Everyday Gallery

The painterly work of Dittmar Viane is significantly influenced by the Early Netherlandish painting from the 15-16th century. Painters like Dirk Bouts (1410-1475) and Hans Memling (1430-1494) employed distinctive drawing techniques like linear perspective to create a uniquely realist but slightly estranging feel; and being one of the first generations of painters to work with oil paint they developed subtle painterly techniques for chromatic glazing that, combined with the subdued hues of their colors, created an eerie luminescence in their paintings.

Dittmar Viane studied graphic arts and illustration at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. Having first honed his drawing skills, he turned to oil painting in the final years of his education. Like the Early Netherlandish painters, Viane now works almost exclusively with oil paint and a series of fine brushes. This combination allows him to apply the extremely subtle transitions and details and the glazing technique that gives the works a transparent and lifelike shine. Making its colors slightly darker through the addition of minimal amounts of black paint, he is able to counter the overly brightening effect and visual depth that a glazing can achieve; and at the same time, it binds the colors in his work together.

Senza Titulu, the title of Raymond Minnen’s solo exhibition in Everyday Gallery, apparently contains a typo. In reality, it is a willful and playful way to disrupt the meaningless Italian Senza Titolo (untitled), so often found in abstract paintings from the 1970s. It is emblematic of Minnen’s artistic approach: many of his works are seen to be a little naive, but the opposite is true, he unleashes small shifts in the meaning of a word or a symbol that have far-reaching consequences. This is often a way of questioning the existing order or criticizing power.

Raymond Minnen was born shortly after the Second World War into a working-class family in Balen, in the southern part of the Kempen. Apart from a short study period in the city of Antwerp at the end of the sixties, he spends most of his working life in his home region. The region has played an essential role in his work since the 1980s. At that time, Minnen developed a unique visual language that enabled him to provide an artistic commentary on the world at the end of the Cold War and on the region in which he is rooted. Humor and feigned naivety are important elements for providing social criticism.

When we know that someone is looking at us, we behave accordingly. We strike a pose; our body is trying to compose itself in a certain way. Most portraits show us just that: a posing body. But what posture do we have when we are not being watched by others? And who are we when we are not aware of ourselves, or of our presence in a space? These questions form an important starting point for the painterly work of Erik Chiafele (Hasselt, 1980) and are a common thread in his solo exhibition in Everyday Gallery, Let the time come for hearts to fall in love.

The show's title is based on a few lines from a poem by the French poet Arthur Rimbaud. In Chanson de la plus haute tour, Rimbaud sings about the loss of youth, but also the lack of life that comes from thoughtlessness. In his work Chiafele tries to capture this thoughtlessness in the many forms in which it expresses itself, hoping that the heart will fall in love again. His portraits depict sleeping people, deeply wrapped in sheets or in a sleeping bag, people in a coma or bedridden with a serious illness, sometimes even dead people and the mourners around them. Often these persons are introverted; not posing, but absorbed in life. More often it concerns the indirect manifestations of this situation: a lasagna left behind in a grandmother's freezer after her death, or a bed that has just been slept in but is now empty.