27.10.2019–04.01.2020 Marc Vanderleenen - Umwelt Annie Gentils Gallery

Marc Vanderleenen

Umwelt: The insight - that each organism has his own history and therefore experiences his surroundings on a very specific way - was formulated by Jakob von Uëxkull ( 1864 - 1944) who introduced the term 'Umwelt'. Some (artists) immediately start chatting, singing or even shouting shatter an uncomfortable silence, while others continue repeating the silence with a stutter. This latter group of artists, who with each choice seem to have to begin again and are repeatedly reminded of the fact that once there was nothing (and one day there will be also nothing), certainly includes Marc Vanderleenen. When you look at his paintings, sketches and models, you always see the beginning of the work and the delicate structure of choices that derived from it showing through; all the hesitations, strokes and layers. (...). Its intention is perhaps to better understand the experience of objects and bodies, but at the same time it is meant to short-circuit this understanding or rather, to present the genesis of the understanding and to obscure it in mist, almost literally in Vanderleenens' case. 'All I say cancels out, I'll have said nothing' wrote S.Beckett in his 1946 story The Calmative. This is an existential movement that constantly recurs in Beckett's work whereby speech dismantles itself in an almost ritual manner: I see it reappear not only in the way Vanderleenen paints, but also in what his paintings show the viewer: figurative images that sometimes seem to refuse so stubbornly to assume solid form that they hardly still be called figurative. (...) Vanderleenen's work does though display the wish to capture the observed world in a recognisable image, but then in the light of the fact that one time this image was not there, and that it was then made anyway. (Koen Sels in: On the work of Marc Vanderleenen, cat. Aboutness - Marc Vanderleenen, De Garage Ruimte voor Actuele Kunst, Mechelen, 2014


Marc Vanderleenen shows new paintings and sculptures. Opening on Sunday 27 of October 2019.