The Tiered Vision


Garment, dimensions variable
Nightfall (Group Show)
Mendes Wood DM Gallery, Brussells, Belgium

In the XV and XVI centuries, Dutch and Flemish painters created a symbolic hyperrealist painting genre known as Vanitas. Inspired by the opening lines of the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible: ‘Vanity of vanities, said the Preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity’, those paintings depict still-lives, luxury objects, skulls and flowers aiming to raise awareness of the shortness and fragility of life and the vanity (in the sense of worthlessness) of worldly pleasures and ambitions.

Nowadays, the question of which artistic medium one takes up has become a critical issue. In the exhibition, we investigate the reasons why very little has changed since the 1600s regarding painting’s allure, social status (market value) and mysterious power by assembling together the work of several artists, hailing from many different backgrounds and different times, who insist on painting. We depart from Vanitas and medieval Danse Macabre imagery to highlight the riveting and obscure aspects of these infamous medias.

Focusing more on the perception of these genres rather than their actual iconography, the exhibition intends to be, in fact, a gloomy experience as visitors weave their way through the heady and metaphysical atmosphere of the Nightfall.  What is on view is the result of a pursuit for unrivaled, bewitching, heretical, cryptic, unorthodox, ulterior – or nearly impossible – forms of expression.