Belgian artist Berlinde De Bruyckere (born in 1964, Ghent) is everywhere this year. In addition to her recently published monograph and overview exhibition in Ghent’s S.M.A.K. (Belgium), soon to appear at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag (Netherlands) and Kunsthaus Bregenz (Austria), new work of hers can be viewed at Hauser & Wirth’s London gallery until 10th January 2015.
Under the bilingual title Met tere huid / Of Tender Skin De Bruyckere exhibits two and three dimensional pieces which clearly refer to her recent work. She builds on familiar themes and materials such as human skin, horses, trees, wax and textiles.
The title is borrowed from the series of wall sculptures of the same name, inspired by The Wound from 2011-2012 (and on show at the S.M.A.K). They are halter-like sculptures of leather, pieces of fabric and coloured wax which put one in mind of horse skin. In addition to the works in Of Tender Skin the exhibition includes sculptures which have grown out of Kreupelhout – Cripplewood (2012-2013), the monumental work De Bruyckere created for the 55th Venice Biennale. The works here are smaller, from reclining sculptures on wooden platforms or an apparently improvised trestle table to Cripplewood III placed under a glass dome. Finally De Bruyckere also provides a number of drawings and collages to accompany the sculptures.
The 23rd issue of The Low Countries will feature an article on De Bruyckere's recent overview exhibition. In 2002, art critic Mark Ruyters wrote extensively about het work. Read his article, entitled ‘Innocence Can Be Hell' here.
Top image: Glassdome with Cripplewood III, 2014, Wax, wood, glass, cloth, epoxy, iron.
Middle image: Met tere huid IV, 2014, Wax, cloth, blankets, leather, wood, iron, epoxy.
Bottom image: Met tere huid, 2014, Watercolour, pencil and collage on paper.
All images © Berlinde De Bruyckere / Hauser & Wirth.