Alex Van Gelder: Meat Portraits

Art

Photography

Hauser & Wirth

Until Sat Feb 8

  • Free
  • Alex Van Gelder

    Meat Portrait #038, 2012

    © Alex Van Gelder. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

    Alex Van Gelder
  • Alex Van Gelder

    Meat Portrait #010, 2012

    © Alex Van Gelder. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

    Alex Van Gelder
  • Alex Van Gelder

    Meat Portrait #013, 2012

    © Alex Van Gelder. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

    Alex Van Gelder
  • Alex Van Gelder

    Meat Portrait #015, 2012

    © Alex Van Gelder. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

    Alex Van Gelder
  • Alex Van Gelder

    Meat Portrait #024, 2012

    © Alex Van Gelder. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

    Alex Van Gelder
  • Alex Van Gelder

    Meat Portrait #028, 2012

    © Alex Van Gelder. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

    Alex Van Gelder
  • Alex Van Gelder

    Meat Portrait #030, 2012

    © Alex Van Gelder. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

    Alex Van Gelder
  • Alex Van Gelder

    Meat Portrait #031, 2012

    © Alex Van Gelder. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

    Alex Van Gelder
  • Alex Van Gelder

    Meat Portrait #037, 2012

    © Alex Van Gelder. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

    Alex Van Gelder

Alex Van Gelder

Meat Portrait #038, 2012

© Alex Van Gelder. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

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Robin Marchesi

Alex Van Gelder’s Meat Portraits at Hauser and Wirth is an exhibition unlikely to be surpassed in 2014. His lens, transforms the produce of a primitive, West African slaughterhouse, into an array of almost mythological landscapes. Entrails, fly infested carcasses, two eyes and an intestine, owing to the sculpting of their position in space, for his camera, transmute into vast caverns, Middle Earth type landscapes and horizons of colour on alien planets, rather than mere rotten, dead flesh carved up for consumption. It took time for me to overcome my disgust of the subject matter and perceive these portraits without prejudice - To distance myself enough to see life in dead meat. The trigger for this perceptual transformation came when a young woman asked me which of her ‘I-phone’ photos, of these Meat Portraits, I liked. I choose #008: “What is it?” She asked, adding with a laugh, “It looks like a vagina to me.” “And to me it looks like a broken heart,” I replied truthfully. Both of us no longer saw the portrait as part of an anonymous dead animal, but as a live reflection of our own inner universes. The Artist describes his work as “Still Lives” which they are, if you enter this exhibition with an open mind, otherwise you may remain in the Slaughterhouse, your mind closed to the dimensions and beauty, these Portraits offer. Van Gelder has taken the ‘Photographic Print’ to an unprecedented artistic level. In the tradition of great Dutch Artists, he adopted Paris as a home, from where he explored West Africa in various guises. His enduring relationship with Louise Bourgeois spanned four decades and their collaborative work “Armed Forces”, an introduction to the Portraits Van Gelder created during her final years. “Meat Portraits” gives us a glimpse into the fascinating world of a great man’s mind. It is not the camera, but the ‘eye’ behind it and in Van Gelder’s case; Hauser and Wirth give us an opportunity not to be missed.