Wim Delvoye has developed an art that offers a reinterpretation of artworks of the past while laying down a lucid and amused glance at contemporary society. He explores art history, Gothic cathedrals and sculptures of the 19th century, from Bosch and Brueghel to Warhol, simultaneously revealing the beauty of daily objects. With a Baroque gesture between homage and irreverence, he appropriates and deforms the motifs that inspire him, recreating a genuine cabinet of curiosities or Wunderkammer.
This exhibition introduces the use of marble, notably in the monumental sculpture “Suppo (Karmanyaka)” (a fictive kingdom ruled by a tyrant); from the roots of a tree emerges a greatmedieval-style tower spinning up heavenwards, infinite like Brancusi’s Endless Column.
In a back-and-forth shift between the sacred and the profane, Delvoye metamorphoses tyres into architectural features from religious buildings. Some monumental works are made into a kind of rubber lace, while other pieces are doubly twisted, turning them into Gordian-like knots.
Aluminium suitcases chiseled with the artist’s coat of arms and Persian miniature patterns recall nomadic low reliefs of a globalised world.
Further along can also be found works flirting with blasphemy, multiple figures of Christ on the cross like a three-dimensional sinusoidal frieze “Double Helix Alternating Current 13cm x 15L”, like a decorative and plant ornament; or a self-portrait of the artist as an Orthodox Russian icon with its distinctive protective cover (oklad), here in hand embossed zinc.