Playground – Thomas Lerooy

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Thomas Lerooy – Remain, 2017 – bronze, marble, 51x42x41 cm

Thomas Lerooy his school notes always turned into doodles and drawings. At the beginning of the year, he was warned to keep his atlas spotless, but by the end of the year, it was covered in drawings. It’s all for the better this man found his way in a unique art practice which involves drawing, sculpture and installations.
Lerooy is born in Roeselare, Belgium (°1981) and now lives and works in Brussels.

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Thomas Lerooy – With in, 2017, mixed media, 196×140 cm (background) and Phoenix, 2017, mixed media, 37×46 cm

The fleeting power of time is ever present in his work. Walking through his current solo exhibition Playground is like being in an arty roller coaster. Each work seems to come from a totally different reality with its own rules and historical references.

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Thomas Lerooy – Playing with fire, 2017 – mixed media, 196×140 cm

His drawings are made on found paper collaged together for the bigger works. In his words: “When I started drawing, I was terrified of the blank page. Every line you draw has a story. I didn’t want that. At a certain point, I started collecting old catalogues, cutting out and making collages of all the yellowed and thumb-marked paper. I find that I can draw on those pages because I’m drawing on someone else’s story. That involves the idea of layers, and that is my true starting point.

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Thomas Lerooy – Playground, 2017, bronze and concrete, 3900×2428 cm (detail)

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Thomas Lerooy – Can’t fly, 2016, bronze, patina and silver, diam. 25 cm

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Thomas Lerooy – Not enough brains to survive, 2009, bronze, 138x120x120 cm

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Thomas Lerooy – Beauty in the shadow of the stars, 2015, bronze, patina, 100x400x300 cm

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Thomas Lerooy, exhibition view of Playground, 2017

In his current solo exhibition Playground he interpreted the museum space as his play pen in which he built ‘play blocks’ in primary colours to form a labyrinth. So fun to discover!
His whimsical yet dark Playground can be discovered at Museum Dhondt Dhaenens, Belgium till 4 Mar 2018.

A studio visit can be found here and more of his works here.

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Earthfold

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Jessica Rankin – Cloud from Silt, 2009. Embroidery on organdy, 113 x 184 cm

This spring the works of artist couple Julie Mehretu (°1970) and Jessica Rankin (°1971) were brought together in the exhibition ‘Earthfold’ at the museum Dhondt-Dhaenens in Belgium. They share the same studio space in New York and both use abstraction as artistic language. How fascinating it was to see how their artistic practice is naturally different but at the same time seems to fit so well together and resulted in collaborative works made for this exhibition.

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Jessica Rankin – Empty Night, 2009. Embroidery on organdy, 274 x 234 cm

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Jessica Rankin – Empty Night, 2009 – Detail

Julie Mehretu is primarily known for her works expressing a metropolitan dynamic. I had admired her work in several exhibitions and museum collections. The work of Jessica Rankin was new to me and such a great discovery. I loved it at first sight. Rankin is born in Australia and she reworks the typical compositions of geographical and astronomical maps in collages, watercolours and embroidered works. As a lover of textile art I fell hard for her embroidery works. She uses organdy as a carrier which gives the work an interesting transparency. The loose threads at the back all add to the composition at the front side. Patterns and meaning stitched together.

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Jessica Rankin – Quis Est Iste Qui Venit, 2012. Embroidery on organdy, 213 x 123 cm

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Jessica Rankin – Quis Est Iste Qui Venit, 2012 – Detail

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Jessica Rankin – Noesis, 2010. Embroidery on organdy, 182 x 182 cm

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Jessica Rankin – Untitled I, 2011. Embroidery on organdy, 150 x 150 cm

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Jessica Rankin – Passage Dusty (Humming), 2007. Embroidery on organdy, 106 x 152 cm

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Jessica Rankin – Termagent (La Fille de Theia), 2014. Embroidery on organdy, 107 x 107 cm

For an artsy web-exhibition of 33 works from Jessica Rankin click here.

All pictures in this post are taken by me in the Earthfold exhibition.

All Colors Will Agree in the Dark

Ermias Kifleyesus - All Colors Will Agree in the Dark, 2014. Mixed media on venetian blinds, displayed at Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Belgium.

Ermias Kifleyesus – All Colors Will Agree in the Dark, 2014. Mixed media on venetian blinds, displayed at Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Belgium.

The first time I saw the work of Ermias Kifleyesus it hit home. One of his works was stuck to the ceiling of the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens in the Biennale of Painting 2014 (Belgium). Close to it was a doodled work on blinds titled ‘All colors will agree in the Dark‘. How could I not remember an artwork with a title like that?

Ermias Kifleyesus - Milk, River and Honey, 2015. Mixed media on canvas, 180x135 cm.

Ermias Kifleyesus – Milk, River and Honey, 2015. Mixed media on canvas, 180×135 cm.

Ermias Kifleyesus - Milk, River and Honey, 2015. Mixed media on canvas, detail.

Ermias Kifleyesus – Milk, River and Honey, 2015. Mixed media on canvas, detail.

Ermias Kifleyesus (°1974) was born in Addis Abeba (Ethiopia) and lives and works in Brussels (Belgium). He makes drawings, paintings, films and installations.
Kifleyesus was granted a solo at Art Brussels 2015 (Gallery Kusseneers) and so while strolling through this art fair I took the time to discover more of his work.

Ermias Kifleyesus - Untitled, 2015. Mixed media on canvas, 45 × 89 cm.

Ermias Kifleyesus – Untitled, 2015. Mixed media on canvas, 45 × 89 cm.

In his recent work he started with damaged canvases left behind by second-hand traders at flea markets in Amsterdam. Using a chemical adhesive mix and sticking on thin cotton rags, Kifleyesus meticulously peels away the dirt, varnish and layers of paint from such a discovered composition. In this process, in which chance and imperfections play their parts, the resulting images give an insight into the artwork’s creation and degradation. Kifleyesus makes visible and destroys.

Ermias Kifleyesus - Horses, Eyes and Cars, 2015. Mixed media on canvas, 240x151 cm.

Ermias Kifleyesus – Horses, Eyes and Cars, 2015. Mixed media on canvas, 240×151 cm.

Before he has been focusing on a project located in international telephone cabins where he installed pieces of paper or canvas on the walls and tables that over time become covered with interactive marks, notations and traces that individuals leave as they talk on the telephones and wait for their calls to connect to all points of the globe. He visited the cabins every week and then finally removed the supports from the walls when he felt they were ready to complete in his studio.

Ermias Kifleyesus - Dance of the Branches, 2015. Mixed media on canvas, 196x143 cm.

Ermias Kifleyesus – Dance of the Branches, 2015. Mixed media on canvas, 196×143 cm.

Ermias Kifleyesus’ art engages existing marks and creations left behind by others. He wants to bring these together, rework, select and add to them. And in doing so he creates interesting personal notes on multiculturalism, migration, globalisation, over-consumption, and the overpopulation of large cities.

Read more about Ermias Kifleyesus on his website, the Gallery Kusseneers website who represents him in Belgium and Artsy.

First picture shown from Artsy © Ermias Kifleyesus, Courtesy of Kusseneers Gallery. All other pictures taken by me at Art Brussels.