From 15 December you can visit the first solo exhibition of Berlinde De Bruyckere since 2014 in Museum Hof van Busleyden. In her new series 'It almost seemed a lily', the Ghent artist talks about beauty and decay on the basis of the lily.
Berlinde De Bruyckere (°1964) was inspired by one of the masterpieces from the collection of the Museum Hof Van Busleyden: the Enclosed Gardens. It was mainly the fragility and beauty of these sixteenth-century altarpieces that seized her. The hundreds of finely worked silk flowers in all stages of growth and decay reminded her of the exhausted lilies that she had accurately photographed at home at these different stages. For De Bruyckere, the fallen petals show similarities with the delicate human skin, a theme that often recurs in her oeuvre.
Berlinde De Bruyckere, It almost seemed a lily IV, 2017, wood, wallpaper, wax, textile, lead, epoxy
The flower was given a central role in the series 'It Almost Seemed a Lily', on which the artist began working in 2017. The lily has many religious interpretations, but is also often used as a metaphor in the mythology of antiquity. The title of the series borrowed De Bruyckere from the myth of Apollo and Hyacinthus from Ovid's Metamorphoses.
With this exhibition in Museum Hof van Busleyden, De Bruyckere confronts the series with the 16th-century Enclosed Gardens, which have been given a permanent place in this museum as masterpieces. These Enclosed Gardens represent a refuge, a miniature paradise that is protected from the influences of the outside world.
Berlinde De Bruyckere, It almost seemed a lily V, 2018, painting, wood, paper, textile, epoxy, iron, polyurethane, rope, textile
The lilies in De Bruyckere's series radiate both tenderness and roughness through their texture. The series of sculptures in textile, iron and wax are framed by 18th-century oak floorboards from the artist's home, drawn by the footsteps of past centuries. All the elements in De Bruyckere's cabinets carry a special meaning and together they create a new story, about the past and the future, about beauty and decay.