Michaël Borremans  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Michaël Borremans (born 1963) is a Belgian painter.

Michaël Borremans paintings are dream-like and haunting, their highly suggestive atmosphere lingering long in the mind of the viewer. He is a painter of psychic states – scenes full of introspection and narrative disjunction. In an atmosphere akin to the unreality of a film set, he chooses the unnoticed, the detail or the scene away from centre-stage, and transforms it, charging it with new meaning.

His brushwork and definition shorthand Manet, the forms themselves occasionally echoing Goya, but his paintings seem arrested in a particular moment in time – that of the 1950s and early 1960s, a post-war world, pre-sexual revolution, devoid of bright colour, where pragmatism and stoicism ruled over beauty and luxury. His palette is full of subtle, often gloomy hues, but their juxtaposition creates a jewel-like composition whose power can quietly dominate an entire wall. Borremans deliberately plays down the potential drama in his scenes. Instead his work is infused with an atmosphere which is both gentle and sinister.

A solo exhibition of his drawings opened October 2004 at the Museum Für Gegenwartskunst in Basel (CH). This show travels to S.M.A.K., Gent (BE) and Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio (US). The painting show "The Performance"was held at S.M.A.K. Gent (B), toured to the Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London (UK) and The Royal Hibernian Academy, Gallagher Gallery, Dublin (IRL) during 2005. In 2006 Borremans had solo shows in New York (David Zwirner Gallery) and Paris (La Maison Rouge). In 2007 there will be a solo show at 'De Appel' in Amsterdam.

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