Jan Fabre, ‘Battlefield’, 1998, Deweer Gallery

The seven Battlefields are miniature landscapes made in wax and populated with numerous cohorts of beetles. They have all the same height. On their thin trestles the tables look like nicely cut out pieces of earth' s crust. Or of a surface of which one easily can imagine its infinite expansion, always at the same height above ground level. Between the table tops and the ground remains space for some underworld. From another angle, these tabels with their thin high legs present themselves as insects that creep over the space's floor. They go on all feet, not criss-cross, but in a millimetered order of battle, just like the drilled troops in the landscapes they carry on their tops.
(Source: Preface by Jo Coucke in cataolgue Jan Fabre - Battlefields & Beekeepers, Deweer Art Gallery, Otegem, Belgium, 1999)

Image rights: Photo Attilio Maranzano, Copyright Angelos bvba

Jan Fabre - Hortus / Corpus, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, NL, Otterlo, NL , 2011; Jan Fabre - The Angel of Metamorphosis (curated by Marie-Laure Bernadac), Musée du Louvre, Paris, FF, Paris, France, 2008

Jan Fabre, Hortus/Corpus, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands, 2011, p.124-125; Jan Fabre, The Angel of Metamorphosis (curated by Marie-Laure Bernadac), Musée du Louvre, Paris, France, 2008, p. 208-209; Le Magazine Littéraire, N°475, May 2008, p. 57;
Jan Fabre - Homo Faber, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten en M HKA, Antwerpen, Belgium, 2006, p. 35; Jan Fabre, Battlefields & Beekeepers, Deweer Art Gallery, Otegem, Belgium, 1999

About Jan Fabre

Jan Fabre’s signature blue ballpoint pen drawings and ornamented sculptures engage themes of life, death, and memory while reflecting his love of performance art. Conceived in homage to death and the artist, The Man Who Measures the Clouds (1998)—a bronze figure perched precariously atop a ladder on the edge of a crate raising a large ruler to the sky—expresses the feeling of planning the impossible. “I create spiritual realms through my art,” explains Fabre, who rejects the cynicism he sees as prevalent in contemporary art. Many works incorporate jewel beetles, which Fabre appreciates for their beauty, memory, and ability to process information, which he says has enabled them to survive millions of years. Their emerald-like shells—1.4 million of them arranged in various forms and patterns—encrust his work for a ceiling in Brussels’ Palais Royal (Heaven of Delight, 2002).

Belgian, b. 1958, Antwerp, Belgium