The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Saturday, August 23, 2014


First Major Exhibition for Belgian Artists Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys at Kunsthalle Basel
Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, Projekt 13, Kunsthalle Basel, Installation views, Über das Verhältnis der wirklichen Welt zu der parallelen Welt, 2010. Video, black-white, sound, 25’. Courtesy the artists and Dépendance, Brussels; Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin.
BASEL.- Kunsthalle Basel presents the first major exhibition of the Belgian artists Jos de Gruyter (*1965, Geel) and Harald Thys ( *1966, Wilrijk) in Switzerland, entitled PROJEKT 13.

Collaborating since the end of the 1980s, the artists have developed an intriguing body of work, consisting of films, photographs, drawings and performances. The figures in their films and photographs share a condition of autistic detachment from each other and from their surroundings. Trapped by their actions and acting without empathy, they have reached another level of interaction, one in which spiritual powers prevail. In this parallel world, inside and outside are estranged from one another.

In the work of de Gruyter and Thys, the notion of closed systems is made physically explicit. For their exhibition at Le Plateau in Paris, in 2007, the artists had the whole exhibition space painted grey, including the windows, isolating the viewer from the outside. Similarly, for the 5th berlin biennial (2008) the artists mounted industrial doors in the cellar, where their video was on view, in order to emphasize the separation from the rest of the exhibition. Most recently at Culturgest in Lisbon, a cultural foundation located in a bank building, they transformed the exhibition spaces in such a way — they used the bank’s PVC flooring to blanket both their own floor and their pedestals — as to dissolve the superficial borders between the two institutions.

For Kunsthalle Basel, de Gruyter and Thys came up with a display structure that not only keeps the outside world at a distance, but also viewers themselves. Consisting of a large number of wooden partitions in regular arrangements throughout the galleries, the structure is conceived as a labyrinth that effectively blocks the visitors’ view of each other while they stroll around. On these panels, de Gruyter and Thys display approximately 500 new drawings on paper. The origins of these drawings lie in a ‘dirty dark mix of found images of everything and nothing’, from airplanes, openings, amateur theatre, and animals to buildings, pots and pans, sunglasses and dishes. The artists meticulously and painstakingly traced these images like monks to create an idiosyncratic visual encyclopaedia: a time-consuming project the exhibition title PROJEKT 13 refers to. De Gruyter and Thys describe it as ‘a project of an indefinable group of technocrats, a higher instance that looks back on earthly existence and traces everything it comes across’.

In this staged world, the colour white prevails, neutralising difference. All images are treated in the same way, traced with the same soft pencil onto white paper. Similarly, the white enigmatic male heads are characterized by neutrality. Set on white high pedestals towering over the display of drawings, they stare onto the white exhibition walls with a petrified, eternal gaze. These are two variations on “De Drie Wijsneuzen van Erembodegem” (The Three Wise-Noses of Erembodegem), originally conceived as a proposal for a roundabout sculpture near the village Erembodegem in Flanders. These sculptural heads also observe the visitors of the exhibition, who not only find their gazes returned by them but also by the figures in some of the drawings. This focus on the act of looking is a recurrent element in the artists’ work, which takes on different forms and is equally present in people, animals and things: passive, aggressive, inward, outward, threatening, frightening.

The exhibition leads the visitors towards a film in the last room, presented in a specially constructed auditorium with an enormous beamer, a huge screen and rows of benches, similar to those used in Protestant churches. The monstrous beamer, elevated above the visitor, becomes animated and is not unlike the sculptural heads in the other rooms. The film is a study of the relationship between the real world and the parallel world and how they influence each other. The film supports the hypothetical tendency to visualise this parallel world as one-dimensional. It is a world where time and space are of a different order, a one-dimensional white world without light or dark.

Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys recently had solo shows at Culturgest, Lisbon; Kaleidoscope, Milan; Pro Choice, Vienna; Dépendance, Brussels (all 2009); Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin (2008); Frac Ile-de-France/le Plateau (duo exhibition with François Curlet), Paris (2007); Middelheim Museum, Antwerp (2002). They have participated in numerous group exhibitions, including: The Filmic Conventions, FormContent, London; All That is Solid Melts into Air/The Thing, MUHKA, Antwerp; Un scene, Wiels; The Invisible Hand, Sommer Contemporary Art project space, Tel Aviv; Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (all 2009); Manifesta 7, Trento; When Things Cast No Shadow - the 5th berlin biennial for contemporary art, Berlin (both 2008); The Go-Between, de Appel, Amsterdam (2007); La Belgique Visionaire, Bozar Brussels (2005); Marking the Territory, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2001).

Kunsthalle Base | Jos de Gruyter | Harald Thys |


Today's News

January 25, 2010

Christie's to Offer One of the Largest Old Master Paintings Ever at Sale This Week

Walton Ford Shows Paintings in Europe for the First Time

Katrin Bellinger of Colnaghi to Show Important Drawings at Le Salon de Dessin

Superb Flemish Illuminated Manuscripts on View at the Morgan Library

Solo Exhibition of Work by Elisabeth Subrin at Sue Scott Gallery

Olav Christopher Jenssen, a Contemporary Norwegian Painter, at Kiasma

Mini-Retrospective of Work by Bruce Conner to be Presented by Creative Time

Flo Peters Gallery Opens the Year with Exhibition by Three American Photographers

The Art of Contemporary Puppet Theater to Open at the Katonah Museum of Art

MCA Denver Presents Looking for the Face I Had Before the World Was Made

Maloney Fine Art Shows Small Group of Figurative Sculptures by Thomas Schütte

SFMOMA Artists Gallery to Open Two New Shows in February

Gasworks Presents the First Solo Exhibition in a London Public Gallery by Tim Etchells

Long Beach Museum of Art Celebrates 60th Anniversary of the Museum's Impressive Permanent Collection

As Part of Artology: the Fusion of Art and Science at Cranbrook

Wysing Arts Centre Launches "Year of the Improbable" with Mark Aerial Walle Solo Show

First Major Exhibition for Belgian Artists Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys at Kunsthalle Basel

New and Powerful Exhibition Coming to London

Mark Newport Explores Modern-day Heroes in Laumeier Exhibition

Post-Minimalist Artist Miya Ando Honors Family History by Melding Steel and Meditation

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Mystery over massive Alexander the Great-era tomb unearthed in northern Greece

2.- An ancient money box containing a large rare hoard of coins found in Israel

3.- Robin Williams' portrait installed today at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington

4.- The Baltimore Museum of Art announces three new contemporary exhibitions in fall

5.- New Aspen Art Museum designed by architect Shigeru Ban opens to the public

6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art launches 82nd & Fifth app in 12 languages

7.- MoMA online-only publication features new research on Pablo Picasso and Cubism

8.- Volunteers needed for massive Smithsonian digitization project

9.- Tate Britain welcomes home John Everett Millais's Ophelia and Rossetti’s The Beloved

10.- Bogart estate: Hollywood golden age icon Lauren Bacall dead at 89 in New York

Related Stories



Pedro Barateiro's "Theatre of Hunters" at Kunsthalle Basel

Kunsthalle Basel Opens an Exhibition by Lili Reynaud Dewar

Kunsthalle Basel's Report on Probability Comments on the History of Modernity

Danh Vo Explores Unknown Territories in Where the Lions Are



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Rmz. - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site