The ‘Scores’ exhibition is a presentation of the work of the artist-musician Paul Van Gysegem. It comprises a small selection of works on paper, drawings conceived as scores. They bring together the two worlds in which Van Gysegem is engaged: art and improvised music.
The general public knows Paul Van Gysegem by his monumental sculpture at St Peter’s Station in Ghent. His oeuvre is characterised by an in-depth study of form. His works are often spatial assemblages or sculptures, frequently using recycled material, that explore the space in a manner somewhere between the abstract and the figurative.
This is the first time these drawings/scores are being shown, and the occasion is the Citadelic Festival at which Paul Van Gysegem is the main guest. This artist has been an indispensable figure on the free jazz and improvised music scene since 1965. He is a bass-player who has been a leading presence in various incarnations of several groups. With the recordings on their Aorta CD, the Paul Van Gysegem Sextet made an important contribution to European free jazz.
From a letter to the artist from Philippe Van Cauteren:
‘The images are shaky supports that do not obey gravity; they are present witnesses that celebrate the imagination, that link together seeing and hearing. This last point is what I asked you when we were talking about your scores. It was in Ghent that for the first time I saw, on an almost square piece of hard paper, an unfolding of lines, colours, hatching and agitated pencil strokes. Intuitively arranged like a landscape or a panorama, with a clear echo of the sculptures I have already seen. But these drawings are scores, and I asked you whether you heard the drawings while you were doing them. They are indications, drawn, open suggestions, directions that can be occupied by sound. They made me think of a swarm of bees, or of ants running across the soil in organised lines. I was reminded of Mal Waldron and wondered how he would sculpt the drawings in sound on the keyboard. I wondered what the difference is between making an assemblage or sculpture and letting your fingers stroll over the strings of a double-bass. Or isn’t there any difference at all?’