Narcisse Tordoir


Opening Sunday 17 March 2019 14:00

Exhibition17 March 4 May 2019   

Exhibition views


After his monumental cyclus The Pink Spy (2015) and the gigantic painting Fake Barok (2017-2018), tableaux vivants, heightened with pastel, depicting people who had got lost in a world gone haywire, Narcisse Tordoir took a break from painting. The enormous effort required to achieve these labour-intensive works in pastel took its toll.
This time-out allowed him to recapitulate and study his archive, which consists of his works spanning more than four decades. Tordoir becomes the researcher of his own evolution. In the early eighties the artist first became known for his relatively small-scale ensembles in which pure colour fields, geometry, enigmatic signs and reliefs interacted. In the noisy painterly fervour of that decade, among the German Neue Wilde and Italian Transavantguardia, Narcisse Tordoir functioned as an antithesis as he assembled a playful, yet carefully restrained choreography of image fragments. Diametrically opposing the existential screams of their reborn art of painting – which had, of course, never really been killed off in the first place – the artist came up with a rather distant, conceptual and restrained kind of painting, using an arsenal of polyphonous components. (…)
Tordoir’s new work rethinks his early production and no longer applies the method of the monumental canvases as a staged, disquieting spectacle, while, on the other hand, retaining the fast collage technique of Fake Barok. The dramatic effect of the representation is replaced with heterogeneous picture fragments, shown in isolation on one panel that can break out into the real space in the room. The artist shuffles and shifts, selects and joins images to compose quite unorthodox configurations. He stacks fragments, putting them underneath or on top of one another. No hierarchy distinguishes between abstract compositions, monochrome fields, unfolding supports in space and images sampled from newspapers, books and social media. (…)

Wim Van Mulders, fragments of the exhibition text