Curator fires shotgun: an Antwerp salon with more than 130 works of art (‘The Gunshot’)

'The Gunshot' (gallery Marion De Cannière, Antwerp; installation view)

How to get as many works of art as possible into a gallery? With all due respect, but The Gunshot, at Marion De Cannière (Antwerp; through July 18) almost looks like a joke. It’s difficult not to bump into a work of art or trip over one, with some 130 pieces (paintings, objects and even a wooden gate) filling the rooms and the walls. The Gunshot was curated by Hans Theys, who recently also compiled a show at Tatjana Pieters (Ghent). For Marion De Cannière he felt like creating a salon, with ‘works that are different from one another. I love to embrace these differences and to nurture myself with this experience.’ A nice way to say: I’m fully aware this show lacks coherence. It comprises work by more than 20 artists, such as Vaast Colson, Manor Grunewald, Dennis Tyfus and Jan Van Imschoot. The title is a reference to a story about Constable and Turner, told to Theys by one of the artists, Ronald Ophuis. You’ll find it after the jump.

“When Constable saw his work hanging next to a foggy grayish view of the Thames painted by Turner, he added some highlights to his own painting. Turner stood in the hall and saw what was happening. He went home, took a tube of reddish paint, a palette and a brush and returned to the salon. Constable was ready with his work, but was still lingering about. Turner walked to his painting and placed a red rising sun on the horizon. Constable saw this and turned white. A friend of his asked what was going on. Constable, nodding at Turner, replied: He just fired a gun.”

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