William Crowder, 40 years of sculpture

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Underlying the recent drawings of Rinus Van de Velde (°1983, B) is an obsessive documentary process in which the artist gets to work with his own archives of photographic images.

Deciding precisely which images are eligible is no easy matter, but it is clear they have an implicit ideological charge and testify to an ordered world view, a contemporary myth. However Van de Velde is not a documentary artist, nor does he treat his records as objects found, but as basic material for charcoal drawings. Not so much to express a particular essence or to dismantle the structure of the image, but for the effect of the drawing itself, for the value the spectator attaches to it. At the same time Van de Velde appropriates the material and, through adding texts for example, tells a new lie. In ‘William Crowder, 40 years of sculpture’ the artist presents a concise overview of the life and work of the American sculptor William Crowder (1913-1979). Using a few key works by Crowder and drawings describing his career, Van de Velde compiles what is almost an artistic biography in which the spectator himself can fill in the gaps. In this way he doesn’t only comments on the myth of biography but also the myth of autonomous art in which the biographical information or social status of the artist is of secondary importance. In the meantime Van de Velde dissolves his own biography and personal programme in lies. (Koen Sels)

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