valerie_troost gallery develops its program in collaboration with the Antwerp-based valerie_traan gallery
, where gallery owner Veerle Wenes, together with curator Frank Maes, continues to explore the relationships between art, architecture, and the everyday. Together, they further delve into the interaction between the aesthetic on one hand and the stories, meanings, interactions, and frictions that shape society on the other.
valerie_troost gallery pays special attention to the relationships that the artwork enters into with the spatial context in which it is displayed and with the people and things with which it shares that space. A strong image knows how to generate an infectious tension between concept and material; between the concrete presence of a work and the way in which it stimulates the imagination and generates possible meanings.
It is precisely this tension between the concrete and the imaginary that we find, in a very specific, exceptional way, in the oeuvre of both Charl van Ark and Sine Van Menxel, the artists with whom valerie_troost gallery opens its doors by the sea.
In the paintings of Charl van Ark (°1951, lives and works in Enschede) composition or colour hardly play any role. Crucial is the skin of the painting, and the way in which the perception of space and light are reflected in the work. Personal, seemingly insignificant anecdotes or coincidences'small moments'form motifs, which are reworked several times out of a desire to give them permanence. For Charl Van Ark, each exhibition forms "a work in itself. He writes about this: "Every exhibition aims to play with autonomous works in an unfamiliar spatial situation, leading to innovative and surprising insights. Works then generate a (new) context. Sometimes, I adjust setups to make a concept (or context) lying behind and between the works more perceptible. This often confronts me with the strangeness in the work itself.
Sine van Menxel (1988, lives and works in Antwerp) practices a very concrete kind of photography. The physical, experimental work in the darkroom is crucial to her artistic practice. The reason for working with a seemingly dated medium such as analogue photography has nothing to do with nostalgia but with the desire to explore and play with this medium and its machinery from the inside, to enter into a dialogue with it. Given this working 'from within', it should come as no surprise that, in a literal, physical way, she herself is sometimes present in her work.