Morphoses: David Huycke, Christophe Desvallées, Guy Van Leemput at Valcke Art Gallery, Ghent, Belgium
September 4 – October 17, 2020
Valcke Art Gallery invites three artist-makers: David Huycke (B), Christophe Desvallées (F) and Guy Van Leemput (B), for the show “Morphoses”. Using traditional techniques, the artists create contemporary, personal art, going beyond the boundaries of design and applied arts.
David Huycke is one of the most important silversmiths working today. He is best known for his innovative approach to the traditional technique of granulation. David sets to work like a scientist or an alchemist, casting in moulds non-existent and seemingly impossible concepts, incurring along the way risks such as breakage or collapse. Eventually those ideas and experiments are selected and elaborated into an object where they exude a degree of stillness and have a natural obviousness, as if the work could not have been made any other way. The work of David Huycke is shown in galleries and museums worldwide, and can be seen in permanent collections such as in the Design Museum Gent, the V&A London, the Deutsches Goldschmiedehaus Hanau, the Indianapolis Museum of Art and in many other collections. In 2007 and 2019 he received the Bavarian State Prize for Contemporary Crafts, awarded by the IHM, Munich. David is professor at the PXL-MAD School of Arts Hasselt and at the Faculty of Architecture and Arts at Hasselt University. In 2010 he obtained his Ph.D. in Arts with The Metamorphic Ornament: Re-Thinking Granulation, a practice-based research project on the artistic relevance today of the ancient technique of granulation.
Christophe Desvallées is a contemporary metal artist, who explores the boundaries of copperware and integrates this ancient technique successfully in the world of contemporary art. Christophe keeps his mind on the purity of form, using clear hammered lines. He aims to distinguish himself from famous artists as Jean Dunand (1877-1942). He starts from a sketch as a template that determines more or less forms and volumes. During the process of hammering the copper sheet, he does not blindly follow the drawing, focusses on the strong details of the sculpture, adapting the lesser elements. However, he is very sensible to the law of the material, the metal, the copper.
Guy Van Leemput dictates the form with his heart, but his head takes the decisions. Every work allows him for a deeper digging in his motives and feelings. Thus, each work becomes a quest. He usually works in series, which sets limits but also offers growth. In the summer of 2014 he was “Invited artist in residence” in Jingdezhen (China), a shocking event in his way of working, for afterwards he introduced colour in his work. Some of this works are in the show in Valcke Art Gallery. In his series of translucent bowls the inspiration comes fom ancient Italian fresco paintings. The pattern on the bowls on the inside interferes with the pattern on the outside, depending on the amount of light falling on the object. One gets a changing view of the bowls with the changing light. Being a mathematician helped him to design his technique of firing these very thin translucent bowls. The processes of gravity and melting are playing an important role, while high temperature of 1300 °C is needed for strength and translucency. Finally wood firing gives the bowl a beautiful white with a sparkling ash-blossom.
Text by Johan Valcke.
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Valcke Art Gallery
Bernard Spaelaan 14