Following her critically-acclaimed exhibition at De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art in the Netherlands, Berlinde De Bruyckere will present three new sculptures – ‘Actaeon, 2011 – 2012’, ‘Liggende I, 2011 – 2012’ and ‘Liggende II, 2011 – 2012’ – at Hauser & Wirth Zürich from 17 November.
De Bruyckere’s ‘Actaeon, 2011 – 2012’ takes its inspiration from Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’. The sprawling sculpture summons the fate of the great hunter, Actæon, who was turned into a stag by the Goddess Diana before swiftly being torn to death by his own hounds.
‘Actaeon, 2011 – 2012’ is a tangle of antlers upon a low wooden plinth. Their sharp angularity is contrasted by the worn cotton cloths, which cradle the work in an attempt to add a sense of comfort and support. Once symbols of strength, power and sexuality, they are now disembodied and vulnerable, assembled in a way that recalls a pile of kindling and firewood waiting to be burned.
‘Liggende I, 2011 – 2012’ and ‘Liggende II, 2011 – 2012’ are two lying figures sculpted from wax. Their translucent skin is marked with the features of a living being, such as veins and wrinkles in the skin; however, they are headless with distorted, emaciated or missing limbs. Branches and antlers grow into and out of the figures in a symbiotic relationship that is both an extension of their incomplete bodies and a parasite, inflicting pain and suffering on their debilitated host.
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About the artist
Working with casts made of wax, animal skins, hair, textiles, metal and wood, Berlinde De Bruyckere renders haunting distortions of organic forms. The vulnerability and fragility of man, the suffering body—both human and animal—and the overwhelming power of nature are some of…Learn more