Michaël Borremans: Black Mould
For nearly two decades, Belgian artist Michaël Borremans has created an ambitious and mesmerizing oeuvre that continues to simultaneously fascinate and unsettle viewers. As the art critic Laura Cumming writes in The Observer, “Borremans’s gift is for snaring you, enthralling you with all sorts of characters, strange scenarios and possibilities.” His works display a concentrated dialogue with previous art historical epochs, yet their unconventional compositions and curious narratives defy expectations and lend them an indefinable character. Painting has remained central in his pursuit to construct a deceptively simple visual world where figures often seem to elude the passage of time.
Michaël Borremans: Black Mould documents the artist’s first exhibition at David Zwirner, London in 2015 and his first solo presentation in the city in ten years. This intimately scaled catalogue, which has been designed by the artist in collaboration with Kim Beirnaert, includes thirty-two small- and large-scale paintings from his new series, most of which feature anonymous, black-robed characters. Alone or in groups, they perform mysterious acts within monochromatic spaces reminiscent of an artist’s barren studio. Seemingly behaving according to a symbolic language of their own, they pose alone or interact in communal dances, with some figures holding torches and others exposed naked from the waist down. Their facelessness opens up ambiguous narrative possibilities, like empty canvases with which to construct meaning. Like archetypes capable of embodying shifting meanings, the blank figures become a mold for the human condition, at once satirical, tragic, humorous, and above all, contradictory.
From top: Michaël Borremans, Black Mould / The Badger's Song II, 2015
Publisher: David Zwirner Books
Artists: Michaël Borremans
Designer: Michaël Borremans, in collaboration with Kim Beirnaert
Printer: Die Keure, Belgium
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 6 1/2 x 9 1/2 in (16.5 x 24.1 cm)
Reproductions: 35 color
Retail: $30 | £20
Status: Out Of Print
Michaël Borremans was born in 1963 in Geraardsbergen, Belgium. In 1996, he received his M.F.A. from Hogeschool voor Wetenschap en Kunst, Campus St. Lucas, in Ghent. David Zwirner has represented the artist’s works since 2001. Previous solo exhibitions at the gallery include Black Mould (London, 2015) The Devil’s Dress (New York, 2011), Taking Turns (New York, 2009), Horse Hunting (New York, 2006), and Trickland (New York, 2003). Borremans’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at a number of prominent institutions. Most recently, Michaël Borremans: Fixture, was presented at the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga in 2015–2016. A major museum survey, Michaël Borremans: As sweet as it gets, which included one hundred works from the past two decades, was on view at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels in 2014. The exhibition traveled later in the year to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, followed by the Dallas Museum of Art in 2015. Michaël Borremans: The Advantage, the artist’s first museum solo show in Japan, was also on view in 2014 at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.