FILIP COLLIN / JO DELAHAUT
Good characters should multiply, 2020
On the occasion of his exhibition at ZEIT, Filip created this multiple in plexiglass
Filip Collin / Jo Delahaut
Slowly but surely Filip Collin (°1987) is putting together a sizeable oeuvre. In recent years, on various locations in Antwerp and beyond, he already offered us a fascinating glimpse of his skills: works in neon and in plexiglass, collages based on torn or cut paper scraps that he previously paints or screen prints, hand-painted wooden puzzle pieces, simple line drawings, sculptures in painted steel.
At ZEIT, in addition to the neon work Leafdrop 1-2-3, occupying a permanent place of honour at the gallery entrance, he shows a selection of new works that have been created over the past two years. Eye-catchers are the monumental collages Blauw/Blauw and Collage Sauvage, the imposing boxes Beuk (Beech) and Midnight Grass, consisting of artfully assembled layers of plexiglass, and the neon sculpture Embrace, specially designed and executed for this exhibition.
Filip is a keen observer. He finds constant inspiration in the objects and the world around him, and more specifically in the nature of the city – the sun playing in the foliage, a bouquet of wild flowers, ever-changing shadows and reflections. But it would be hard to detect these origins in the resulting artworks. Sometimes the title gives a hint. Ornamental Cabbage, for instance, or Verjaardagsbloemen (Birthday Flowers). Other titles reveal fewer secrets.
Filip is blessed with a mild form of synaesthesia: when he sees or comes up with a form, he "feels" the matching colour. It can explain why colour plays such an important role in his oeuvre, often in surprising shades and combinations. The link with Jo Delahaut is quickly established. Although their design language differs and Filip Collin takes a looser approach, using more whimsical lines and contours, they share a love for colour and the art of translating the things that surround us into strong abstract images that leave a lingering image.
Jo Delahaut (1911-1992) was a versatile artist. We know him as a painter, sculptor and graphic artist, but he also designed carpets, ceramics and jewellery. The work of this grand master of geometric abstraction is characterized by powerful colours, sleek, clean lines and shapes, and balanced compositions. They radiate calm and balance, but just as often evoke great emotions.
From the very beginning, Delahaut relied on geometry and colour, a principle that he would remain faithful to throughout his career. He once said that the simple act of applying colour to his palette often left him mesmerised. From his early period, ZEIT shows two collage works and two screen prints.
In the 1960s, his work leans more towards the hard edge of Ellsworth Kelly, among others, which was on the rise in the US, although Delahaut always retains his very own recognizable style. A series of glossy silkscreens from the period 1968-1972 in the exhibition can easily compete with the work of the American minimalist.
Later, in the seventies and eighties, he further refines his work, resulting in sober, less playful forms. Some beautiful examples are two gouaches from 1975 and 1977 respectively, a series of smaller screen prints that the artist sent as a New Year's greeting to friends and family, as well as the series of wood engravings from 1990, finished two years before his death.
Runs 3 September to 30 November 2020
Preview 29 August
Borger Nocturne 23 October 2020 6 pm - 10 pm
Antwerp Art Nocturne 31 October 2 pm - 10 pm
Open every Thursday, Friday & Saturday 2 pm - 7 pm
plus events and private viewings
Includes works by:
Filip Collin, Jo Delahaut
Furniture and lamps by Arne Jacobsen, Bob Vanden Berghe, Vico Magistretti & Maija Liisa Komulainen