valerie_traan gallery

In his new exhibition at valerie_traan in Antwerp, Philip Aguirre is exhibiting a series of monumental sculptures in dialogue with some of his older works which have never been on display.

The title "NO" is taken from a series of small sculptures which Aguirre created around 2010 after reading the manifesto "Indignez Vous", "Time for Outrage” by the French writer, diplomat, ambassador, and politician Stéphane Hessel (1917-2013). The author writes of his indignation and anger in the face of injustice in the world.

This indignation is one that Philip Aguirre shares with Hessel. This indignation is Aguirre's humanistic drive to create beauty. Beauty as a response to injustice, war, poverty. Beauty is a force, beauty can touch, can comfort, can provoke reflection.

Aguirre studied sculpture in the early 1980s when conceptualism, minimalism and other movements were dictating the art world. These movements and innovations had a profound impact on the young student. But Aguirre also had a great fascination for the classical sculpture of Etruscans, Egyptians, Greeks, Africans. He became convinced at the time that it should be possible to combine all these insights and thus to arrive at a sculptural practice that is truly contemporary.

In the sculptures on display, Aguirre seeks to narrate in a layered, sometimes cryptic, sometimes in a more direct way his thoughts and feelings about the "human condition”.

Narrating through doubt.

valerie_traan gallery is a space for objects, subjects and themes, where both functional and subjective approaches to understanding these are heard; often balancing on the dividing line between design, art and architecture. The artists examine themes such as self-sufficiency, sustainability, cultural heritage and authenticity, but also beauty and aesthetic reflections will get a place.