Elise Eeraerts: Surfaces opens March 24 at CYDONIA


Elise Eeraerts, Surfaces (modular unit), ceramics, 2017, 10 x 16.5 x 10 cm.

FORT WORTH – CYDONIA is pleased to announce Elise Eeraerts’ first American solo exhibition.  The exhibition opens Friday, March 24, 2017 and runs until Saturday, April 22, 2017.  A reception honoring the artist will take place on Friday March 24, from 6 to 8 in the evening at 2955 Crockett Street, Fort Worth, 76107.   http://www.cydoniagallery.com/gallery/


Eerarts’ practice is epistemological.  How do immaterial ideas find physical form?  How can the identity of object manifest?  To answer this question, the Antwerp-based land artist conceptualized an exhibition that continues her stylistic deployment of modular units.  Repetition is the mother of learning, and Eeraerts’ art is characterized by a reliance on replication as a tool for knowledge building.   Her taut, cerebral investigations are delivered using natural media, often derived from the earth, counterbalancing the rigor of thought.

In Surfaces, Eerarts creates a three-part installation consisting of porcelain sculptures composed of individual modular units, flat two-dimensional replicas of the sculptures (that employ a trompe l’oeil effect), and finally, scaled representations of these sculptures in print.  Our understanding of an object is more comprehensive if we are familiar with it in diverse formats: construction, deconstruction, two and three dimensions.

Each modular building block was marbled individually and uniquely.  These units resemble stone, but at the same time, they show obvious traces of painting.   Moreover, this body of work alludes directly to Neoclassicism.  Precious building materials were often mimicked in architectural elements.  In the period’s desire to return to a sense of “purity” from Roman and Greek paradigms, Neoclassicism exhibited a preference and hierarchy of material, and marble’s accepted preciousness, for example, meant that representation was (paradoxically) better than using genuine materials.

The artist explains: “As my work often deals with construction, mass, and gravity, neoclassicism’s deceptive strategy fascinates me.  It seems to carry a contradiction:  surface is contrasted against structure and core matter.”   Can we equalize, neutralize, or challenge our definition of ‘façade’?  What is the object, beyond its appearance?

Dynamic levels of dimensions and surface quality throughout the exhibition create visual play for the viewer.  Tension between what is visible and what is known is further complicated when the viewer is tasked to reconcile which work is more original or authentic.  Why do we create ideological hierarchies?  Surfaces demonstrates formal action of how objects can express themselves as mere façade, yet remain authentic to their own identity.  The allegory of Plato’s Cave reminds us (untutored) reality is limited to the cave we are imprisoned in, without awareness of the overall realm of Forms.  Prisoners inside the cave mistake shadows for objects.  Only when the prisoners escape are they able to encounter the reality of an object and discern the error of perception. Eeraerts creates a situation enabling reflective understanding and questioning.

Can we discuss ‘the essence of truth’ without robbing ‘truth’ of its materialist application?  Eeraerts indirectly shadows Heidegger, as she incorporates an epistemological microcosm with procedures for regulating and validating the nature of objects and forms.  She volunteers to (re)enter and escape the Platonic cave.  Her solo premier in the United States presents a system indicative of experimentation, substantiation, and coherence.

Elise Eeraerts holds an MFA from Sint-Lukas University College of Art and Design in Brussels.  In 2011, she was subsequently awarded a Master Scholar diploma from the Institute fur Raumexperimente in Berlin.  She has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout Spain, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Iceland, Finland, and Japan.  In 2016, she was awarded a yearlong residency at Casa de Velasquez in Madrid, Spain, and she won first place in Land Art Division from the Arte Laguna Prize in Venice.  Recent shows include Our Mathematical World and No Blossom, No Moonlight both in Belgium, the Celeste Prize exhibition in London, and SAMPLE curated section at Zona Maco in Mexico City.

CYDONIA and the artist express our gratitude for support from the Arts Council of Fort Worth and Flanders State of the Arts.

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