Diehl + Gallery One is pleased to announce a major exhibition by internationally celebrated Belgian artist Wim Delvoye. The exhibition includes pieces from different work series that the artist pursued in the last couple of years. The central work is a 5m high computer-designed gothic tower crafted in laser-cut stainless steel – a development of his ornamented trucks and concrete mixers that he became famous with.
From Notre Dame Cathedral to St. John the Divine, Gothic architecture looms large in the cultural imagination: Its breathtaking verticality was a sign of dazzling architectural feat, achieved one stone at a time by generations of workers and artisans. Merging the sublime with computer-based technology the tower is an amalgamation of Gothic structures derived from reality as well as etchings and pictures from the romantic period, for instance by Caspar David Friedrich and Karl Friedrich Schinkel.
“My fascination with the gothic is not dark at all. For me it shows something like European springtime” (Wim Delvoye)
In Wim Delvoye‘s wide-ranging artistic practice, opposites attract: Divine merges with secular, past meets present, and ornament overcomes strict functionality. Delvoye’s art is a celebration of paradox, based on the surrealist practice of conjoining different elements/ideas in the same work that had no apparent relationship prior to aesthetic hybridizing. Whether you love it or hate it, you will have an opinion about Delvoye’s art. He is interested to capture the moment when identities shift and meanings dis-place on another. He is questioning the utilitarian with the sacred, the beautiful with the scatological, the scientific with the organic. His provocative works and his grotesque humour will make you laugh and wonder at the same time.
Delvoye‘s interest in Gothic, Baroque and other Old World decorative styling systems stems from the familiar surroundings of his youth. Delvoye has called his approach to art-making „glocal,“ a tongue-in-cheek term to describe art that is at once local and global in its focus.
Born in 1965, Wim Delvoye lives and works in Gent. He earned international recognition with his participation at the Venice Biennale in 1990 and 1999, and the Documenta IX in 1992. Recent and upcoming projects include solo exhibitions at the Ernst Museum Budapest (February-March 2008, a presentation of one of Delvoye’s Cloaca machines at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary (June-August 2008) and participation in exhibitions at MARTa in Herford (April-June 2008), Weserburg in Bremen (Mai-December 2008) and CAPC Bordeaux (June-September 2008).