Retrospective monograph of one of the most uncompromising and experimental painters working today.
This catalogue is composed by a large reproduction in color of his paintings, by a section dedicated to the artist's writings (from the 1960s to 2000s) and by two original essays: on by Quinn Latimer which investigates the poetic function of his painting in the light of the status of langage within Walter Benjamin thought, and one by Olivier Mignon and Raphaël Pirenne which analyses how, between 1980 and 1981, the birth of this painter-ventriloquist came on stage by way of a radical reconversion of the broodthaersian legacy. Finallythis catalog includes an extended list of works from 1960s to the present.
Published on the occasion of Walter Swennen's exhibition at Wiels, Brussels, from October 2013 to January 2014.
Just like other painters of his generation, Swennen (born 1946 in Brussels, lives and works in Antwerp) approaches and explores his medium anew by applying principles extracted from other disciplines. After his early activity as a poet in the 1960s, and in the aftermath of the visually reductive conceptual art, Swennen decided in the 1980s to examine the lyrical possibilities of painting. The work he then rapidly developed was not explicitly characterized by the spontaneous or heroic visual language of his expressionist contemporaries. It becomes obvious in retrospect that Swennen is engaged in a steady reconnaissance of the specific problems of painting with a preference for subtle forms of rebellion, deviation and relativising of the visual culture, popular or not.