NEW YORK, NY.- Mike Weiss Gallery
presents Treasury, a new exhibition of paintings by Belgian artist Jan De Vliegher. For his first solo exhibition in the United States, De Vliegher creates a series of monumental paintings which reference the artists obsessive hunt for otherwise overlooked porcelain plates. United in their ritualistic and repetitive compositions the series of circular abstractions reveal De Vlieghers fascination with the painting experience while also speaking to broader themes of contemporary collecting.
Like a cultural anthropologist, De Vliegher meticulously documents his varied sources of inspiration in their traditional museum context. The lush colors, dramatic brushstrokes and overpowering scale of his work, however, starkly diverge from the otherwise controlled subject matter. The subsequent rush-infused paintings transcend their representational qualities and assume the commanding presence of contemporary abstractions. In the same way Baselitzs act of turning his paintings upside down avoided a literal and linear interpretation, De Vliegher ignores the differences within the distinct plate genresfrom French Rococo to Qing dynastyand imbues the work with a palpable essence that is reflective of the artists unique, energetic input.
The title of the show, Treasury, calls to mind currency and precious items, perhaps a play on the over-abundance of treasured objects housed in countless sacrosanct institutions and museums. De Vlieghers paintings, which present collectibles affiliated with nobility and European aristocracy, take the oft-ignored and exalt them with a singular vision. Set against a neutral background, the plates become secondary as the circular shape takes prominencecolor and composition convey the artists mastery, while an abstracted form and drip-marks transform the otherwise ornate quality of a porcelain plate. In his idiosyncratic, expressive representation of the painted medallions, De Vliegher rejects the fragility of the plates perfectly polished appearance and creates a new object to revere.
Jan De Vliegher lives and works in Bruges, Belgium. The artist received his Master of Fine Arts degree at the Hoger Instituut voor Beeldende Kunsten Sint-Lucas Ghent, in Belgium, in 1986. He has exhibited extensively in Europe including Knokke, Belgium; Venice, Italy; Stockholm, Sweden and Berlin, Germany.