Changez! Art Brussels in Amsterdam

In conjunction with the exhibition Changez! Art Brussels in Amsterdam, Galerie Ron Mandos presents several exclusive online viewing rooms that reveal the most recent artworks of seven artists. Most of these works were originally produced for Art Brussels, one of Europe’s oldest and most established art fairs that due to the current pandemic was postponed to next year. Galerie Ron Mandos decided to bring its fair presentation to Amsterdam, in that way providing encouragement to Art Brussels and to seven artists who were otherwise unable to show their work. In the present online exhibition, entitled The Night Walkers, Hans Op de Beeck reveals a new series of black and white watercolors, as well as new sculptural work that will make us contemplate man’s position under the large heavenly skies.

Visual artist Hans Op de Beeck (BE, 1969) lives and works in Brussels, where he has developed his career through international exhibitions over the past twenty years. His work consists of sculptures, installations, video work, photography, animated films, drawings, paintings and writing (short stories). It is his quest for the most effective way of presenting the concrete contents of each work that determines the medium that the artist ultimately selects. The scale can vary from the size of a small watercolour to a large, three-dimensional installation of 600m2.

For years, Hans Op de Beeck has been painting large watercolors. They’re painted at night, and the nocturnal has become more or less the paramount theme. They depict fictive, enigmatic, mainly nocturnal places and anonymous figures. They allude to both high and low culture and deal with both classic and contemporary subjects. But the most important thing is the paintings’ immersive mood.

The Night Walkers (5), 2020 | Black-and-white watercolor on Arches paper in wooden frame | 52,5 x 106,5 x 4 cm

Hans Op de Beeck

€ 18.000,- (Excl. tax)
Available

The Night Walkers (4), 2020 | Black-and-white watercolor on Arches paper in wooden frame | 52,5 x 106,5 x 4 cm

Hans Op de Beeck

€ 18.000,- (Excl. tax)
Sold

“In the watercolors you can see very well how the light animates the painted scenes. Throughout my work, the light, and the engagement with it, is of crucial importance. I find it is a determinant factor in the overall quality and experience of an artwork. With the technique of watercolors, a transparent medium, the white of the paper is your light source. If you paint too much on a watercolor you turn out the light, and, in the worst-case scenario, you kill off the painting. In fact, the light in your watercolor is what you leave bare, and not what you paint.”

Hans Op de Beeck

The Night Walkers (1), 2020 | Black-and-white watercolor on Arches paper in wooden frame | 52,5 x 106,5 x 4 cm

Hans Op de Beeck

€ 18.000,- (Excl. tax)
Sold

The Night Walkers (8), 2020 | Black-and-white watercolor on Arches paper in wooden frame | 52,5 x 106,5 x 4 cm

Hans Op de Beeck

€ 18.000,- (Excl. tax)
Sold

The Night Walkers (3), 2020 | Black-and-white watercolor on Arches paper in wooden frame | 52,5 x 106,5 x 4 cm

Hans Op de Beeck

€ 18.000,- (Excl. tax)
Sold

In a new series of black and white watercolors, Hans Op de Beeck depicts characters walking at night. We see the fictional figures in silhouette, en route under the starry sky to an unknown destination. Their attributes and their specific attire or special hairstyle refer to the carnival, the circus, the subcultural or the playing of music in the open air. The presence of animals in a number of works reinforces the fairy-tale character.

Stargazing is a sculpture of a huge rock in the water, on top of which there is a tree with a tree house. From the jetty in the water at the bottom, the viewer can visually follow the spiral movement upwards, consisting of carved steps, tiny wooden bridges and ladders leading to the tree house. The treehouse seems like an ideal little place to rest and reflect or to look at the stars. The sculpture fits in the romantic tradition of the small, puny man in relation to the greatness of nature.

“When I’m in the position of being a viewer, I like to find solace, peace and an invitation to contemplation in an artwork. It is my driving ambition to trigger those feelings in the viewer, through my work. My works often touch on aspects of the tragic, alongside lightness and humour. I have no wish to obfuscate the darker sides of existence. I do that from a conviction that representations of the tragic can be healing. It is the age-old idea of catharsis: the identification that flows from the suffering and difficulties of (fictional) others” – Hans Op de Beeck

Stargazing, 2020 | Wood, polyester, epoxy, resin, polyamide, steel, fibreglass, coating | 199,5 x 146,5 x 146,5 cm

Hans Op de Beeck

€ 68.000,- (Excl. tax)
Available

The Treehouse, detail of Stargazing by Hans Op de Beeck

Timo, 2018 | Polyester, metal, wood, coating, gypsum | 150 x 80 x 50 cm

Hans Op de Beeck

€ 55.000,- (Excl. tax)
Available

The sculpture Timo depicts a standing boy with closed eyes, holding a toy bow and arrow. Hans Op de Beeck combines each figure in his series of sculptures with a specific object or objects: a handful of blackberries, a bubble maker with a bubble, a string with a geometric form strung between the fingers, a cigarette, headphones, etc. What these objects have in common is that they capture a moment; the moment the butterfly lands, a bubble is blown, cigarette smoke is blown out, a toy arrow is shot… The smallest, most banal objects are thus given the status of something vagarious, frozen in the action.

Op de Beeck has been creating sculptures of human beings and animals for several years, all of which were realized in monochrome, matte, soft gray, concrete-like material. The stone skin of the sculptures refers to Pompeii, where figures in everyday actions were frozen over time. The figure communicates the poetry of the small. The closed eyes of Timo create a meditative and calming quality. The simple and everyday scene of a Sleeping Dog speaks of the calm and tranquility of the passing of time.

Sleeping Dog, 2019 | Jesmonite, coating | 20 x 12 x 3 cm

Hans Op de Beeck

€ 600,- (Excl. tax)
Available

Sleeping Dog, 2019 | Jesmonite, coating | 20 x 12 x 3 cm

Hans Op de Beeck

€ 600,- (Excl. tax)
Available

Hans Op de Beeck creates his work in a large studio in Brussels. See below a video in which the artist gives us a short studio tour.

 

 

For more information regarding the available artworks or any other questions, please contact gallery director Nick Majoor-Arie at nick@ronmandos.nl.

 

 

ABOUT Hans Op de Beeck

Hans Op de Beeck was born in 1969 in Turnhout, BE
He lives and works in Brussels, BE

Visual artist Hans Op de Beeck lives and works in Brussels, where he has developed his career through international exhibitions over the past twenty years. His work consists of sculptures, installations, video work, photography, animated films, drawings, paintings and writing (short stories). It is his quest for the most effective way of presenting the concrete contents of each work that determines the medium that the artist ultimately selects. The scale can vary from the size of a small watercolour to a large, three-dimensional installation of 600m2.

The artist not only uses a very wide variety of media, but also deliberately employs a diversity of aesthetic forms, ranging from an economical, minimalist visual language to overloaded, exaggerated designs, always with the aim of articulating the content of the work as precisely as possible.

Thematically, the work concentrates on our laborious and problematic relationship with time, space and each other. Op de Beeck shows the viewer non-existent, but identifiable places, moments and characters that appear to have been taken from contemporary everyday life, aiming thereby to capture in his images the tragicomic absurdity of our postmodern existence. Key themes are the disappearance of distances, the disembodiment of the individual and the abstraction of time that have resulted from globalisation and the changes to our living environment that developments in media, automation and technology have brought about.

Hans Op de Beeck sometimes calls his works “proposals”; they are irrefutably fictional, constructed and staged, leaving it up to the viewer whether to take the work seriously, as a sort of parallel reality, or immediately to put it into perspective, as no more than a visual construct. His work is nourished by a keen interest in social and cultural reflection. The artist also questions the difficult relationship between reality and representation, between what we see and what we want to believe, between what is and what we create for ourselves in order to make it easier to deal with our own insignificance and lack of identity. The visual output of that investigation often produces slumbering, insidious, melancholy and astonishing images.

Multi-disciplinary artist Hans Op de Beeck creates interworlds. Suspended between past and future, fiction and reality, his works sound out a mirage-like contemporary universe and a sensory vertigo where the familiar rubs shoulders with the strange. From installation to sculpture, from video to animated film, from short stories to painting and drawing, from photography to sound material, the media he employs seem to converge on the definition of a topos: a mental theatre that projects the viewer into a reflexive social and cultural experience, the intimate thinking of the human condition. —Eva Prouteau

Op de Beeck has shown his work extensively in solo and group exhibitions around the world. He has had substantial institutional solo shows at the GEM Museum of Contemporary Art of The Hague, The Hague, NL (2004); MUHKA Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, BE (2006); Centraal Museum, Utrecht, NL (2007); the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, US (2010); Kunstmuseum Thun, CH (2010); Centro de Arte Caja de Burgos, Burgos, ES (2010); Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, IRL (2012); Kunstverein Hannover, D (2012); Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, USA (2013); the Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL, USA (2013); FRAC Paca, Marseille, F (2013); MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Boston MA, US (2014); MOCA Cleveland, OH, US (2014); Sammlung Goetz, Munich, D (2014); Screen Space, Melbourne, AU (2015); Espace 104, Paris, FR (2016); Art Unlimited, Basel, CH (2016); Kunstraum Dornbirn, Dornbirn, AU (2017); Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, DE (2017); Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, DE (2017); Fondazione Museo Pino Pascali, Polignano a Mare, IT (2017); His work is included in museum collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Royal Museum for Modern and Fine Arts, Brussels; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar; Museum Arnhem, Arnhem; the ING Art Collection, Amsterdam; the Akzo Nobel Art Foundation, Amsterdam, and Cobra to Contemporary/The Brown Family Collection.

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