Belgian contemporary sculpture at Horta

I don’t want to sound like Ryanair (“another Ryanair flight on time” plus deafening trumpets) but this month’s auction at Horta has been another fantastic opportunity to enjoy and learn about contemporary Belgian sculpture.

 

marabouMarabou by Collin.

 

The Belgian animalier Alberic Collin (1886-1962) has again multiplied almost by four —from the initial 12.000 € to the final 42.000 €—the estimated price of his enigmatic marabou in bronze, half stork half vulture.

 

SweetloveGeluck

Penguin by Sweetlove and weightlifter cat by Geluck.

 

The contemporary Belgian animaliers work with less noble materials (in the examples plastic for the penguin by Sweetlove, born in 1949, and resin for the weightlifter cat by Geluck, born in 1954) and with a clear tendency to humour –or the mere comical, as you wish. The penguin reminds us more of a bathing toy, hence the choice of plastic, than of the noble birds which live in Antarctica, the harshest habitat on Earth. The cat is purely a comic strip… sometimes I miss some drama in life, especially in contemporary art.

 

tuerenhoutfemmeTuerenhout1

Lithography and sculpture by Van Tuerenhout.

The work of the Belgian painter, sculptor, ceramist, engraver and designer of jewelery Jef Van Tuerenhout (1926-2006), on the other hand, is much more suggestive, even magical. His women are extremely sensual and mysterious and, with reason, he has been called the last Belgian surrealist. His lithographies are not difficult to find. More unusual are his sculptures, in this case, of women with similarly bizarre helmets and naked bosom. I wonder if these semi-goddesses, with all their paraphernalia, are slaves or slavers.