…)

Around 1983 he seems to have found a definitive form. The pastel colours (…) are now given independent character in that he cuts the shapes directly out of coloured paper and combines them into a composition. (…) the wall reliefs soon evolved into an open structure with a directed movement and a tense rhythm. Because of the way the shapes are fixed to the wall – pinned directly to it – the wall fulfils a dual function: literally, of course, it closes off the space in which the reliefs are hanging, while figuratively it also forms part of the composition as the negative shape, the projection wall against which the composition of colours stands out. (…) with him the drawing never possesses the elegantly flowing lines of classic modernism: it always shows bends and serrated edges, which underline the precarious, aleatory nature of the composition. Apart form this there is also the constant interchange between reflective and absorben textures. Mees uses matt, shiny, semi-matt and metallic kinds of paper, sometimes even newspaper, textiles or painter’s canvas and aluminium foil. (…) These works articulate conceptions of space that make interpretive and reflective viewing possible and – away from the passive, deferential contemplation that leads to immersion – structure the act of being absorbed into a space of purely optical weightlessness. There is a playful, frivolous lightness here that allows the content and the optical aspect to merge into a symbiosis.”

Link: Guy Mees at Anyspace 

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