Nothing is final. Everything consists of so much more than defined and visible reality. Ronny Delrues drawings point to the transparency of everything that surrounds us. In Sculptures of Stones, his recent series of drawings,
Delrue works on a larger format than usual. As smoothly as ever, he puts his stream of ideas down on paper. These traces testify that no form is permanent in the transience of our existence. Delrue evocatively draws a head, a torso, and breasts, with or without a face. The figures are partly made of bricks, and the title Sculptures of Stones reinforces the reference to stone busts. We see human images in the drawings, but do we really? These are men, women, sculptures, and then again, they are not. Under the surface, blurry genders, demarcations and gender issues are at play. It is indicative of how we view reality these days. Delrue does not depict details, mainly contours. Through delineation, we recognize things that we can name and grasp. Demarcating and fixing things in concepts allows us to communicate about them. It provides us with a framework to deal with reality while at the same time determining how we look at it.
In some drawings, Delrue literally delineates a frame or an egg shape, in which a character can be seen blowing bubbles. Do not we all breathe a world into existence? We think we know something but it is so much more than meets the eye. With the transparency of his images, Delrue emphasizes how relative our conceptual approach to reality is. Whats more, he often fills in forms only partially. Delrue will leave parts of the head or body open, and he may or may not fill in a breast. Empty, undefined surfaces represent everything and nothing. There, everything is still open. It shows us what we neither see nor know and points out how layered everything is.
In his drawings, geometric shapes and patterns often recur. We see circles, triangles, spheres, and cubes, with which he builds his work. We recognize primary forms that evoke a cosmic egg or the universe. Circular movements are also a constant in his work. Delrue chooses building blocks and movements, which can be found in man, nature, and the universe. More than once, he draws a concentric movement in breasts. Each time he creates a sense of turbulence, a space with a suction effect. Delrue also depicts heads with a crown. The crown is too big, or thin red lines suggest a trickle of blood. Many people desire a crown or power but once again, there is a downside. A crown is not for everyone: it can be too heavy to wear or cause misery if you want to get or keep it.
In a later series of drawings, the barbed wire takes on the form of a snake. It is known as the symbol of duality and transformation, both inherent in our existence. The world consists of polarities: one thing inevitably leads to its counterpart. Nobody wants to go from white to black and vice versa, but that is just the way it goes. Suddenly, the time has come. Delrue shows a play of light and dark, white and black holes, something and nothing. He folds many drawings. The mirroring effect causes the image to shift, which refers to temporality. Transience is of all times and places. Things are as they are: everything passes and decays. Only memories remain. These too fade quickly and are only a reconstruction of what once took place. Sometimes a memory is fixated, e.g. in a statue, but even this is no guarantee of something permanent. Everything transforms, and something else takes its place. Delrue embraces this in his drawings, but it need not be a problem. On the contrary, it provides endless possibilities, between something, nothing, between what is, and what could be.
February 2022, Indra Devriend
Ronny Delrue (1957, Heestert, Belgium) lives and works in Ghent. His solo exhibitions include: Archive of Thoughts, MLF | Marie-Laure Fleisch, Brussels, Belgium (2020); Protected trees, Galerie Jacques Cerami, Charleroi, Belgium (2020); Ronny Delrue Correspondances #2, curated by Carine Fol and Philippe Van Cauteren, CENTRALE for Contemporary Art, Brussels, Belgium (2019); Ronny Delrue - Correspondances #1, curated by Philippe Van Cauteren, S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium (2019); Jessaye de me reconstruire,Drawing Centre Diepenheim, The Netherlands (2018); Ronny Delrue, Eté 78, Brussels, Belgium (2015); Karel, CIAP, Hasselt, Belgium (2014) and Zeichnungen, Raum für Kunst, Aachen, Germany (2010). His group exhibitions include: De Kleine Catalogus van de Collectie van S.M.A.K, S.M.A.K., Gent, Belgium (2022); Dans les yeux de Van Gogh, Musée Félicien Rops, Namur, Belgium (2021); Vanwege Vincent, Stedelijk Museum Breda, The Netherlands (2021); Nabeeld, Park, Tilburg, The Netherlands (2020); PASS kunstwandelroute Mullem, curated by Jan Hoet jr., Mullem, Belgium (2021); Papier Biënnale 2020.THUIS/HOME, curated by Diana Wind, Museum Rijswijk, The Netherlands (2020); Genesis, collection en mouvement, curated by Christa Vyvey, L.A.C. Lieu dArt Contemporain, Narbonne, (France); Op losse schroeven, collectiepresentatie, Museum Dr. Guislain, Ghent, Belgium (2019); Biënnale van de schilderkunst, Roger Raveelmuseum, Machelen-aan-de Leie, Belgium (2018); My City, My Studio/ My City, My Life, curated by Philippe Van Cauteren, Kathmandu Triennale, Kathmandu, Nepal (2017); Rien ne va plus! Pictures at an Exhibition Mussorgsky., curated by Jean dOultremont, Musée dIxelles, Brussels, Belgium (2016); Secret passions, private flemish collections, Tripostal, Lille, France (2014) and Unsichtbare Schatten-Bilder der Verunsicherung, MARTa Herford, Herford, Germany (2010).