Michaël Borremans - Contemporary Art Day London Friday, February 12, 2010 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Van Laere Contemporary Art, Antwerp

  • Catalogue Essay

    The drawings of Michaël Borremans represent an unsettling juxtaposition of enigmatic characters with bizarre, often desolate landscapes that nevertheless convey a sense of something ordinary, like a window into the quotidian routine of another reality. Borremans uses a range of media for his drawings, the everyday materials from our own reality, such as old photographs, torn-off book covers and envelopes, together with a subdued palette of brown, black and green that evoke a certain banality in the depicted scene. This creates a void and a sense of confusion for the viewer as he is left to confront and accept the image that provides no explanation, but leaves a sense of surreal familiarity.
    “Borremans’ oeuvre displays a very peculiar specificity in his use of draftsmanship, where one observes a kind of roman à clef of the artistic process. The map of his world is located in drawing, be it in the use of the same imagery as in his paintings (although in a more explicit form), in the pervasive graphemes that introduce the word, or the long, narrative captions. It is therefore in drawing that the subtly transformed body of characters is transgressed by incision, inscription, and sign. And it is also in Borremans’ drawings that one finds the creation – in a more radical way – of spaces that manipulate the representational scale, transforming it into a paradoxical scale that in turn itself becomes a theme.
    “This theme (the recurrence of the inadequacy of the body with respect to space and the unsuitableness of the precise gesture) becomes central, because the rigor exercised in its graphic rendering is intensified by the importance of the particular, the detail, the fragment.”
    (D. Sardo, ‘The Enchanted Wanderer’, in E. van Duyn, ed., Michaël Borremans. Weight, Ostfildern, 2008)


Têtes suçantes a la campagne (Sucking Heads in the Country)

Pencil and watercolour on cardboard.
13.7 x 16.8 cm (5 3/8 x 6 5/8 in), framed: 48.8 x 54.2 cm (19 1/4 x 21 3/8 in).

Signed, titled and dated ‘TÊTES SUÇANTES A LA CAMPAGNE – SUCKING HEADS IN A LANDSCAPE (SUCKING HEADS in the COUNTRY) M.M.C.G. BORREMANS 1999’ lower left. Signed, titled and dated ‘MICHAËL M.C.G. BORREMANS – SUCKING HEADS IN THE COUNTRY-1999’ on the reverse of the frame.

£5,000 - 7,000 

Sold for £13,750

Contemporary Art Day

13 Feb 2010