21 Oct 2008
20 Dec 2008


Espace Claude Berri, Paris

Exhibition from October 21st until December 20th, 2008
Opening on Monday the 20th of October from 6 pm to 9 pm
Press Opening from 2 pm

Claude Berri’s curiosity and interest for Berlinde De Bruyckere’s artwork turned into passion once he visited her studio in Ghent in October 2007. The encounter, which took place at the heart of Berlinde De Bruyckere’s own world, was the starting point for the exhibition at the Espace Claude Berri.

Berlinde De Bruyckere’s sculptures and drawings explore the eternal duality between life and death. The human being or the horse, on which the artist focuses, become tragic and disturbing figures. Disturbing for the striking realism of the bodies finds itself halfway between sufferance and desire. Even more disturbing
because of their mise en scène : the figures are protected while being smothered by piled up blankets suggesting of smoothness in contrast with the bodies’ vernacular stiffness. Disturbing once again because they mention the sufferance, the death – even through the poetic and melancholic shape of a tree – but also the return of the body to its vegetative state, revealing nature’s superiority.

The acephalous and squirming body of the Piëta, 2007 reminds one of the Flemish painters Roger van der Weyden and Pieter Brueghel. Such as the Christ in a Descent of the Cross, the body becomes fascinating for its crude realism appears almost unbearable.

019, 2007 is a display case containing trees and tied up blankets, which are among the artist’s favorite patterns. Such as a curio cabinet, the artist uses material contrasts. The uneven verticality of the trunks is reminiscent of the bodies’ and through the arrangement of the trunks, which resemble dried bodies enclosed in a showcase, Berlinde De Bruyckere evokes the museum’s exhibition practices.

The human body, the tree or the horse become metaphors of the circle of life and of the ontological link between man and nature. Their wounded appearance provoke the viewer’s discomfort. Both gentle and terrifying, Berlinde De Bruyckere’s artworks compel fascination and silence.

Berlinde De Bruyckere - Doornkroon II, 2008
Berlinde De Bruyckere - Doornkroon II, 2008
Vue d'exposition
Berlinde De Bruyckere, 019 (détail)
Berlinde De Bruyckere, 019
Vue d'exposition
Berlinde De Bruyckere, Piëta
Berlinde De Bruyckere, Piëta
General information
Espace Claude Berri
4, passage Sainte Avoye 75003 Paris
From Tuesday to Saturday, 11am -1pm/2pm-7pm
t 01 44 54 88 50
f 01 44 50 10 36

Opening times

Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am to 1 pm and 2 to 7 pm
Opening the 21th october
Preview on Monday October 20th at 6 pm
Press preview at 2 pm

Free admission
Metro Rambuteau, Hôtel de ville
Bus 29, 47, 38, 67, 69, 75, 76
Press relations:
Valentine Dolla

3 rue de Turbigo 75001 Paris
T. +33 1 42 72 60 01