This exhibition brings together works by Bart De Clercq (born 1972, Oudenaarde, lives and works in Ronse BE) and Adam Rabinowitz (born 1973, Hadera, lives and works in Los Angeles), two artists of a different background responding in their own, rather opposite ways to the same problem, namely, the challenge of contemporary painting in the age of digital mediation and impersonal automation.
During the last five years De Clercq has been developing a unique mode of painting that tackles the physical properties of the material support (which, in his case, is jute linen mounted on stretcher). His mode of painterly practice is based on working from the back of the material support, perforating it and injecting atomized dot-like outbursts of paint from the back of the surface towards the front of the painting in a manner which unites and divides it at the same time. De Clercq concurrently unravels the material support and re-stitches it. His action is manual but it also refers to the mechanization of the painterly act in the age of mechanical reproduction. without using machinery.
Rabinowitz’s painterly output is inspired by Walt Disney animation films and post-war American abstract art. Rabinowitz’s paintings are marked with psychedelic configurations and seem to be affected by heat or struck by war, recalling the burnt landscapes of the Israeli desert.
The ongoing series of silkscreened paintings he began in 2016 transmit a simultaneous effect of infinite space and sealed-off flatness while playing on the impossibility of being faded and bright at the same time. Populated by hybrid images of UFOs, cartoon-like eyes, tongues, clouds, drops, and rainbows, Rabinowitz’s silkscreened paintings continuously arrange indeterminate states of suspended animation.
Ory Dessau - October 2021