Hilde Overbergh & Gert Verhoeven, 2015 -  "Vorspülen / zwischenspülen / klarspülen”

Gallery text, Exposition at CB1 Gallery, 1923 South Santa Fe Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90021 September 12 – October 31, 2015.

For some time now, Hilde Overbergh’s paintings have been trying to escape from their stretcher bars. One gets the feeling they are trying to FLEE from the wall and take their place in space. Gert Verhoeven’s more conceptual work tries to FLEE from meaning or sense, and especially from the weight of art history so particular to European artists.

In their conceptually collaborative exhibition, Vorspülen / zwishchenspülen / klarspülen, these two Belgian artists, who are also close friends, infuse a transgressive tongue-in-cheek humor to their strategies, along the lines of Marcel Broodthaers and the Surrealists.

Verhoeven, in the guise of a director to his actor, or a professor to his student, has designed a manual/instruction guide on how to make and/or look at Overbergh’s work, in the form of poster. The poster consists of an oil drawing and painting on a found manual guide for an old washing machine: Vorspülen- Zwishchenspülen-Klarspülen. Overbergh’s visual response to this instruction are paintings on canvas in ‘filigree’; the motif of the painting is the cut-out design so that the true images are the spaces which show the wall itself, from which it has escaped. “Spülen” translates to “rinse”; rinsing the exhibition space, rinsing the artist’s meaning, rinsing the viewer’s expectations: rinsing before, in between, and forever. The gallery space thus becomes a washing drum or tornado, a rotating column of air or tumbleweed, leaving a basic or empty structure where new meanings can become real.

Belgian artist Hilde Overbergh returned to her native country in the early 90s, following her years studying in the United States. Her work was seen in two group exhibitions in Los Angeles in 2010, The Story of O at Otis College of Art and Design and For Your Pleasure at CB1 Gallery and in a solo exhibition at CB1 Gallery in 2011. In Europe, her work has been seen in exhibitions including De Markten in Brussels, glocal affairs in Maastricht, and in a group show in the Castle of Oud-Rekem. In 2013 she showed her work in Antwerp at the workplace and in Hasselt at CIAP. She is represented by Kusseneers gallery in Brussels, and just recently had a solo show there. She received a BFA from the Academy of Art College, San Francisco, an MFA from Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, and a European masters in visual arts from PH Limburg in Belgium.

Gert Verhoeven works with drawings, sculptures and videos. Rather than the results of a creative process they are his working tools. It is not as much the invention of forms or a style that matters to him but the exploration of the possibilities of the visual arts, determining the place(s) of art within the complex of social practices. Verhoeven was born in 1964 in Leuven, Belgium and has exhibited his work throughout Europe and in New York since the mid-90s.