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Main pageExhibitionsPast exhibitionsJan Fabre. Tribute to Hiëronymus Bosch in Congo (2011-2013)
Jan Fabre. Tribute to Belgian Congo (2010-2013)


Jan Fabre. Tribute to Hiëronymus Bosch in Congo (2011-2013)
Jan Fabre. Tribute to Belgian Congo (2010-2013)
7 February 2014 - 5 October 2014

The PinchukArtCentre (Kyiv, Ukraine) presents the first solo show in Eastern Europe by the Belgian artist Jan Fabre. With this two-chapter exhibition Fabre continues elaborating his critical reflections on the Belgium’s colonial past, a theme that appeared in his oeuvre in 2002 when he used millions of beetle wings to created a monumental ceiling painting “Heaven of Delight” for the Royal Palace of Belgium in Brussels.

The first chapter, entitled “Tribute to Belgian Congo”, is inspired by the enslavement of millions of Congolese and the atrocities committed against them as well as the greed of the colonialists, who stole as much as possible of the natural riches the country had to offer. Fabre depicts the brand logos and products of companies that co-organized the horrors in the name of profit, the whole pride of Belgian industrialists of the late 19th century.

The second chapter of the exhibition, called “Tribute to Hieronymus Bosch in Congo”, deals with the absurdity and horror of what happened in the country in a more symbolical way, using both the iconography and imagery of paintings by Hieronymus Bosch. The works give artistic form to evil deeds and stand as an arresting critique of the folly that ensues when men lose their bearings in life.

Eckhard Schneider, General Director of the PinchukArtCentre: “The works for PinchukArtCentre are saturated with history and many stories – of life and death and of never-ending beauty, revealed as a dazzling counterpoint to the terror of the crimes committed.”

The show features 36 astonishing mosaics, 23 sculptures and 2 major triptychs, including 28 new works created especially for the exhibition in the PinchukArtCentre.

The scale of mosaics in the exhibition refers to traditional history paintings, allowing Fabre to show the virtuosity of his technique which brings the material itself to life. With a great sense of plasticity, Fabre paints with light, using the prismatic quality of the jewel beetle’s wing shields to break up the spectrum. The colours continually change, ranging from an intense dark green to a deep blue, creating depths and reliefs inside each single piece.

Watch the photogallery of the exhibition

Jan Fabre (born Antwerp, 1958) first attained international recognition with works such as The Hour Blue (1977–1992) and his 1980 performance Ilad of the Bic-Art. Over the last thirty-five years, he has occupied a leading international position as a groundbreaking visual artist, theatre maker and author. Fabre has shown worldwide in solo and group exhibitions at leading institutions, among them a large-scale retrospective at the Louvre in Paris 2008.

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