Gerhard Hofland is pleased to announce MINSK, with new work by Johan Tahon (1965, BE) combined with drawings and a sculpture by Lee Ranaldo (1956, US). Also a video will be displayed of the two artists working together.
On the occasion of this exhibition Johan Tahon is collaborating with Lee Ranaldo, guitarist of the renowned band Sonic Youth. Their friendship has resulted in several projects, like the group exhibition ‘Bloedtest’ in Museum Dr. Guislain in Ghent, Belgium (still on display until 20th of October, 2019), where they co-created the impressive work Hell’s Gate.
The sculptures of Johan Tahon are powerful and expressive. Though evolving in an original and individual way, they are rooted first of all in artworks and myths of the past. His figures are seeking neither to seduce nor to deceive, they go straight to the essential and aim to express the density and complexity of the human condition. Stripped down, rough and barren. Some sculptures are pierced and punctured, as if they give access to all those other worlds the work seems to echo. It contains idolatry of some sort, or a spiritual necessity to reach for higher grounds. Like those stunning historical examples the Sfinx, icons and totems. But there is also a futuristic element present in the figures of Tahon. Cosmonauts they seem, hybrid entities with androgyne features.
The construction and craftsmanship remain clearly visible, as does the hand of the artist. Tahon works from a certain unpredictability. In his moulded sculptures he leaves the casting seems intact. He mixes his own glaze, making it thin enough to drip, and just thick enough to stick. The drippings in all shades of white cover the surface as if nerves are laid bare. Mat and piercing, the eyes consistently remain unglazed. Simultaneously Tahon has developed a meticulous working method, making works in which all notions of coincidence are rather conversions of a deep and almost tangible energy: spiritual, mystic, and philosophical. In essence Tahon’s work forms a continuous quest towards a higher truth and a deep sensibility for the existential state of humanity. Because this quest, or urge, comes from his deepest being, Tahon is capable of also moving us to the core.
Johan Tahon (1965, BE) was discovered by the influential curator and museum director Jan Hoet in 1996. His work can be found in public collections such as the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, SMAK Ghent (BE), and MARTa Herford (DE), among others, and in important private collections in the United States, Switzerland, Turkey and Belgium. In 2017 Tahon completed a publicly commissioned monument in Hannover (DE) and had two major solo exhibitions in National Museum for Ceramics Princessehof, Leeuwarden and Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht. Recently, the work of Tahon was on view in New York and Basel and is currently on display at Museum Dr. Guislain in Ghent (BE), Musée Ariana, the Swiss museum for ceramics, PARK, Tilburg (NL) and ARTZUID, the Amsterdam Sculpture Biennial (NL).