Exhibition WIM DELVOYE

Published on 21.03.2019

On Friday 22 March 2019, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium open the exhibition dedicated to Wim Delvoye, major figure of the Belgian and international art scène. With more than 70 works–15 of which are new creations–the exhibition is the most important one ever organized in Belgium. It offers an impressive panorama of his work, emphasizing its multidisciplinary character.

Apart from the iconic Cloaca (the machine imitating the digestive system), the exhibition presents a selection of Delvoye’s artistic production from the past twenty years: neo-gothic ironwork, twisted bronze sculptures, stained glass windows, carved tires, upholstered pigs, embossed aluminium cars and suitcases, marble bas-reliefs... These–often monumental–works are displayed on a double trail, each within different atmospheres. The first part plunges the visitor into the darkness out of which only the art works emerge, while in the second part they are discovering them in the brightly lit rooms of the Old Masters Museum.

The public can see 15 of Delvoye’s most recent creations for the first time: twisted sculptures, which interact with the art from the Museums’ collections, that directly inspired them; and marble bas-reliefs based on the world of videogames. These astonishing bas-reliefs testify to the artist's attentive view of the changes taking place in our hyper-connected societies, where lines between reality and virtual worlds are increasingly blurred.   

Wim Delvoye is known for his humour, his taste for technological experimentation, and his rich and diverse production. As an accurate observer of his era, he explores the future to uncover upcoming trends, while keeping his view solidly anchored in the past and its traditions. Indeed, his art is often a combination of craftsmanship and the most sophisticated industrial manufacturing techniques. Everyday objects and references from popular culture are sublimated, confronting the pure and the impure, the sacred and the secular.

Wim Delvoye was born in 1965 in Wervik, Belgium. He lives and works in Ghent and Brighton. His reputation has long since passed the borders of his homeland, and in recent years he carried out numerous exhibitions in countries as diverse as Canada, Azerbaijan, Russia, Luxembourg or even Iran. The major exhibition at the RMFAB, conceived in close collaboration with the artist, is the first one on Belgian soil in almost a decade. Possibly also the last one, as suggested occasionally by the artist himself...


Curator of the exhibition: Pierre-Yves DESAIVE, conservator contemporary art at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium