Bram Demunter: Burrowers, Climbers, Crawlers

Bram Demunter: Burrowers, Climbers, Crawlers

Tim Van Laere Gallery

Bram Demunter, Turn the Mud Around, 2023. Oil on canvas, 190 x 300 cm. Courtesy Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp-Rome.

November 27, 2023
Bram Demunter
Burrowers, Climbers, Crawlers
November 30, 2023–January 20, 2024
Opening: November 30, 6–9pm
Tim Van Laere Gallery
Jos Smolderenstraat 50
2000 Antwerp

Tim Van Laere Gallery presents the second solo exhibition by Bram Demunter, titled Burrowers, Climbers, Crawlers.  

Bram Demunter’s work is about us, human beings, and about the place we occupy in the world. It is about the mythologies we shape around ourselves, the narratives and the visual cultures we create, as well as the traces we leave behind in the natural world.  

His paintings and drawings strongly illustrate his process of collecting, examining and categorizing different elements. The artist can spend many hours studying an object, while wondering where it came from and what history it has been gone through. These objects then manage to nestle in his subconscious, establishing new connections between obscure stories, tales, legends and myths with forgotten symbolism, which he seamlessly connects to more recent events.  

His oeuvre does not convey an unambiguous message, but rather weaves meanings that resonate with individual and collective memories whereby a depicted motif reminds us of countless other images. His references do not focus on specific symbols or archetypes and must not be mistaken as unequivocal allusions. In doing so, the artist emphasizes that all things can exist simultaneously and can be displayed as such. This phenomenon is clearly demonstrated in his work Turn the Mud Around, where Demunter makes use of an eclectic range of influences and sources: ranging from the late Middle Ages to the Flemish Primitives as well as the impasto of seventeenth-century artists like Rubens and Jordaens. His artistic affiliations, such as his depiction of landscapes and other scenes of nature in some of his paintings, seem to originate from Italian Renaissance painting and and are reminiscent of the sfumato technique of that period. His imagery extends far beyond classical influences; it is infused with elements of twentieth-century abstract expressionism including artists such as Philip Guston, neo-expressionist Georg Baselitz and Grandma Moses. In addition, Demunter embraces the refinement of Indian miniature art, the splendor of Persian and Indian tapestries, alongside the intimacy of Enclosed Gardens.  

For this exhibition, Demunter drew inspiration from obscure maps and old books, diving deep into human history in search of handed-down traces of interaction with nature. Rocks are therefore an important theme in his work, and take the form of mountains, rock formations, caves, meteorites, thereby embodying ancient symbolism. The diversity of symbols reveals the deep-rooted human fascination with nature across epochs and cultures. Instead of using maps as merely representational tools, Demunter exploits them as sources that capture the human interaction with the world. Demunter’s approach is not limited to visual compositions, but extends far beyond words: each work, whether drawn, painted or written, forms an exploratory journey, which transcends time and space; his images suspend time, as it were.  

Bram Demunter (b. 1993, Kortrijk) lives and works in Kortrijk, Belgium. Work of the artist can be found in several national and international collections.

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Tim Van Laere Gallery
November 27, 2023

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