Unseen 2022 - Frieke Janssens - Isabel Miquel Arques - Gert Motmans - Joost Vandebrug
16.09 — 18.09.2022

Ingrid deuss Gallery presents 4 artists at Unseen Art Fair

Frieke Janssens, Gert Motmans & Isabel Miquel Arques will show a small selection of their latest exhibitions. Joost Vandebrug will show a preview of his new serie Exhilarating. The solo show of Exhilarating will start at September 25 at Ingrid deuss gallery

Joost Vandebrug | Exhilarating |

Joost Vandebrug‘Exhilarating’ is a story about light and positivity. It started, however, in 2017 at a dark place. Overwhelmed by anxiety, I found myself stuck in my home in the countryside of France. Inside the house, I had reduced my living and sleeping area to an old chaise longue that stood next to the window, where my anxiety seemed most manageable. Through the window, all I saw was the repetition of days going into nights – from darkness to light and from light to darkness. Getting out of that state, was like learning to walk again, and the 4-year journey that followed is what ‘Exhilarating’ is about. It's the bird that awakens before dawn, but trusts that light is about to arrive, despite there is still darkness all around.Every moment of light and dark is a miracle. – Walt WhitmanEach work in ‘Exhilarating’ consists of one hundred small handmade paper cards depicting vast and overwhelming mountainscapes, which were photographed a few hours before dusk, each day. All individual works arranged together, in a diagonal fashion, display the full range of these magical golden hours that separate day and night. They are one hundred moments in time, inseparable to form one work, and in turn, connected to become the series as a whole. As I go through the motions of life, I am aware that darkness will always be looming, but as I’m standing here today, in a place where there is light, I also accept that each moment of darkness or light is inevitably connected to each other – and therefore, as Whitman once wrote – a miracle. It’s the bliss of hindsight, which is also the place where this story – my most intimate work to date – was created. From the moment in time of photographing the mountains, to the mono-type process to bring the pigments onto the paper. And finally, the pins, instead of glue or tape, to secure the works in place. Each step embraces the fragility of the process, and consequently the imperfections that might emerge, that in turn, have become an essential part of the works as a whole.

Frieke Janssens / Lightness

Over the past 25 years, Frieke Janssens has acquired a reputation as a photographer of surreal staged tableaux and group
portraits, often originating in a specific concept, and almost always stemming from an inexhaustible interest in human diversity.

With Lightness Frieke Janssens has created a cathartic photo series, tapping into our urge to escape and our individual quest for a sense of purpose and meaning. Her compositions explore the visual dichotomy between weightlessness and gravity, water and air, aesthetics and imperfection. Using the sea and its eternal ebb and flow as a backdrop, the photographer contemplates the universally 
Human. To what extent can we ever know or understand each other?

“Janssens’s new photo series Lightness is teeming with contradictions, dualities and ambiguities. Her photos are both unbearably light and unbearably heavy. It opens the door to a series of new ideas on our desire to escape, our lack of a sense of reality, and our superficiality.”
– Thijs Demeulemeester

Gert Motmans / Now it’s day, but I am dreaming

Gert Motmans photocollages are a welcome antithesis, In a digital era in which smartphones and social media rule.
Surely: his work soothes. Motmans images require attention. They invite the viewer to stroll, wander, get lost or even disappear in them.

Gert Motmans is a craftsman. He often chooses to work with analog techniques and to develop his images in the darkroom. He works with materials such as handmade Japanese paper or weathered / yellowed papers he finds in vintage stocks.
In this way he breathes new life into traditional techniques and old materials. 
In itself a very cherishing gesture. It seems as if the artist wants to protect things from the future.

Fading, melancholy, nostalgia, fragility or darkness, but without being sombre?
Duality is probably key in this still young body of work. Motmans balances between figurative and abstract, complexity and a – deceitful – simplicity.
The fragile works seem to feed on romanticism as well as minimalism.
It shows a sense of great tenderness and sensuality but also of apprehension. 
Of a slight fear to possibly lose something.

The graduate from the Fashion Academy in Antwerp, fulltime fashion designer and visual artist puts his identity, personality, personal experiences and dreams first in his collages.
This intimate work appeals to universal values and feelings, despite its highly personal nature.
Landscapes and male figures are recurring themes. Not surprisingly as during his childhood Gert struggled with his sexuality and found protection and security in nature where seclusion and daydreaming allowed him to escape from reality.

From this body of work speaks a fascination with time. 
Motmans’ pictures express a desire for another world. A longing for familiarity and nostalgia. 
At the same time his images seem to embrace a threatening, futuristic vision. As if Marcel Proust glances at Henry David Thoreau while a young Brian Eno watches cheerfully and provides the scene with soft rustling sounds.

For the exhibition “now it’s day but I am dreaming” at Ingrid Deuss Gallery the artist summarizes the exhibited works as pages from a personal diary – hence the titles “Day1”, “Day2” and so on. 
For this new series he freely uses negatives from holiday pictures, stills from super 8 film and slides from his parents’ collection. Motmans’ basis is thus built on personal memories and experiences he had as a young boy.
They are fragmented impressions of travels, often to the south of Europe.
Assumably these images will also evoke in the viewer echoes from the past. Of discolored holiday snaps. Of forgotten family albums covered in dust.
This effect is intensified by combining his own archive images with snippets from nostalgic postcards.

Now it’s day but I am dreaming shows new surreal landscapes balancing between blurred visions and feverish hallucinations. 
The artist repeatedly plays with the horizon. Occasionally by roughly tearing the photographic papers, or – exactly the opposite – by marking or cutting it in a sharp line.
The images fade, discolor and blend into pastel colors. 
And so mountains fuse with oceans, forests with ice floes. Graceful bodies merge with sturdy but equally delicate landscapes. 
This series of images muses. It is nostalgic and futuristic at the same time. Happy but perhaps also a bit sad. Seemingly Motmans’ optimism likes to wrap itself in a dark veil.
In his case a smile never comes without a dark edge.

Isabel Miquel Arques / A Study on Movement and Imperfections

A selection of works from 2013 to the present day gives us a glimpse into Isabel Miquel Arques' search for the soul of the medium of photography. Averse to a technically accurate reproduction, the artist resolutely opts for the imperfection of experimentation. With attention to materiality, transparency, texture and tactility, she approaches her prints and screen prints as physical objects, sculptures present in time and space.

Next to this serie , Ingrid Deuss , will present the book Beyond Borders

Isabel Miquel Arqués in dialogue with Karen Blixen is published by Ludion and is part of a trilogy that is an artistic dialogue between the artist and female icons such as Karen Blixen, Virginia Woolf and Georgia O'Keeffe. In the first part of this trilogy, Isabel links her own life to that of the Danish writer Karen Blixen by means of photographs, screen prints and short fragments of prose and poetry. Arqués interweaves the impressions that she gathered in Blixen's house, world, novels and biography into a new story of poetic images.

Info collectors edition

On the occasion of the publication of Beyond Borders. Isabel Miquel Arqués in dialogue with Karen Blixen, Ludion and the artist launch a limited collector’s edition. One hundred copies are a Special Edition for collectors, and each of these will be signed, numbered, and wrapped in a hand-printed serigraph on canvas, each serigraph is made by hand, which makes it unique.