Damien De Lepeleire / Hamid el Kanbouhi / Jean-Marie Bytebier / Joan van Barneveld / Maryam Najd / Narcisse Tordoir / Stijn Cole / Tim Breukers

Put Your Hand In Mine (and don't look back)

Exhibition18 May 22 June 2019   

Exhibition views

PRESS RELEASE

(text: Hilde Borgermans)

Coming from a rich history, as Gallery Van De Weghe, the past 10 years have been marked by innovation and the creation of a clear profile. The name (re)D., which was introduced in 2016, is a contraction of “discovery” and “re-discovery”, which refers both to the artists that Hendrik Van De Weghe collaborates with and to the renewed identity of the gallery itself, the rediscovery of artists and the discovery of young talent.

In 1995 the original gallery was founded in Wortegem-Petegem, by Gabriel Van De Weghe. A collaboration between father and son quickly followed. Initially, the focus of the gallery was laid on graphic works and multiples by 20th-century artists such as Picasso and Miro. The gallery, however, soon shifted its attention to contemporary art, with works by e.g. Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith and Donald Judd. A first exhibition of paintings was only organized in 2004, after Hendrik was introduced to the work of Philippe Vandenberg. This also marked the start of many years of friendship and mutual support.

After Gabriel Van De Weghe passed away in 2007, his son Hendrik continued the gallery and finally made the decision in 2009 to primarily focus on promoting contemporary art, moving the gallery to Antwerp. The new location was introduced with an exhibition by Lucas Devriendt(1) and the gallery started expanding organically.

The gallerist values a close and personal connection with his artists. When asked about the way he establishes certain associations, he starts to talk enthusiastically about the works that trigger him and emphasizes the importance of engagement, in terms of content and social commitment, and profound imagination. He also cites that, by growing organically, the identity of the gallery was not always straightforward, and that he ultimately decided to refine this identification by downsizing. To maintain a dynamic character, (younger) guest artists are regularly included in the programming. In spite of the inert economic reality of the concept of a gallery, Hendrik Van De Weghe always seems to manage to emphasize on distinctive individuals and significant oeuvres, putting artistic development and content first.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the gallery, I was honored to be asked to curate the booth at Art Brussels 2019 as a prelude to the subsequent exhibition in the gallery itself. The name Put your hand in mine, and don’t look back refers to a mutual trust that results from years of partnerships, to a progressive movement (with the gaze turned to the future) and to rediscovering and discovering. The curatorial process truly was an intriguing journey, exploring the body of work of a diverse group of artists, each with a unique artistic approach. This publication is a time document, a collection of fascinating texts and impressive images and the tangible proof of the past journey and the road ahead.

(1) Philippe Vandenberg, who was initially scheduled to do the first exhibition, passed in 2009