Until 3 October, Kristof De Clercq gallery in Ghent shows a solo exhibition by Belgian artist Mario De Brabandere, who shows a series of his most recent paintings and works on paper.
Mario de Brabandere: "Everything that I do is dedicated to art: anything, anywhere. Either I am busy with my hands or I am working in my head. Everything can inspire me. This can be a shape that I see on the street or a combination of colours. I always bring a notebook and I’ve been known to take notes of a curve, for example. When I see something interesting in terms of shape, I may return to properly dissect it and to make a sketch. The only relaxation I have is watching TV. But even then, I'm still looking at the background.”*
Mario De Brabandere, Zonder titel (Untitled), 2021, Kristof de Clercq gallery.
De Brabandere has been active for over 35 years and built an impressive and varied oeuvre during that time. His works are characterised by a certain simplicity, sophisticated proportions and clear geometric shapes. The resulting paintings, drawings and sculptures are inspired by familiar motifs from his daily life, such as flags or vehicles, but he is equally interested in the ugly elements of life. De Brabandere seeks out a certain tension between spontaneous and controlled, between references to art history and new abstract compositions — executed in powerful and expressive colours.
He places particular value on the materials (which he feels are half the work) that have often been previously used - or have an otherwise interesting history. His works often show signs of wear and tear and the paint is applied in many thin, transparent layers.
The exhibition 'Project 40' by Mario De Brabandere can be seen in Kristof De Clerq gallery in Ghent until 3 October.
* Interview with Hilde Van Canneyt, September 2014.