September 1, 2010 - Bonner Kunstverein - Matthieu Ronsse: The Spirit Moves Me
September 1, 2010

Matthieu Ronsse: The Spirit Moves Me

Matthieu Ronsse, “The End (of a couple of versions to move the home sick),” 2007
Galerie Luis Campaña, Cologne, Germany
Photo by Alistair Overbrück
Courtesy of Galerie Luis Campaña

Matthieu Ronsse
The Spirit Moves Me

18 September – 31 October 2010

Friday, September 17, 7pm
Music performances by Faceneck, Spleen, Possessed Factory

Hochstadenring 22
53119 Bonn, Germany
Tel. +49 228 693936, Fax +49 228 695589
kontakt [​at​]

The Bonner Kunstverein is glad to announce THE SPIRIT MOVES ME, MATHIEU RONSSE’s first institutional single exhibition outside of Belgium, curated by Stephan Strsembski. A catalogue will be published.

In a very short time, painter MATTHIEU RONSSE, born 1981 in Kortrijk, has attracted the attention of the the whole Belgian art scene. Two very different aspects of RONSSE’s art account for his success at most.

One is the baffling quality of his painting: RONSSE’s almost disparate iconography entails interiors, everyday still lifes, snap-shots of hardcore concerts, pin-up girls and recurrent adaptations of art history: Da Vinci, Watteau, Goya, Manet, Fragonard and repeatedly, downright excessively, Velázquez; but also younger masters such as Dan Flavin and Joseph Kosuth. RONSSE translates these antetypes with a technical finesse only achieved by very few these days. The chiaroscuro, the delicate drawing and the subtle glaze of his paintings show him to be both technically brilliant and a real “fan” of his historic role models.

In the face of these stupendous formal ingredients one can easily forget the elaborate and unfashionable narrative in which RONSSE embeds the aforementioned works. And yet it is necessary to observe that RONSSE’s exhibitions consist of installations, performances and interventions that are more than an accompanying framework for his painted works. RONSSE typically brings (often huge) architectural structures from the studio to the exhibition space (ASYL, 2007) and fills it with everyday objects like a refrigerator, a basketball and a rifle. These elements noticeably shift the concept of his exhibitions away from merely looking at autonomous images to a more open form. They contain theatrical elements and leave space for often bizarre encounters that are informed by, if nothing else, the surreal spirit of Magritte or Broodthaers. Édouard Manet’s “Une botte d’asperges” as a charcoal drawing on a greasy pizza box (the motif was already part of a gallery exhibit in Cologne suggesting that during the making Hans Haacke was looking over Manet’s shoulder as well), painted frames, image-spaces around referenced paintings and, most recently, abstract large formats in the spirit of tachism. All of this helps dissolve the coherence of the figurative panels, chucking them into the daily grind.

The performative momentum is not confined to props and relics. RONSSE himself takes part in musical performance projects or invites bands for that purpose. Three groups are actually rocking the Kunstverein Bonn on the exhibition’s opening night: Faceneck and Spleen (both featuring MATTHIEU RONSSE) as well as the Belgian project Possessed Factory. After the opening night concert, the instruments remain in the exhibition space; they prolong the moment of the performance and help sustain the energy of that extraordinary point in time throughout the exhibition (and as well work as real props for the accompanying program for kids and young adults).


Thursday, September 30, 6 pm: guided tour with Sarah Waldschmitt
Thursday, October 21, 6 pm: guided tour with Christina Végh
Sunday, October 31, 4 pm: artists talk with MATHIEU RONSSE, Tanguy Eeckhout and Stephan Strsembski

The exhibition of MATHIEU RONSSE is supported by Stiftung Kunst der Sparkasse in Bonn.


November 19, 2010 – January 30, 2011: KLARA LIDEN
blauorange 2010 – winner-exhibition of the art contest of Deusche Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken

Opening: Thursday, November 18, 7 pm
December 4/5, 2010: weekend of editions

Hochstadenring 22, 53119 Bonn
Tel. +49 228 693936, Fax +49 228 695589

Tue – Sun 11 a.m. – 5 a.m., Thu 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., closed on Mondays
ARTOTHEK Wed, Fri 2 – 5 p.m., Sat 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Bonner Kunstverein

Bonner Kunstverein
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