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Guest Post by artist William Evertson

William Evertson is one of the three artists who make up the Seeking Kali collective, featured previously on this blog. Recently, the three artists met up in Belgium and France, and they kindly agreed to write up their visit for me. In Part 1, William Evertson describes what he saw in Leuven and Brussels. Tomowwo, in part 2, Susan Shulman writes about the Parisian part of the trip.

From left: Susan Shulman, William Evertson, Ria Vnden Eynde.

The Seeking Kali artist collective consists of me, Ria Vanden Eynde, and Susan Shulman. We live in three different countries and collaborate via social media and web tools. We rarely see each other in person, but we recently returned from Europe from our second ever get together, during which we combined some art business with cramming as many art exhibitions and museums into two weeks as possible.

One of the first exhibits to catch our eye was Belgian artist Christoph Fink’s “Atlas of Movements” at the M – Museum Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. We met up with Christoph as he was documenting his installation on its final day. Fink draws upon an obsessive attention to the details of travel experiences as the inspiration for his work. In fact much of the exhibit consists of elaborately annotated notebooks detailing the facts of each trip the artist makes, either on foot, by bicycle, car, train or plane. In addition, Fink makes a variety of physical representations of his travels, sometimes consisting of elaborate translations in wire combining landscape features with the artist’s actual path.  The wire pieces, while having a wonderful calligraphic freedom, also function as a reference to his notebooks by means of tiny numbered tags affixed to the construction. 

"The Montreal Walks," Christophe Fink

Also on exhibit were his latest ceramic disc pieces. These white porcelain discus-shaped objects are printed with symbols, lines and numbers. By cross-referencing the numbers with the notebooks we learn that he is interested in detailing very subjective details from everything he experiences, such as clouds, smells, feelings. 

Christoph’s installation is part of various exhibits themed to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator’s birth. Like Mercator, he seeks to build sculptural atlases combining and detailing the increasing complexity of our description and knowledge of the physical world with his subjective experience of it.

Cy Twombly’s photographic works at BOZAR in Brussels was a reminder why he has always been an intriguing yet an elusive artist. These works, which derive from Polaroid photos, are manipulated on a color copier then presented as dryprints sized about twice that of the standard Polaroid. Twombly selected slightly more than 100 of these works prior to his death this past July. 

Brushes, by Cy Twombly

Although the artist worked with Polaroids his entire career, they were not publicly exhibited until the 1990s and have remained an obscure part of his oeuvre until now. The often fuzzy and abstract feel of the images derive both the close up nature of the subject matter and the artist’s decision to eschew the autofocus feature. The subject matter varies: still-life images of flowers and brushes, snap shots of his studio and museums interiors, details from his paintings to views of ancient temples and atmospheric landscapes. The gestural nature that defines much of Twombly’s better know works seems absent here as the artist works through small series of two or three shots of the same subject that focus attention on composition. Later in our trip while visiting the Musée d'Orsay and found several of Claude Monet’s versions of the façade of the Rouen Cathedral side by side I began to realize how much of Twombly’s seeming compositional abandon in his paintings was indeed informed by the years of framing and composing of the photographic works.

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