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Marlborough Fine Art's first solo exhibition of Belgian artist Robert Devriendt opens in London
Robert Devriendt, Unsolved Case II, 2013-14. Oil on canvas, 5 parts All measurements in cm 15 x 20; 14 x 20.8; 12 x 20; 11 x 17.4; 13.2 x 20.6 cm. Overall length 120 cm / 47 1/4 inches.

LONDON.- Marlborough Fine Art announced their first solo exhibition of Belgian artist Robert Devriendt (b.1955). The exhibition presents a series of the paintings for which Devriendt is known. Within these story-board-like works, characters functioning as actors are confronted with fetishised props, including a girl with a Kalashnikov, a man clutching a woman’s shoe and an exploding Aston Martin.

Devriendt’s work depicts the gaze of an alter ego, moving through reality like a peeping Tom. Most of the disturbing events ‘taking place’ in the paintings in fact do not appear in the works but are implied by the narrative connections between them. As a result, it remains unclear if anything actually happens or whether the observer is simply being misled by the suggestive combination of the paintings. The works are therefore ‘unsolved cases’ in which the interpretation of the observer is crucial, as they attempt to infer and unravel meaning through their own interpretations.

Devriendt’s work is based on a solid conceptual framework; he contemplates how stories come into existence and the ways in which the fragmentised painted image plays a part in this process. Devriendt prioritises the representation of selected images as a strategy for examining the motives of perception.

Devriendt’s precise and sensual style of painting incorporates a complex layering, both technical and thematic. His paintings refer to realist styles spanning the breadth of art history. These include references not only to early Flemish painting, but also to glossy magazines, film and other forms of contemporary imagery.

This month will also see the release of a new monograph on Devriendt, Broken Stories, published by Ludion. This 192-page book, containing 300 images, will provide an insight into Devriendt’s body of work, focusing specifically on his work from the last fifteen years.

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