Rinus Van de Velde (b. Leuven, 1983) is a leading figure on the Belgian contemporary art scene. His work revolves mainly around the tension between fiction and reality. For the show in the museum’s Projects Gallery, he will create a completely new site-specific installation, composed of drawings and sculptures set against a painterly background referencing major painters of the twentieth century.
The individual images are able to stand alone as autonomous artworks but can also be read in sequence like a virtuoso storyboard
Van de Velde draws at lightning speed, using charcoal on paper. His subtle modulations of black, white and grey give the vast drawings a painterly look. The individual images are able to stand alone as autonomous artworks but can also be read in sequence like a virtuoso storyboard: scan them from left to right and what you see is a fabulous story narrated in a series of cinematic ‘freeze-frames’.
The series that Van de Velde has drawn for the Gemeentemuseum tells the thrilling story of an artists’ colony formed around sculptor Isaac Weiss (a fictional character and alter ego of Van de Velde himself). The supporting cast of characters features renowned abstract artists like Emil Nolde and Gunther Förg.
As a nod to the oeuvre of these great artists – whose work is extensively represented in the collection of the Gemeentemuseum – Van de Velde is producing brightly coloured cardboard reproductions to hang behind his drawings. Assuming the character of Weiss, Van de Velde – who initially trained as a sculptor – is also creating a series of sculptures, which will be dotted around the gallery.