The Philippe Vandenberg Foundation is happy to welcome you to their new website. Conceived of as place for discovery, it neatly documents the work and life of Philippe Vandenberg and the operations of the Foundation. The website gives an overview of Vandenberg’s biography, the exhibitions he participated in and the majority of publications on and by the artist. Available online for a first time, is a broad selection of films, texts and press articles that appeared throughout his life. The website moreover acquaints the visitor with the many domains the Foundation operates in, ranging from managing the studio, to organizing exhibitions, to conducting research. The website was designed by Ine Meganck and Chloé D’Hauwe from Studio Ine Meganck and was developed by Matthieu Serruys.
On 31 August, 2018, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens organised the twelfth edition of its annual (Tuin)Feest ([Garden] Party) in Flanders Expo, Ghent. Central to the party were a Paddle8 Internet auction and a Christie’s live benefit auction. They are crucial for the museum, as all proceeds of the evening go to the daily operation of the museum, that strives to create an optimal exhibition context for the artists. The Estate Philippe Vandenberg donated the drawing No Title (1996-1997) to the institution. This text drawing, overpainted with a circle in intense black gouache, was on view during the (Tuin)Feest together with the other works of both auctions.
From 13 July until 20 July, 2018, the group exhibition I Object took place in the Oud Gerechtsgebouw (Old Courthouse) of Ghent. It focussed on the assessment of artistic choices and approached the theme from different angles. To this objective artists were invited to show two pivotal works from their oeuvre, to underscore the substantive and formal limitations creative choices often result from. After all, many artists arrive to a point where the rules they set in their practice seem to dictate the law. How do artists deal with these limitations? Will they be guided by them? Or does the artist protest? Attesting to this issue were two early text works by Philippe Vandenberg from the years 1995-1996.
S&D#25: Philippe Vandenberg
During one of the many cleanup sessions at the very beginning of 019, an artist collective running an exhibition and work space in a former welding factory in Ghent, they came across an old discarded flagpole. They restored it to its original spot and raised a flag introducing ourselves to the neighborhood. A second flagpole arose with S&D#25. In January 2016 the pole moved to Ghent to be placed on a pedestal designed by Olivier Goethals. From that moment, S&D#025 functions as a mobile exhibition space with a growing archive of Belgiums’ largest flags. In the summer of 2018, a flag design based on a word drawing by Philippe Vandenberg was on view on Dok-Noord, an industrial site in the old port of Ghent. Printed on a flag of 800 x 680 cm, the drawing with the text ‘Let’s drink the sea and dance’ waved for two months over Ghent’s inland waters.
Nieuw Amsterdams Peil: Matthew Day Jackson & Philippe Vandenberg
From June 23 until July 28, 2018, the galleries of the Amsterdam Jordaan district organized Nieuw Amsterdams Peil (NAP). Under the title ‘Veracht den burgerman, doch ledig zijne kruiken’ (‘Despise the solid burgherman, but drink deep of his flagon’), Joost Declercq, director of Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens (Sint Martens-Latem in Belgium) and curator Charlotte Crevits, co-curated an unparalleled art program. The guiding principle for this edition of NAP has been to pair one artist represented from his or her gallery in Amsterdam with an artist not represented in the gallery’s program. One of the participating galleries was GRIMM, were a duo exhibition by the American artist Matthew Day Jackson and painter Philippe Vandenberg took place. On view was a diverse selection of works by Vandenberg, among which a burlesque figurative painting from the early late ’80s, a monochrome from the mid-nineties, and a word painting from the late 2000s
Lust, Laughter, Liquor
From March 22 until May 5, 2018, the group exhibition Lust, Laughter, Liquor was on view in PLUS-ONE Gallery and Gallery Sofie Van de Velde. It was their first jointly curated exhibition after in May 2017, the galleries decided to reinforce their projects in a shared and second gallery space in the Nieuw Zuid area in Antwerp. From a common sense of entrepreneurship in art, but with their own perspective on artistic choices, their philosophy is one of collaboration and sharing. With Lust, Laughter, Liquor the two galleries continued on their collaborative path and celebrated their positive and open-minded attitude towards art. On view in the exhibition were two rare assemblages by Philippe Vandenberg from the year 1996.
Het Gouden Paviljoen
From 10 March until 20 May, 2018, the group exhibition Het Gouden Paviljoen (The Golden Pavilion) was on view in the Warande, Turnhout. The title of the exhibition refers to a classic novel from Japanese literature. Yukio Mishima describes in The Temple of the Golden Pavilion the thoughts and emotions of a young acolyte. The temple of the monastery where he resides is of unearthly beauty. To him this beauty is in such way confrontational that it becomes a torture. In Het Gouden Paviljoen the Warande brought together work from a very diverse selection of artists and testified on how beauty can be (too) overwhelming, to the point of being a torture and destructive. On view in the exhibition were four drawn variations on the crucifixion by Philippe Vandenberg from 1996.
From 17 November, 2017, until 25 February, 2018, the group exhibition Ecce Homo, organised by Gallery Geukens & De Vil, took place at several locations throughout Antwerp. The starting point of the exhibition was a simple observation: we live in an era in which humanity and mankind are violated on different levels. This exhibition wanted to show how artists express the inequality in the development and freedom of humankind in various parts of the world. It was an intended decision to choose only artists living and working in Belgium with the exception of one artist that could not be ignored considering the subject: Philippe Vandenberg. On view at the exhibition were four works by Vandenberg: three blood drawings from circa 1996 displaying the word honte (shame) and a big text drawing from 2005-2008 with the sentence: “Kill Them All and Dance”.
Art & Alphabet
From 21 July until 31 October, 2017, the exhibition Art & Alphabet was on view in the Hamburger Kunsthalle. Taking place across two floors of the Gallery of Contemporary Art, the exhibition focussed on the complex interrelation of script and image in contemporary art. On view were works in a variety of media by 22 international artists from 15 different countries that deal with elements of a broad range of languages and writing systems, exploring their impact as visual signs, expanding on them, and transforming them artistically. In line with the theme curator Brigitte Kölle presented two large walls of text drawings by Philippe Vandenberg, which he made between 2005 and 2008.