Roberto Polo Gallery

The Gallery will close for Easter on Sunday, April 16th, 2017;

Bert Timmermans

  • Licht lockt Leute (Annotations for an archeology of the Grosstadt-Sinfonie)

Artist Statement

In construction

  • BERT TIMMERMANS & PETER VAN GHELUWE | TRAITER LES ARCHIVES ET FAIRE SURGIR LA LUMIERE BY CLAUDE LORENT | LA LIBRE

    12/16/2015

    Belgium

    Processing archives and conjuring up the light In his series of monographic exhibitions of contemporary Belgian artists, Roberto Polo Gallery is currently showing work by Bert Timmermans and Peter Van Gheluwe. While Bert Timmermans sources his work in the past, manipulating images in mixed media, Peter Van Gheluwe is a painter whose compositions document light and shadow. These artists' sole common denominator is the way they conduct a kind of continuous investigation that unswervingly takes them down their chosen path, which they research deeply. Both refer to the history of art, while remaining distant from fashionable current trends, preferring to remain independent, and thus, reinforcing their original and personal status as non-conformists. As their exhibitions spread over three levels of the vast gallery, regrouping a large number of works, they each provide a rare opportunity to apprehend the complexity of the artists' respective approaches. The strata of time As they tend to be rather dark, only occasionally blazoned with traces of colour, the images composed by Bert Timmermans are not immediately accessible and demand an extended look. We can make out snippets of text in German, and what seem to be industrial locations, buildings, hardly any human figures, barbed wire, seeming ruins, a railroad line, an inscription... What is on view here resembles a series of nocturnal visions, aerial visions that flatten the reality of these, most probably urban, landscapes. Superimposed planes occlude the view. These compositions, which are visually akin to photography, serigraphic document reproductions, media inserts and collage and bring to mind both the work of Rauschenberg and the Russian Constructivists' graphic design, accumulate a succession of more or less transparent film strata. Underneath these layers, an invisible past lies hidden, of which only a few opaque, ambiguous images remain. The artist's approach is that of the archaeologist, excavating memories. On the surface, an impression of chaos, of annihilation, destruction. Hardly anything escapes this Armageddon. This is a vision of the apocalypse. Shadows and lights The eponymous "gnomon" from Peter van Gheluwe's exhibition title is a simple astronomical device: the part of a sundial that, placed on a level surface, casts the shadow that indicates the position of the sun. The whole exhibition is a succession of pictorial variations on this theme. As we know, colour derives from white light, which is perceived to take on a hue as it comes into contact with an object. In painting, this hue derives from the pigments that were included in its raw materials. All paintings depend on the chromatic dosage and luminosity the artist requires to render his vision most accurately. Peter Van Gheluwe chose light itself as his subject and decided not to represent its natural hues, opting instead for a restricted spectrum, ranging, generally, from brownish tonalities to light green hues. Just a few blacks, which may vary in density, and some slightly washed-out whites add structure on some of his canvases. In reference to the gnomon, the artist paints the shadows cast by windows on sparse interiors. He paints the effects and minute variations of lighting in a formalised register associating architecture and the deformations caused by light projections. By these means, he brings painting itself to life, as seen in motifs and details that are more or less recognisable, depending on the chosen viewpoint or breadth of focus. Yet that is not the point: what he is showing us is light that has become painting, to such a degree that the two become indistinguishable. And acquire a mysterious beauty. Claude Lorent Publications Bert Timmermans, 'Exorcising the Metropolis', 88 pp., hardback, 39 ill., interview (English) by Henri-Roanne Rosenblatt. Ed. Roberto Polo Gallery, Brussels. Peter Van Gheluwe, 'Gnomon', 96 pp, hardback, 66 coloured illustrations, and text by Chris Fite-Wassilak. Ed. Roberto Polo Gallery, Brussels. Biographies Bert Timmermans: Born in 1976 in Kapellen. Lives and works in Antwerp. Master of History, PhD in Art History, a special interest in the theories of Aby Warburg and Walter Benjamin. His work has regularly been exhibited in Belgium since 2002. The present exhibition is his first in Brussels. Peter Van Gheluwe: Born in 1957 in Ghent. Studied at Sint-Lucas in Ghent. Lives and works in Scheldewindeke. Received many awards, for instance a distinction from La Jeune Peinture in 1986. His work has regularly been exhibited in Flanders since 1978. He took part in a group show at De Markten in Brussels. The present exhibition is his first solo show in Brussels. Practical information 'Bert Timmermans | Exorcising the Metropolis', and 'Peter Van Gheluwe | Gnomon', Roberto Polo Gallery, rue Lebeau 8-12, 1000 Brussels. Until January 10, 2016. Tuesday - Friday 2PM - 6PM, Saturday-Sunday 11AM - 6PM. Info: www.robertopologallery.com

  • BERT TIMMERMANS & PETER VAN GHELUWE BY SAM STEVERLYNCK | H ART

    12/3/2015

    Belgium

    PETER VAN GHELUWE / BERT TIMMERMANS Roberto Polo Gallery currently presents two solo exhibitions by artists whose work quite strongly differs. While the paintings of Peter Van Gheluwe adhere to a classical art historical theme, sometimes evoking a slightly melancholic atmosphere, Timmermans' very personal collage technique evokes the restlessness and agitation of modernity. Under the heading 'Gnomon', Peter Van Gheluwe shows a series of paintings featuring the shadows of incidental sunlight. In various formats, he explores this theme again-and-again in an interplay of lines with various degrees of complexity. On the border between the figurative and the abstract, and with a subdued colour palette of ochre, green, gray and brown, Van Gheluwe continually renders the reflection of incidental sunlight: sometimes through an ordinary window, then again through bars or curtains. Memorable is the somewhat unusual, but also related series on view in the gallery's basement level, where he captures up to eleven times the shadow of a flag at different moments. Bert Timmermans uses a very personal collage technique, again vaguely reminiscent of earlier artists (Rodschenko, Rauschenberg ...), but he knows how to integrate these elements into his own visual language. Like an experimental, modernist collage maker, the artist sets to work with black and white photographs and copies. Sometimes also with fragments of text – such as the use of newspeak in modernist novels – in an old font in German, or sometimes also in English. Somewhere is thus stated 'R. Hausmann's erste Tonfilm', a reference to the cinematic experiments of the Dadaist Raoul Hausmann, much admired by him. Timmermans' work has itself a cinematic slant, even if only by the horizontal strips that evoke film clips. As a surgeon – or perhaps more appropriately, an editor – he carves into the photographs, but also into pieces of cardboard mounted onto them and he tapes over particular areas as in a constant back-and-forth movement between construction and deconstruction, repair and destruction. With archive photographs, Timmermans knows how to transcend the familiarity of the original source material, which you can't clearly identify anymore, while retaining the mood of a special atmosphere. These are images that express a metropolitan modernity by means of communication, infrastructure and aerial photography, but that also often refer to WWII. These works are hung next to, above and below each other, as a time line in which both memory and amnesia are already contained. In addition to the mixed media on cardboard, Timmermans also shows three works on aluminum, a support, which by its abraded and sometimes corroded texture, lends itself excellently to his multi-levelled practice. Sam Steverlynck Peter Van Gheluwe/Bert Timmermans until January 10th in Roberto Polo Gallery, Lebeaustraat 8-12, 1000 Brussels. Open Tue-Fri from 2 to 6 pm, Sat-Sun from 11 am to 6 pm. www.robertopologallery.com

  • BERT TIMMERMANS | EXORCISING THE METROPOLIS


    11/20/2015 - 1/10/2016


    Rue Lebeau 8-12
    Brussels
    Belgium


    Marsyas. Elegy for the splintered Metropolis, 2013-2014, mixed media, 16.5 x 21.1 cm

  • SUMMER


    6/13/2015 - 9/6/2015


    Rue Lebeau 8-12
    Brussels
    Belgium