The Pink Spy

Narcisse Tordoir - The Pink Spy (3), 2013 - 340x320cm, pastel on paper mounted on dibond.

Narcisse Tordoir – The Pink Spy (3), 2013 – 340x320cm, pastel on paper mounted on dibond.

Narcisse Tordoir (°1954) is a Belgian artist living and working in Antwerp. His monumental work ‘De-Light’ didn’t escape my attention during Art Brussels 2015. So I was looking forward to see some more of his work in person. This time not on a white gallery wall…

Garden of Museum Plantin-Moretus, Antwerp, Belgium.

Garden of Museum Plantin-Moretus, Antwerp, Belgium.

The Museum Plantin-Moretus did a great job bringing contemporary art in its medieval home dedicated to the art and history of printing. Tordoir’s work is displayed in a library room and is called ‘The Pink Spy (3)’. The work belongs to ‘The Pink Spy’ series (2013) commenting on the unsettled world to which we all belong.

Narcisse Tordoir - The Pink Spy (3), 2015 - 56x47cm, collage.

Narcisse Tordoir – The Pink Spy (3), 2015 – 56x47cm, collage.

Tordoir connects in this series with the tradition of Venetian late-Baroque painter Tiepolo. Tiepolo’s etchings the ‘Caprici’ and ‘Scherzi’ series depict a world of strangers and outcasts. The central figure is the ‘Oriental’, a metaphor for the artist, philosopher, poet and scientist. Tordoir also includes this figure in his tableaux vivants.

Narcisse Tordoir in the exhibited video explaining his work process.

Narcisse Tordoir in the exhibited video explaining his work process.

In ‘The Pink Spy 3’ the image of the plaster cast of a dog corresponds with a drawing by Jacob Jordaens in the collection of the Museum Plantin-Moretus.
Tordoir’s way of working is illustrated in the adjacent room with a set of preparatory drawings and collages, a short video in which the artist explains his approach and also the plaster cast dog and the dog drawing of Jacob Jordaens.

Exhibit view Narcisse Tordoir-The Pink Spy in Museum Plantin-Moretus, Sep 2015.

Exhibit view Narcisse Tordoir-The Pink Spy in Museum Plantin-Moretus, Sep 2015.

Narcisse Tordoir - The Pink Spy (3), 2015 - 60x47cm, colour pencil on tracing paper.

Narcisse Tordoir – The Pink Spy (3), 2015 – 60x47cm, colour pencil on tracing paper.

The working process reveals an artist who thinks while drawing and sticking pieces of images together with brightly coloured tape. For Tordoir these are fundamental artistic investigations of the ‘how’ and ‘what’ of an image which can lead to a major engaged art work such as ‘The Pink Spy (3)’ dealing with consumption and pollution.

Still of 'The Pink Spy (3)' in the exhibition video.

Still of ‘The Pink Spy (3)’ in the exhibition video.

Check website Narcisse Tordoir for more and far better pictures. Exhibition in Museum Plantin-Moretus can be visited till 3 Jan 2016.
All pictures shown are taken by me in the exhibition.

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