‘La Montagne, c’est la Mer, et la Mer, c’est la Montagne’: mesmerizing new paintings by Thierry De Cordier (Xavier Hufkens)

Oh, how I wish I was working at Xavier Hufkens gallery (Brussels). To be able to look at that magnificent Mer Montée by Thierry De Cordier, every single day? Although: I think in the end it would start to haunt me in my dreams. I’m not a romantic!, is written, as a statement, on the wall of that front room at Hufkens, with that huge painting (oil paint, enamel and chinese ink on canvas, 170 x 270 cm). Anyone spending some time in front of the mesmerizing canvasses of this relatively small show (six paintings and a couple of études; through December 10) will immediately sense that it’s not about romanticism. But just to make himself very clear, the Belgian artist explains: ‘There’s nothing pleasing about a picture that works (otherwise it’s an image or something decorative). Workings, just workings. Not the landscape as such, nor its representation, but just the way it works. To my eyes this is the very essence of painting. Something different from the highly suggestive character of a romantic picture.’ Must-see.

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