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Luc Deleu (1944 - )

Related: art in Belgium - contemporary art - modern art


This artist executes architectonic projects, being an architect by training and also founder of "T.O.P. Office", his own urban development research consultancy.

Luc Deleu has for quite some time been known for his installations of a conceptual character. These art works consist of all manner of materials and are quite dissimilar. But each material tells its own story, has its own specific background and often refers to the rather commonplace reality.

In the 1970's he authored numerous manifestos calling for liberation. He also carried out architectonic projects, with architectonic objets trouvés that placed them more properly in the world of art. His art often offers a critique on our modern over-industrialized society, and the term "recycling" plays an important role in his project-designs. Such recycling grants objects an entirely new function. Deleu likes to work with volumes that he positions horizontally and/or vertically so that they construct contrasts. By extracting them from their original context and erecting them within another concept or in a different environment, he frees them from their original function. The viewer, then, sees these for the first time as purely aesthetic objects. An example of this was when he placed a giant construction crane recumbent on the ground, so that we see it from a completely new and different perspective. Or in taking enormous highway lighting poles, and placing them criss-crossed horizontally - a critique of the useless hyper-illumination of Belgian autoroutes?

Luc Deleu will exhibit five container installations on the new terrain of Middelheim Museum's permanent collection. Alongside a fresh view of previous constructions, a new work will also be on view for the first time. His motivation of wanting to erect this 'container monument', certainly amidst a sculpture park, is to jolt our perception of scale, or at least to render it more unstable.

Being able, for the first time, to walk around and between these pieces, we can experience them in a refreshing relationship with each other, the park and the wider environment. On the other hand, their inherent scale will provide an architectonic metaphor between the pieces of the collection in the artificial and new nature of the expansion.

Luc Deleu made his first container monument, "Kleine triomfboog" [Small Triumphal Arch] in Basel in 1983, shortly followed by his "Grote triomfboog" in Neuchâtel. The banal containers came to radiate a monumental and majestic power. Since then, Luc Deleu has regularly worked with container constructions in public spaces. He made his "Obelisk" in 1987 for Antwerp's "Monumenta" exhibition. Other container monuments have been erected in Barcelona, Hamburg, Hoorn, Limerick, Minamata, Nîmes, Paris, Nauerna, Tielt and Tokyo.

The container installations may be described as mobile monuments, where both the theme and the material are universal, and thus applicable everywhere ('orban' monuments).

In the Braem Pavilion numerous other objects and designs by Luc Deleu will be on view, showing another facet of his work.

Exhibition Opening: Saturday, June 7, 2003.

The exhibition runs from June 8th through September 15th, 2003.

Catalogue available. -- http://museum.antwerpen.be/middelheimopenluchtmuseum/expo_luc_deleu_eng.html

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