Flower power at Albert Baronian

Muriel de Crayencour
25 juin 2016
(...)Happy is he who vigorously fans the senses
Toward serene and luminous fields—wincing!
The one whose thoughts are like skylarks taken wing
Across the heavens mornings in full flight
Who hovers over life, understanding without effort
The language of flowers and mute things.

Charles Baudelaire, Elevation (The Flowers of Evil, 1857). (Translated by William A. Sigler)

"Le langage des fleurs et des choses muettes", the last verse of this poem is the starting point, core and title of the collective exhibition now showing at the Galerie Baronian. Baudelaire wrote about his desire to escape, his need to cleanse his spirit in the fresh air. The artists invited by Albert Baronian with the help of Catherine Mayeur have take flowers as the subjects of their creation. They effortlessly understand their language! Flowers have been represented in art since time immemorial. The ancient Egyptians were already decorating their tombs with flowers, the Romans their villas, the monks their manuscripts in the Middle Ages, and Renaissance painters their frescoes. Not to mention oriental prints and Flemish and Dutch painters. Flowers, their shapes, their colours, their grace and fragility, the ordinary or flamboyant aspect of their corolla, perfectly lend themselves to all kinds of symbolic, sensitive or philosophical projections.

We discovered fifteen artists here. Let's start with a major surprise, a drawing by Piet Mondrian, who made many paintings and drawings of flowers, yet long discredited. Today, however, it is easy to understand the formal link between this small pencil drawing and Neoplasticism. And we get to discover a less austere Mondrian. More of a poet.

The series of lithographs by the American artist Ellsworth Kelly, with their soft and sinuous lines, are very beautiful. The flowers pressed between two sheets of papers by José Maria Sicilia – probably in Michael Woolworth's engraving workshop in Paris – are sublime, evanescent, after relinquishing all their nectar.

As for Lionel Estève, he pressed together a bouquet of wildflowers after saturating it with colours. Also wildflowers painted by Emmanuelle Quertain on small panels with fake innocence. Hans-Peter Feldmann fits pots of artificial flowers directly onto the wall. After admiring an installation of flowers by Sammy Baloji, the botanical plates of Joelle Tuerlinckx, the postcards of Oriol Vilanova and other petals, we've come to the conclusion that the concept for this exchibition is charming, pleasant and full of surprises. Fowers are no longer perishable…
« Le langage des fleurs et des choses muettes ! »
Galerie Albert Baronian
2B rue Isidore Verheyden
1050 Brussels
Until 16 July
Tuesdays - Saturdays, from 12:00h to 18:00h


Muriel de Crayencour

Rédactrice en chef

Voir et regarder l’art. Puis transformer en mots cette expérience première, qui est comme une respiration. « L’écriture permet de transmuter ce que l’œil a vu. Ce processus me fascine. » Philosophe et sculptrice de formation, elle a été journaliste entre autres pour L’Echo et Marianne Belgique. Elle revendique de pouvoir écrire dans un style à la fois accessible et subjectif. La critique est permise ! Elle écrit sur l’art, la politique culturelle, l’évolution des musées et de la manière de montrer l’art. Elle est aussi artiste. Elle a fondé le magazine Mu in the City en 2014.