The mysterious Wim Delvoye is a wizard of sculptural anomalies that bend Gothic forms into snide homage’s to the ornamental relics of the past. With cantankerous irony Delvoye appropriates, twists, and ultimately bastardizes the highly sophisticated medieval forms. Dusting off the cobwebs of 12th to 16th century history, he confounds us with deviant variations of lowbrow associations, baroque opulence, and a decisive Rabelaisian coup de grace.

Inside the gallery’s three intimate room spaces are remixed selections from the notorious “Au Louvre” exhibition. They elaborate on Delvoye’s obsessions with excess, precision, and decadence.

A perverse beauty cobbled from myth and folklore informs the pedestal-sized array of objets d’art; a careening dump truck extending forth like an open accordion and an equally elaborate cement mixer implies the laborious hauling of materials to and fro in the pursuit of immortal Gothic architectural design. Delvoye irreverently claims this iconography his own and does as he wishes with contemporary means of production. Likewise the ornately carved rubber tires reclaimed from the scrapheap are now indulgently transformed from utilitarian object into the purely decorative.

An undulating set of lustrous silver bronze sculptures articulates the mythological Deux Bacchantes theme to fleshy effect. They orgiastically revel in the Dionysian bacchanal and eroticized gestured poses as in the dance.

Interspersed throughout the rooms are the “Mountain” photographic series. Each color image has a scenic location with odd messages seemingly carved Mt. Rushmore style into the cliffside. The digital augmentation appears to be real. Their inane syntaxes seem to be culled from text messaging, written post-it notes, found phrases from classifieds, and ad slogans. Once again Delvoye amuses us with the deconstructed puerile lexicon of a world superficially encapsulated by sound bytes.

Monumental structures and their human follies thus underscore Wim Delvoye assault on both the physical and mental edifices of the profane early 21st century. Delvoye desecrates the sacrosanct pillars of time immemorial and delights in confronting us with the hypocrisy of culture and the illusion of progress.

Max Henry

Wim Delvoye


Born in 1965, Wervik, Belgium
Lives and works in Gent, Belgium

Selected Solo Exhibitions 

2016
Wim Delvoye, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran, Iran,

2015
Wim Delvoye, Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku, Azerbaijan

2014
Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France
Wim Delvoye: Mimicry, The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia
Wim Delvoye Show, Gary Tatintsian Gallery, Moscow, Russia

2013
Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York, USA
Galerie Perrotin, Hongkong, China
ADAA The Art Show, New York, USA
Oeuvres choisies: 1988 – 2011, Galerie Guy Bärtschi, Geneva, Switzerland
Lucca, Chiesa di San Cristoforo, Lucca, Italy

2012
Wim Delvoye, Patricia Low Contemporary, Gstaad, Switzerland
Au Louvre, Musée du Louvre, Paris, France
Rorschach, Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France

2011
Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

2010
Musée Rodin, Paris, France
Wim Delvoye: Dessins & Maquettes, MAMAC, Nice, France
Knocking on Heaven's Door, BOZAR, Brussels, Belgium

2009
Wim Delvoye: Torre, Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy
Wim Delvoye, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium
Cloaca N°5, Galerie de l'UQAM, Montréal, Canada
Wim Delvoye, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice

2008
X-Rays, Galerie Guy Bärtschi, Geneva, Switzerland
Wim Delvoye, Ernst Museum (Mucsarnok Nkft), Budapest, Hungary
Cloaca N°5, Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Canada

2007
Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris, France
Cloaca Quattro, Xin Beiing Gallery, Beijing, China
Cloaca 2000-2007, Casino – Forum d'art contemporain, Luxembourg

2006
Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Miami, FL
Scale Models & Drawings, Alon Segev Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
Cloaca IV, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Kaojsiung, Taïwan
Et voilà les cochons, Corsoveneziatto, Milan, Italy

2005
Scale Models & Drawings, Sperone Westwater, New York, NY
Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2004
Cloaca- New & Improved, The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada
Oeuvres sur papier 1968 – 2004, Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris, France

2003
Musée d’Art Contemporain, Lyon, France
Caterpillars, Public Art Fund Projects (Target Art in the Park), Fabrica, Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, Italy

2002
Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris, France
Sept propos sur le sexe, les rayons X et les cochons, Galerie Guy Bärtschi, Geneva, Switzerland
Cloaca – New and improved, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY
Wim Delvoye, Museum Kunst-Palast, Düsseldorf, Germany
Marble Floors, Sperone Westwater, New York, NY
Wim Delvoye, Porin Taidemuseo, Finland
Gothic Works, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, UK
Wim Delvoye, Culturgest, Portaria da R. Arco do Gego, Lisboa, Portugal

2001
Cloaca – New and improved, Migros Museum, Zurich, Switzerland

2000
Cement Truck, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna, Austria
Cloaca, MUHKA, Antwerp, Belgium

1999
Galleria Sperone, Rome, Italy
Galerie Ghislaine Hussenot, Paris, France
Frac des Pays de la Loire, Nantes, France
Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp, Belgium
Galeria Laura Pecci, Milan, Italy
Galleri faurschou, Copenhagen, Denmark
11, Duke Street, London, UK

1998
Sonnabend Gallery, New York, NY

1997
Open Air Museum Middelheim, Antwerp, Belgium
Delfina, London, UK
Galeria Luisa Strina, Sao Paulo, Brasil
Tinglado 2, Tarragona, Spain

1996
Galerie Ghislaine Hussenot, Paris, France
Gandy Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic
Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp, Belgium

1995
Galleria Sperone, Rome, Italy
Galleria Cardi, Milan, Italy
Gallery Tanit, Munich, Germany
Anders Tornberg Gallery, Lund, Sweden
Musée Départemental de Rochechouart, Rochechouart, Limoges, France

1994
Galerie Beaumont, Luxembourg
Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Modulo, Centro diffusor de Arte, Lisbon, Portugal

1993
Galleria Tucci Russo, Torino, Italy
Galerie Ghislaine Hussenot, Paris, France
Galerie Lehmann, Lausanne, Switzerland

1992
Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Nuremberg, Germany
Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp, Belgium
Sonnabend Gallery, New York, NY
Ruth Bloom Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1991
Sonnabend Gallery, New York, NY
Galerie Lehmann-Faust, Geneva, Switzerland
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Castello di Rivoli, Rivoli, Torino, Italy

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