Adrian Ghenie, Untitled (After Henri Rousseau), 2020. Oil on canvas, 270 x 300 cm. Courtesy Tim Van Laere Gallery.

Adrian Ghenie

Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp / Belgium

October 15–November 28, 2020
October 13, 2020
Tim Van Laere Gallery
Jos Smolderenstraat 50
2000 Antwerp

T +32 3 257 14 17
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Tim Van Laere Gallery presents its fifth solo exhibition by Adrian Ghenie. In this exhibition Ghenie shows nine new paintings and three new charcoal drawings.

Adrian Ghenie was born in 1977 in the Romanian town of Baia Mare. He graduated from the Art and Design University of Cluj-Napoca and now lives and works between Berlin and Cluj. In 2015 he was selected to represent Romania at the 56th Venice Biennale. His work is part of important public collections worldwide, including: The Hermitage, St-Petersburg; Museum of Contemporary Art (M HKA), Antwerp; S.M.A.K., Ghent; Tate Modern, London; Center Pompidou, Paris; Metropolitan Museum, New York; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Long Museum, Shanghai; SFMOMA; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Adrian Ghenie's work is characterized by an unseen wealth of pictorial fragments with a fluid and hallucinating spatial arrangement that leads to a collage-like convergence of different pictorial motifs, a hedonistic sensuality and an innovative, radical and eclectic interpretation of the most diverse subjects. Ghenie's in-depth knowledge of our history in all its different facets is visible in the different motifs. Ranging from obscure stories from history, mystical stories about profane figures to the mythologization of his own figure, he combines aspects from the history of Nazi Germany with Greek mythology in Medusa, 2020, interweaves his own persona with art-historical references in Self-Portrait with Picassoesque Background, 2020 and reinterprets Henri Rousseau's work in Untitled (After Henri Rousseau), 2020. By examining and simultaneously undermining various historical and artistic stories in his work, Ghenie brings feelings of vulnerability, frustration or longing to the fore and challenges our collective memory to also reflect on the human aspect behind these stories.

Ghenie combines different aspects of historical painting techniques. He shows a virtuously  mastery of the baroque chiaroscuro, but also of the expressive handling of paint that is typical of abstract expressionism. He combines these technical skills with a profound interest in the activation of symbolic meanings behind certain images. A conceptual component that was important to the Dada movement as well as the Flemish primitives and Flemish baroque masters. Ghenie's interest in the Flemish history of painting leaves several traces in his work, with various references being made to Pieter Breughel De Oude, Jan Van Eyck, Peter Paul Rubens, Paul De Vos and Frans Snyders. The inspiration of the hunting scenes of Flemish Baroque painters are visible in the works Park Scene, 2020 and The Hunter 3, 2020