ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
To read the Dutch press release, click here.
De wereld van Sofie [“Sofie’s World”] is a group exhibition of works by Ilse D’Hollander, Stef Driesen, Tatjana Gerhard and Leon Vranken. The exhibition is curated by Sofie Van de Velde and Jason Poirier dit Caulier. For both Antwerp-based gallery owners, collaboration is of paramount importance.
Both Sofie Van de Velde and Jason Poirier are from a family of gallery owners and learned at an early age how competitive the art world can be. With Gallery Sofie Van de Velde and PLUS-ONE Gallery they take an alternative route and pursue a philosophy of transparency and cooperation. From this position they joined forces with Galerie Ron Mandos to platform the works of four of their artists in the Netherlands.
The exhibition De wereld van Sofie takes place at the same time as the solo exhibition Inner Garden by Filip Vervaet from May 12 to June 10, 2022.
De wereld van Sofie takes its name from the book Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder and presents an overview of works by four artists who each have a distinct visual language but share a great affinity. All artists work around the themes of painting and tension.
Leon Vranken (BE, 1975) is a sculptor and site-specific artist. He deconstructs sculptures, buildings, or everyday objects to penetrate to their essence: the line, the color, the function, the material. The outcome of his research is often playful and unpredictable. The elements he brings together end up in positions that sometimes seem difficult to hold, such as Roll (II), a coiled garden hose under constant tension.
Tension is also in the paintings by Tatjana Gerhard (CH, 1974). Take a look at her figures struggling for self-preservation, suppressing their fear and loneliness, or feeling wounded by love. Like misshapen rag dolls, they seem to fall apart only to regain their original form through Herculean effort. In her work, Gerhard shows human existence in all its splendor and cruelty.
In his abstract paintings, Stef Driesen (BE, 1966) creates a certain dynamics and spatiality by searching for a field of tension between foreground and background; light and dark; hard and soft. Driesen’s work is transformative. At first glance, his paintings feel cold, but gradually they begin to glow and radiate warmth. There is a sublime power embedded in the work – like a heavy storm at sea, or the sun breaking through the clouds – that evokes a tense and then enlightened feeling in the viewer.
The abstract paintings by Ilse D’Hollander (BE, 1968 – 1997) are memories of nature. For D’Hollander, who died at the early age of 29, her work was not about painting life, but about making the painting come to life. Her paintings give expression to the feelings and insights that nature evoked in her. Although natural forms can be recognized in them, such as the branch of a tree or the gentle hills of the Flemish countryside, they never refer to a specific location. D’Hollander’s paintings remain abstract, just like memories themselves.