Images by Ligia Poplawska
Dimitri Vangrunderbeek & Sébastien Pauwels
23/24.10.2021 - 27.11.2021
at valerie_traan gallery, Antwerp
The exhibition Rencontre(s) is like a first meeting, a first acquaintance of two artists and their work in Valerie Traan gallery. Sébastien Pauwels and Dimitri Vangrunderbeek got to know each other when Veerle Wenes brought them together. It soon became clear that both have a lot to say to each other and apparently also share a common ground: a mutual interest in cut-offs and alignments, for example, but certainly in playing with second and third dimensions, developing autonomous forms 'en cours de route' and moving between the flat surface and the sculptural volume.
In his Form Studies with Plaster Casts, Dimitri Vangrunderbeek playfully and consistently explores the potential of a formal language that moves between a wood print and a plaster tile. In small and larger formats, it is a series that grows and dialogues with questions of positive and negative space, of surface and materiality. Fragments of furniture, a table with four legs, a badminton net, or the floor plan of his studio, are abstracted, reduced and cut out. Sketches appear as drawings with traces of scratches and pieces of fiber on plaster casts and sawn-out boards. They become sculptural entities, free forms that abandon functionality and spatial interventions that explore the limits of his artistic thinking.
With Dimitri Vangrunderbeek, the act of happening appears not only in the tracing drawings on the wall, but also in the collage of undulating mirrors and wooden cut-outs. He shows time and spatiality, depth, and perspective in one gesture, and new designs emerge during the painting, dipping, stacking or folding process. Also his vertical figures come precisely to life and form sculptural assemblages with iron wire, racks, clothes hangers. Composition, framing, and precision are the anchor points for articulating the material qualities of collected fragments of chairs or translucent bottles in boxes. They enable a poetic reading of ordinary objects. They open connections and show what could not yet be seen.
With the work of Sébastien Pauwels and Dimitri Vangrunderbeek, the exhibition Rencontre(s) brings together several essential points, in which the craftsmanship of the making, the artistic gesture of the imagining and the memories of sculpture come together. Both artists investigate their ‘métier’ in their own way, free and unbound, and meet each other here and now with their imaginary spatial interventions on a human scale. Fragile and solid. Autonomous and connected. At the same time.
text by Els Wuyts, September 2021