20/09/2008 - 08/11/2008


Sat 20.09.2008, 2 pm

20.09.2008 > 08.11.2008
Wed till Sat, 2 pm > 6 pm

Not Just a Landscape
Sat 25.10.2008


Much of Neal Beggs’ work has its origin in a specific form of adventure: rock-climbing. Attraction of peaks and fascination with the void are reverberating through its details. Beggs’ body of work is concentrated around a number of peak moments – as Jean-Marc Huitorel writes: Each piece [functions] as exhibition, each exhibition [is] conceived as a work. (The Analogy of the Rock, 2004). As a whole, it is dealing with the focal point of his activities: the moment of contemplation, the ‘gaping’ moment which comes before action and completion.

Belgium is Not a Road alludes to King Albert’s alleged reaction to Kaiser Wilhelm’s war plans in 1914, breaching Belgium’s neutrality: Belgium is a nation, it is not a road! The reference to the Belgian king who lost his life during a climbing session in Marche-les-Dames, is the starting point of an exhibition which is conceived as a trajectory with carefully selected obstacles, interconnecting various meanings and levels. The fundamentally aesthetic motive of the short cut – the shortest possible connection between two extremities – acts hereby as an indicator.

Neal Beggs realized projects for BRXLBRAVO (Dear Prudence, Mont des Arts, 2007) and in Le Bonheur (Happy(n/x) – Starmap, 2007) in Brussels. He also had shows in Saint-Nazaire (Le Grand Café), Nantes (Zoo Galerie, FRAC des Pays de la Loire), Paris and Glasgow (Tramway). In the fall of 2008 he also participates in group exhibitions in BE-PART in Waregem (www.be-part.be) and the gallery Elisa Platteau (www.elisaplatteau.com).


Huit (‘Eight’) is an exhibition with recent work of the Brussels’ based painter Xavier Martin. Martin constructs paintings by means of careful brush strokes and successive layers of glacis. The absorbing and reflective qualities of paint are elaborated in a wide range of stylistic finesses: on canvases and supports of various formats and textures, he creates alienating renditions of atmospheric depth. Recently, he completed an extensive and impressive series of paintings in delicate nuances of white and sepia.

Blurring boundaries between volume and void, Martin’s paintings refer to the idea of the landscape as a reflection of a state of mind, with subdued hints towards existentialist thinking. Lars Kwakkenbos: But the landscape is always there, a landscape that always frees itself of this support. Getting past the support is the issue. [...] On one of the pages of a note-book he wrote in 1998, we already find the following words: Par delà tout, il y a cette fumée. [...] The main thing now is to look around in the paint.

Xavier Martin was a laureate of the ‘Young Belgian Painters Award’ in 2003. Since then, his work has been shown a.o. in Le Botanique in Brussels and in Le Centre d’art contemporain du Luxembourg Belge. In 2006 he was invited to show work in his homeland South Korea in the group exhibition Vanitas.


On Sat 25.10.2008 the double exhibition is extended with Not Just A Landscape, an additional program documenting filiations around and between the artists’ oeuvres. The title for the program alludes a.o. to Werner Herzog and his famous notion of ‘ecstatic truth’: the reflection of reality through a subjective, intensified angle. Focus is the experience and exploration of the contemporary landscape through artistic actions and the question how to transfer these actions and experiences to the exhibition space.

Guests include Xavier Martin, Neal Beggs, curator and critic Jean-Marc Huitorel (°1953, Rennes) and writer Duncan McClaren (°1957, Blairgowrie). The program ends with the screening of Werner Herzog’s sports documentary The Great Ecstacy of Woodcarver Steiner (1974) and Shinji Aoyama’s feature movie Eureka (2000).

Netwerk / center for contemporary art
Houtkaai z/n
9300 Aalst
Phone: +32 53 70 97 73
Fax: +32 53 70 97 72
Contact: Niels Latomme



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