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Hans Op de Beeck presents "In Silent Conversation with Correggio" for the project Contemporary Assignments

  • 29

    May 2009
  • 10

    October 2009
Uccelliera di Villa Borghese, Rome  

Following the successful exhibitions of vedovamazzei in conjunction with Raphael (2007) and Giulio Paolini with Canova (2008), this year the Borghese Gallery is featuring Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck reflecting on the work of Correggio. The show is structured as a silent conversation with Correggio and forms a part of the Contemporary Assignments project (Committenze Contemporanee), made possible by the Borghese Gallery, MAXXI and UniCredit Group, which invites the public to explore the great wealth of the Borghese Gallery's collection.


Launched on the tenth anniversary of the gallery's reopening, Contemporary Assignments is part of the Ten Great Shows series of programs (Dieci Grandi Mostre). Accordingly, it consists of ten exhibitions, each highlighting a great artist whose work is prominent in the gallery's historic collection, including Correggio, Titian, Bernini and Caravaggio. The program intensifies the experience of viewing these masterpieces by incorporating the perspectives of contemporary artists. This approach facilitates a fresh perspective on historic artworks, while simultaneously promoting the work and broadening the audience of today's artists.


The works created for the program are commissioned by the Borghese Gallery in cooperation with MAXXI the National Museum of 21st Century Arts, and UniCredit & Art, UniCredit Group's pan-European project to promote artistic creativity and the dissemination of contemporary languages. In the framework of this innovative partnership between public institutions and the private sector, a joint commission annually selects an artist to be featured in Contemporary Assignments.


This third edition showcases Hans Op de Beeck, an internationally renowned Belgian artist who has participated in the 2006 Shanghai Biennale, the 2008 Singapore Biennale and recently had a one-person exhibition at Galleria Continua in Beijing. In June, he will play a major role in the Art Unlimited section at Art Basel and will participate in the group exhibition In-Finitum to be on exhibit at the Palazzo Fortuny and also included among the events of the Venice Biennale.


Op de Beeck's installation will be loaned on a long-term basis by UniCredit Group to the MAXXI in Rome. The loan is part of a broader program to strengthen the foundations of the museum's collection.


Op de Beeck has entitled his work, created specifically for this exhibition, In Silent Conversation with Correggio. There are two groups of pieces in the exhibition, each comprised of three large black and white watercolors. Thematically, the works focus on deserted interior and exterior scenes, referring to the intimate and withdrawn nature of the Correggio's oeuvres.


Although Op de Beeck takes a multi-disciplinary approach, the spirit of his work is rooted in figurative painting. He employs free associations and photography to isolate, translate and abstract figures, settings, objects and other details from Correggio's paintings, synthetizing them in new compositions. Op de Beeck executed his watercolors in black and white, a choice that provided a formal starting point for his approach and which stemmed from the features of Correggio's images that most engaged his interest. These features were not the overt subjects of the paintings, which, as with most of Correggio's contemporaries, were drawn from mythological and biblical themes; nor did he focus on the dynamism of the master's forms or the richness of colors. Rather, Op de Beeck was attracted to an atmosphere of silent, sweet and sensual melancholy that pervades the Renaissance Master's work, a characteristic that he hopes to bring into sharper focus through his installation.



(picture: Hans Op de Beeck, In Silent Conversation with Correggio, 2009)




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