Joris Ghekiere – Travels on Paper
With the exhibition ‘Joris Ghekiere – Travels on Paper’, Mu.ZEE is the first to show a large selection of works on paper by this Belgian artist. It was as a painter that Joris Ghekiere (1955-2016) acquired renown and acclaim, creating a unique position for himself in painting, thanks to his far-reaching research into and experimentation with the possibilities of the medium.
What is barely known however is that, in addition to an extensive oeuvre of paintings, Joris Ghekiere also left behind a tremendously rich corpus of works on paper. The artist carefully preserved hundreds of sketches, collages, drawings and watercolours in a chest of drawers in his studio, from the early 1980s till shortly before his death. More than 600 works, in various formats, produced using different techniques and created over a period of more than 35 years form a surprising collection that can be divided into two categories.
We see a first group of drawings, collages, watercolours and sketches that were made in the familiar setting of his own studio. Besides that, we also see a second, very large group of drawings made by the artist during his many travels.
A series of works made during a long trip through Asia, in 1990 – 1991, stands out in particular. During this months-long journey, he made no less than 170 autonomous works, as well as countless sketches, designs, collages and sketchbooks, which he then sent or brought back and carefully preserved afterwards.
It is these many impressions from his travels that form the core of the exhibition ‘Joris Ghekiere – Travels on Paper’. Thirty years later, the images have lost none of their pictorial power and constitute a beautiful visual account of a young painter’s travels. In these creations, the overwhelming landscapes and Ghekiere’s fascination with the form language of other cultures are palpable. We also see germs emerging of motives and patterns which, abstracted or not, recur in his later painting oeuvre.
To mark the exhibition, the book ‘Joris Ghekiere – Travels on Paper’ will be published. The book is published by Mu.ZEE and designed by Atelier Sven Beirnaert.
Curator: Liesje Vandenbroeck