Johan Tahon & Koen Delaere



Opening: Sat. October 14 from 17:00 hours

19 October – 18 November 2017

Gerhard Hofland is pleased to announce “OH YOU’VE GOT BLUE EYES OH YOU’VE GOT GREEN EYES OH YOU’VE GOT PINK EYES OH YOU’VE GOT BLACK EYES” an exhibition by Koen Delaere (1970, NL) and Johan Tahon (1965, BE). As the work of both artists has been shown alongside on various art fairs, this is the first time their work will be presented in conjunction in the environment of the gallery.

In practice an abstract painter and a figurative sculptor could not be further apart. However, where the nature of their practice is very different, Delaere and Tahon share a number of aesthetic and conceptual concerns. Therefore, rather than being an exhibition based on the juxtaposition of their work, this exhibition is focussed on the artists’ key affinities.
The work of both artists is often deliberately unpolished and appears in a constant state of development. The construction and craftsmanship remain clearly visible, as does the hand of the artist, and the physical act of creation is an essential part in both the artists’ work. Both Delaere and Tahon work from a certain unpredictability. For Delaere this means working in intense sessions, compressing time, emotion, and poetic intensity within the paint and structures applied to his canvasses, while for Tahon, who completes his moulded sculptures by dripping them in (coloured) high gloss enamel and by leaving casting seams unpolished, the final outcome of his sculptures is always beautifully frayed.

At the same time, both artists have developed meticulous working methods, making works in which all notions of coincide are rather conversions of deep and almost tangible energy: explosive and poetic in the work of Delaere, spiritual, mystic, and philosophical in the work of Tahon. In essence, both artists work from a continuous quest towards a higher truth and a deep sensibility for the existential state of humanity. This mission is also reflected in the way the artists give titles to their objects. Where Tahon draws from spiritual terms, and symbolic, mystic and mythical names, often referring to personal memories, Delaere’s titles appear more playful, coming from songs, or from the ‘Language Poetry’ from writers such as Harryette Mullen.
All together, the work of both artists, different as it may be in practice, perfectly sets the stage for one another. Delaere’s paintings do not just provide the backdrop for Tahon’s anthropomorphic sculptures. Much rather, the physical presence of their works together generates a complex aesthetics, providing different perspectives on that which is existentially valuable and absolute.

Koen Delaere (1970, NL) lives and works in Tilburg. His work is part of various international renowned public collections, such as Centraal Museum Utrecht, Vleeshal Middelburg and CCA Andratx, Mallorca (ES), and esteemed corporate collections such as ABN Amro Bank, Rabobank and Akzo Nobel, as well as private collections in the United States, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland and Japan. New work by Delaere is currently on view in the exhibition Scenarios of Desire, at CCA Andratx, Mallorca.

Johan Tahon (1965, BE) lives and works in Zwalm (BE). In 1996 he was discovered by influential curator and museum director Jan Hoet. His work can be found in public collections such as the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, SMAK Ghent (BE), and MARTa Herford (DE), among others, and in important private collections in the United States, Switzerland, Turkey and Belgium. Recently, Tahon completed a publicly commissioned monument in Hannover (DE) and will show new works in two major solo exhibitions end 2017 in National Museum for Ceramics Princessehof, Leeuwarden and Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht.