We are pleased to open the season with Goings-on, Alain Biltereyst’s first solo exhibition at Xippas Paris, which will include small and medium-sized works as well as two mural paintings designed for the occasion.
Alain Biltereyst creates abstract paintings with simple, pared-down geometrical compositions. His paintings, often small in size (close to an A4 format), explore the poetry of form according to the principle of “less is more”. They reflect, and reflect upon, the legacy of modernism.
These are not, however, geometrical utopias devoid of meaning. Lines and rectangles, grids and squares juxtaposed in Alain Biltereyst’s works are embedded in a context. Fragments of the modern world appear between the lines of his abstract vocabulary. Here and there, the viewer can discern commercial symbols, logos tattooed on the bodies of trucks, typographical designs printed on billboards or packaging. These hidden references combine with abstract and geometrical forms, as if to remind us that in the 70s and 80s, graphic designers turned toward abstract art for fresh and modern inspiration. With Alain Biltereyst, it is the other way around: his art refers to and draws its inspiration from graphic design. In this way, he completes a cycle.
For Alain Biltereyst, the outside world is the starting point. He finds graphic elements in the street which seem both familiar and incongruous, ordinary and curious: the aliens of abstraction omnipresent in our daily life – the «goings-on». During his walks, he seeks them out and photographs them. These designs are then carefully studied and manipulated – reframed, rotated and flipped – until a balance is found, both in terms of form and composition.
Alain Biltereyst works on wooden panels. He sometimes paints over them several times, making the forms registered on the surface disappear, following the example of trucks that are regularly repainted to cover up the old logos printed on their skin. However, in his work, unlike vehicle painting, the industrial aspect is toned down. His lines vibrate, as if they were contradicting the cold and repetitive outputs of assembly lines – they are living and almost human.
Alain Biltereyst’s paintings are open to the outside world, bringing the street into abstraction. Like mirrors, they show us the image of the world, reflecting its goings-on.
Alain Biltereyst (b. 1965) lives and works in Elingen, Belgium.
His work featured in institutional shows: Museum Voorlinden, Netherlands and Rønnebæksholm, Denmark (2018), Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, Netherlands (2017), Hugo Voeten Art Centre, Herentals, Belgium (2016), PARK Platform for visual arts, Tilburg, Netherlands (2014), CCNOA, Brussels, Belgium (2012).
Alain Biltereyst is represented by Xippas, Baronian Xippas (Brussels) and Jack Hanley gallery (NYC).