Sam Dillemans, Authors. Paintings 2010-2012
19 April 2013 - 23 June 2013
Worshipper of the great masters, painter of expressionist (self-)portraits, tormented bodies and boxers, the man who fights the angel and the paint on a daily basis, the consistent outsider... exhibited new works in Gaasbeek Castle.
Over the past few years, Sam Dillemans has painted more than three hundred (!) portraits, mainly of authors; however, the series also includes a number of composers, painters and scientists. Once again, he characteristically approached his subject in a highly equivocal and thus fascinating fashion. Dillemans is a keen observer. His subjects are mostly recognisable, resulting in an almost compulsive need to identify them. In some, the model is immediately identifiable; in others, the subject"s identity is (playfully) concealed. Nevertheless, it is the technique that counts. Dillemans is a master of linear structures and patterns. In this series, his mastery also gradually paves the way to free expression, liberation from the recognisable and defining details. The longer one observes the portraits, the greater one"s impression that they are an embodiment of both the outer form and inner life. Dillemans has also clearly immersed himself in the subjects" work in order to penetrate their very soul. Thus the paintings also possess a powerful emotive force. In the black and white pieces, his obsession with the inner life and technique is expressed in pure linear patterns. A playful balance between recognition and expressive power...
This series was Dillemans" first solo project in three years. He has elevated an extensive and personal literary canon to an homage in which respect, admiration and empathy shine through.
Following this exhibition, the paintings from this series are bundled in the artbook Authors, which is published by MER. Paper Kunsthalle. The book is still on sale in the museum shop of the castle and the bookstore.
Pictures © Sam Dillemans, AUTHORS Paintings 2010-2012, Gaasbeek Castle, April 16 - Juin 23, 2013, pictures Jo Exelmans