In May 2017, PLUS-ONE Gallery and Gallery Sofie Van de Velde 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, their first jointly curated exhibition, the two galleries continue on their collaborative path and celebrate their positive and open-minded attitude towards art.
‘Lust’, ‘laughter’, ‘liquor’: these three words form the curatorial framework for a concept revolving around a joyful and positive attitude both galleries show in their endeavours. Lust is used here as a reference to the untranslatable Flemish word ‘goesting’: a feeling of lust, but also a positive willingness to make things happen, and a general lust for life. Laughter is the sound of people meeting in a pleasant atmosphere. It is a symbol for the positive and at times informal relation between two collaborating galleries, who are not only talking business, but also enjoying themselves. And finally there is liquor, related to celebrating good times, new bonds and wild ideas.
The exhibition brings together an impressive amount of contemporary pieces and twentieth-century works that haven’t lost any of their relevance. To look back to the past does not mean to be nostalgic, but to excel in the present. Art from the past can form a pertinent contextual bond with art in the present. That is precisely this exhibition’s objective when connecting, for example, a hundred year old erotic drawing by Francis Picabia with the works of Mike Bouchet, who strikes a remarkable balance between lust and humor - or when relating the surrealisms of Marcel Mariën, John Stezaker and Margot Bergman.
A bar scene by Georg Grosz accurately represents this exhibition’s concept: it brings together its three pointers, but there is even more to it. The abundance and the dark, slightly satirical undertone are characteristic, also for the exhibition. Not all works in the presentation strictly integrate the three words of its title. However, in a well-curated overview, a relation to one of them can prove to add to the narrative, which reflects both galleries’ shared vision on art.
Critical humor is an important catalyst for the three key words of this exhibition. Although the words ‘Lust, laughter, liquor’ might invite a light reading, the exhibition does integrate reflection and criticism. The likes of Keith Haring, Dennis Tyfus and William Ludwig Lutgens are respectively masters at funny societal criticism, self-mockery, and at questioning the conventions of the art world.
Within the duration period of the exhibition, a strategic choice of related works will be presented in a joint booth at Art Brussels (April 19-22) – another collaborative effort in which both galleries place concept before commerce. The booth is a significant reference to the exhibition outside the art fair, and, more importantly, to a broader art world: within the commercial and momentary context of an art fair, there can be more. The sharing of an exhibition, and of a booth at an art fair, are clear signals of an innovative entrepreneurship in art: moving away from a conventional competition-minded gallery model, PLUS-ONE Gallery and Gallery Sofie Van de Velde realize that they can stand as one, yet maintain and grow their own identity.
Alphachanneling, Antwan Horfee, Barbara Kruger, Beni Bischof, Bruce Nauman, Bram Bogart, Carole Vanderlinden, Dennis Tyfus, Félicien Rops, Francis Picabia, George Grosz, Guillaume Bijl, Jacques Charlier, James Ensor, Jan Van Imschoot, Jason Rhoades, Jean Schwind, Jeff Koons, Joakim Ojanen, John Stezaker, Karin Hanssen, Kasper De Vos, Keith Haring, Kembra Pfahler, Kris Martin, Leo Dohmen, Maaike Schoorel, Marcel Broodthaers, Marcel Duchamp, Marcel Mariën, Margot Bergman, Max Pinckers, Mike Bouchet, Mrzyk & Moriceau, Navid Nuur, Nel Aerts, Nicholas William Johnson, Pascal Bernier, Paul McCarthy, Philippe Vandenberg, Pim Blokker, Rosemarie Trockel, Sergio De Beukelaer, Stefan Marx, Sven 't Jolle, Tatjana Gerhard, Walter Swennen, William Ludwig Lutgens, Wim Delvoye