Traditions of the Flemish Renaissance have exerted a profound influence on Belgian artist Berlinde De Bruyckere’s art. Drawing from the legacies of the European Old Masters and Christian iconography, as well as mythology and cultural lore, the artist layers existing histories with new narratives suggested by contemporary world events to create a psychological terrain of pathos, tenderness, and unease.
Since 2010, De Bruyckere has been working with the subject of the deer – she was inspired by Ovid’s metamorphoses, especially the legend of the great hunter Actaeon, who was turned into a stag by the Goddess Diana before swiftly being torn to death by his own hounds. In ‘My Deer, 2011–2013’ (2013) the animal, cast in iron, is gently laid across a table. The deer’s delicate limbs and lithe body convey both fragility and strength; as though set upon an altar it is imbued with a ritualistic, almost devotional quality. At once beautiful and haunting, the sculpture exemplifies De Bruyckere’s ability to grapple with the dualities of the human condition.
‘My Deer, 2011–2013’ is installed in the courtyard of the Natural History Museum, Zum Fälklein, Stapfelberg 2-4, Basel, Switzerland.
The Parcours sector engages the public and fairgoers by placing site-specific sculptures, interventions, and performances in the city’s neighborhoods. Artworks by renowned established artists and emerging talents will be on display on and around Basel’s Münsterplatz. Parcours is curated by Samuel Leuenberger of SALTS exhibition space and is supported by MGM Resorts Art and Culture. Download a map of the Parcours projects and Parcours Night performances here.
Berlinde De Bruyckere, My Deer, 2011 – 2013, 2013
120 × 200 × 152 cm / 47 1/4 × 78 3/4 × 59 7/8 in