Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Jean-Noel Vandaele At Form/Space Atelier

Form/Space Atelier Program For January 2009

Show Title: Enroute With Yellowhead

Show Duration: January 9- February 8

Opening Reception: January 9, 6PM as part of Belltown Art Dealers Assn. Second Friday Artwalk

Enroute With Yellowhead, paintings by Belgian artist Jean-Noel Vandaele. Japanese woodcut-inspired figurative paintings.

The following corollary was translated from French.

It was at Dunkirk in 1976 Jean-Noel Vandaele painted his first canvases before exile in the United States in 2002. "It changed my life. There, the success was immediate. The painter does not forget his years of misery, though today he has many exhibitions. Some of his paintings will be at Le Touquet in spring 2009.

The sources of inspiration for Jean-Noel Vandaele, particularly the traditional Kabuki theater and Japanese prints, may have enabled the painter from Dunkirk, 56, born in Ghyvelde Belgium, to stimulate the curiosity of Japanese galleries. He recently exhibited his work in Tokyo until the end of December. "There are few artists in Japan, is a real chance," he notes.

In 2009, some of his paintings will also stop in New York and Seattle, USA. The country of adoption of Jean-Noel Vandaele, who has chosen to settle here in 2002. "My career is in the USA. The U.S. does not ask where you come from, it checks your work, that's all. A way of saying that on the Old Continent, the reception was not always so warm.

"Dunkirk, it was a dog"

In Dunkirk, where he began painting in 1976 while working as an accountant in college Guynemer Saint-Pol-sur-Mer, the beginnings are difficult. Few doors open when trying to explain his painting. "Dunkirk it was the gallery. I contacted the institutional for so many years, I've had the negative, he says, bitter. In France, the painting was rejected because it was considered obsolete. The artistic policy is oriented around the concept, facilities plastics. His former professor at the Beaux-Arts de Dunkerque, GĂ©rard Hennebert, agrees: "Today, the painting seems paltry next to the new media, photography, video. "However, Jean-Noel Vandaele is not abandoning his art. "The painting and drawing, this is my expertise. It allows me to go take a walk in the imagination and bring back images. In 1995, he opened an art gallery in Dunkirk. "It did not work hard, but it allowed me to develop contacts with many European artists. "Four years later, he moved the first time in Spain. Before assuming the leadership of the United States in 2002.

Since then, a small group of supporters in Dunkirk continue to monitor its work. "I'm still a guy from the North," says the painter.

From March to May 2009, his work around the American painter Winslow Homer will be presented to the museum of Le Touquet. And why not a day at Dunkirk? "I'm not obsessed not like it ... Maybe. "

Vandaele also is influenced by Winslow Homer. Living in the small harbor town of Dieppe along the Normandy coast in France, artist Jean Noel Vandaele has always been fascinated by the sea as well as those people whose lives depend upon it. His decision to base his works in The Maritime Adventure series on the work of an American artist was determined not only by his attraction towards that country with its extraordinary maritime history, it was moreover his desire to counteract the prevailing conviction of the French that influence in the world of art travels only westwards between Europe and the Americas.

Being introduced to the work of Winslow Homer as one of the foremost American artists who have grappled with the subject of the sea, Vandaele decided to focus on this quintessentially American artist. Homer was extremely modern for his time - painting in a style similar to an image that a camera captures he heralded the arrival of photography as a medium of art. Vandaele embraced the challenge posed by basing his work on that of such an iconic artist and decided to introduce his imaginary character to Homer's work. This 'yellow head' that he was familiar with from previous work, was placed on specific carrying bodies from the original paintings and prints by Homer. This changed not only the appearance of the composition but also the relationship of the characters within it.
Since the work of Homer encompasses issues from the lives of sailors to gender and class roles, Vandaele had to tread carefully so as not to distort these ideas. Furthermore, it is by virtue of this 'yellow head' that he is able to comment not only on the work of Homer but more so on our own lives and time. The world of his work thus becomes constantly analogous to our own, critiquing it, yet smiling at it. At once a positive yet cynical comment on our society, it makes us question, and beyond that, it makes us look more closely.

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