Van de Velde’s masterfully drawn Siberian charcoal drawings are loosely inspired by photographic images culled from various sources, but paired with the artist’s words personally scribed on the gallery walls, they create open-ended narratives for the viewer to interpret. The exhibition, titled Dear David Johnson, is the next chapter of the larger story Rinus Van de Velde tells in his work. Each show further develops and adds to the artist’s fabricated autobiography. In this case, the wall texts are excerpted from a letter the artist wrote to imagined curator David Johnson, explaining why he missed their scheduled meeting. Van de Velde’s work blends truth and fantasy, creating a complex world in which documentation and fiction, reproduction and reconstruction intrinsically tie together. The personal mythologies he builds with his nostalgic drawings tap into our collective unconscious, allowing the viewer to glean a greater truth from the artist’s fictional realities.
Rinus Van de Velde (Belgian, born 1983, lives Antwerp) studied Autonomic Arts Sculpture at Saint Lucas, Antwerp (2002-2006) and had a HISK residency at the Higher Institute for Fine Arts Flanders – Ghent (2009-2011). He has had solo exhibitions at the SMAK Museum in Ghent (2008), Art Basel Miami Beach Art Positions (2009), and the Institut fur Zeitgenossische Kunst, Nurnberg (2010). Currently, Van de Velde has a solo exhibition at the Artisanal House NY (thru April 30), and upcoming at Galerie Zink, Berlin (opens April 16) and Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp (September 2011). His work has been included in international group exhibitions in cities such as Antwerp, Brussels, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, London, Honolulu and Tokyo and is in the public collections of Vlaams Parlement and Provincie Vlaams Brabant. This will be his first exhibition in Chicago and only the third in the United States. Van de Velde’s “on the wall” project will remain on view until July 31, 2011.
Special thanks to the Consulate of the Kingdom of Belgium + Fisher Nuts + Leopold + The Commission of Wicker Park / Bucktown (SSA #33).