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

Copyright 2016 – Patricia Low Contemporary. All rights reserved