NK Gallery is pleased to present Double Dream, a duo exhibition by Taisia Korotkova and Hans Vandekerckhove. This is the first time we exhibit the works of both artists simultaneously in Belgium. At international fairs we already experimented with various combinations of work of both artists. It was a revelation for us to see how two artists from a different gender, generation, region and background are able to empower each other’s work to this extent.
Taisia Korotkova (RU, 1980, lives and works in Milan, IT)
The main topic in the work of Korotkova is the relationship between human society, contemporary science, industry and technology. The themes of her last series were space exploring, human reproduction technologies, Soviet nuclear heritage and the influence on human life and ecology. As a painter, she is attracted by the aestheticism of the scientific and industrial world. The ambiguity of the topic, where science as a tool is controlled by the will of humans, excites her. Here, she takes a neutral stance, formulates the questions and opens up the debates. Her work is aimed at instigating an inner dialogue in the mind of the spectator. The starting point in her work is researching footage and collecting materials. She also dialogues with specialists in the scientific fields that interest her. One of the contrasts in her work is between the topic she paints about and the technique she applies. Tempera on gesso on wooden panel was a much appreciated technique used by artists in the 16th and 17th century. The technique parallels a natural perception of the human eye, where saturation and volume are linked with luminosity. But although this medium requires excellent craftsmanship, she is more interested in composing the image then in the actual act of painting it. Korotkova likes to guide the spectator through a strongly planned scene yet still leaving room for his or hers personal journey in the details of the image. She is constantly searching for ways to avoid a visual dictatorship and to establish a balanced dialogue between artist and viewer.
Hans Vandekerckhove (BE, 1957, lives and works in Ghent, BE)
The paintings of Hans Vandekerckhove combine tranquility with an alienating sense of tension and desolation. It embodies a wealth of contradictions in a unique way, mingling dream and reality, eroticism and innocence, the soberly factual and the deeply enigmatic. An elusive, mysterious and wonderful world lies concealed beneath the deceptive simplicity and outlandish colours. In his work, gravity is not present and time passes differently for it is the artist himself who determines the laws of paint, colour and perspective. Throughout his life, Vandekerckhove has studied the work of both old masters and contemporary international artists. With Hockney in particular there was a recognition in the simplicity of subject matter and composition. Landscapes, trees, (self) portraits, architectural structures; often these moods are depicted separately, filling the canvas on their own, other times they are combined in one painting. With these, at first glance, harmless themes, Vandekerckhove manages to catch the spectator off guard, luring them into a world he very meticulously orchestrated. This, almost banal simplicity is countered by the technical aspects of the paintings, which reveal Vandekerckhove’s true craftsmanship. By economically adding new layers of paint, the works are lifted into existence and become denser with each new veil. At times, Vandekerckhove’s works lean towards surrealism, an aspect which is probably ingrained in his being Belgian. Yet, rather than depicting a surreal composition, his works are covered in a psychedelic light. Instead of showing the spectator an unrealistic dreamworld, Vandekerckhove decides to show the realistic one, very close to the moment of awakening.