Berlinde De Bruyckere
Hauser & Wirth Outdoor Sculpture, Southwood Garden, London
In collaboration with St. James's Church, Piccadilly
5 September – December 2012
Opening, Book Launch and Performance: Tuesday 4 September 6 – 8 pm
Overlooked by the steeple of St.
James's Church, a deer lies on a
stone slab, supported by a wooden
pedestal in the otherwise tranquil
setting of Southwood Garden. The
sculpture, 'Rodt, 6 Januari, 2012',
is a work by Berlinde De Bruyckere,
a Belgian artist known for her frank
portrayals of the inherent human
qualities of fragility, vulnerability and
imperfection. De Bruyckere grapples
with these universal themes and
translates them using a contemporary
sensibility that combines poetic beauty
with a brutal realism. Hauser & Wirth is
proud to present De Bruyckere's new sculpture – one of the artist's first works to be shown
publically outdoors – as the next exhibition of Hauser & Wirth Outdoor Sculpture.
De Bruyckere's 'Rodt, 6 Januari, 2012'
carefully renders the anatomy of her subject,
then distorts and deflates it. The sculpture is
cast in a new combination of materials for the
artist: a mixture of lead, bronze and tin whose
density mirrors the gravitas of the artist's
subject. 'Rodt, 6 Januari, 2012' will remain on
view until December 2012.
On 4 September, Hauser & Wirth will host
a book launch of 'Berlinde De Bruyckere.
Romeu my deer', the third part in De
Bruyckere's trilogy which began in 2006 with
'Schmerzensmann', followed in 2008 by 'In
the Woods there were Chainsaws'. This final
instalment is published by Skira and features
texts by writer Caroline Lamarche.
To celebrate the unveiling of the outdoor
sculpture, as well as the release of 'Romeu
my deer', there will be a special performance
by contemporary dancer, Romeu Runa, in
the Piccadilly gallery on 4 September. Dance
has played a prominent role in De Bruyckere's work, following a serendipitous encounter with the renowned choreographer, Alain Platel. Platel
introduced De Bruyckere to three dancers in his company – one of whom was Runa – and
De Bruyckere immediately began capturing the dancers' athletic physiques and translating
them into her contorted figures. In recent years, Runa has been a model and inspiration for De
Bruyckere, lending his name to several important sculptures and drawings, as well as the new
publication, 'Romeu my deer'.
During the book launch and dance performance, De Bruyckere's 'Actaeon III (London), 2012'
will also be on view for the first time in the American Room of the Piccadilly gallery. This work
is a tangle of antlers and branches, painstakingly molded from wax and half-supported and
half-smothered by cotton pillows.
Berlinde De Bruyckere was born in Ghent, Belgium in 1964, where she currently lives and
works. Since her first exhibition in the mid-eighties, De Bruyckere's sculptures and drawings
have been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions in major institutions worldwide. These
include 'We are all Flesh', Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, Australia (2012);
'The Wound', Arter, Istanbul, Turkey (2012); 'Mysterium Leib. Berlinde De Bruyckere im Dialog
mit Cranach und Pasolini', which opened at Kunstmuseum Moritzburg, Halle, Germany and
travelled to Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland (2011); DHC / ART Foundation for Contemporary
Art, Montreal, Canada (2011); Hauser & Wirth Zürich, Switzerland (2010); 'Schmerzensmann',
Hauser & Wirth London, Piccadilly (2006); and 'Eén', De Pont Foundation for Contemporary Art,
Tilburg, Netherlands (2005).
De Bruyckere has presented many exhibitions inspired by artists ranging from Baroque painters
to filmmakers and poets, including the recent exhibition at De Pont Museum of Contemporary
Art, Tilburg, Netherlands, 'Philippe Vandenberg & Berlinde De Bruyckere. Innocence is
precisely: never to avoid
the worst' (2012); and
'Berlinde De Bruyckere –
Luca Giordano. We are
all Flesh', Hauser & Wirth
London, Old Bond Street