Narcisse Tordoir — The Pink Spy
The Pink Spy
Past: January 9 → February 22, 2014
Narcisse Tordoir has been a presence on the national and international art scene for almost 30 years. Tordoir rebels against his classical, rigorous academic training through a number of non-conformist street actions (“direct actions”) that particularly target the prevailing establishment. Despite this necessary transgression he returns, in 1978, to painting; his approach is characterised by a problematizing and questioning of the medium itself. In 1981 he creates small panels that are mounted side by side and that take as their central theme an interpretation of sign systems.
The success of these horizontally and spatially structured works culminates in his great exhibition of 1987 in the Brussels Centre for Fine Arts (Bozar). It is here that the Dutch artist Peter Struycken discovers the work of Tordoir. After the obligatory interview, in which Struycken acts as a jury member, Tordoir becomes professor of painting at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.
Aside from his personal practice as an artist, Tordoir is also active as a curator both in and outside the Rijksakademie. In 1999 he organizes, together with Luc Tuymans, the exhibition ‘Trouble Spot. Painting’, which is commissioned by the NICC. The exhibition presents a wide range of what the organizers refer to as ‘extensive painting’.
The exhibition The Pink Spy is inspired by Giambattista Tiepolo. Fascinated with the 18th century Italian artist, Tordoir, in 2010, after a reading on “The Pink of Tiepolo” by the Italian essayist Roberto Calasso, starts on a series of large-sized works that take inspiration — both in terms of subject matter and size — from two series of etchings, Scherzi di Fantasia (1743-1750) and Vari Capricci (1740-1743), as well as the Tiepolo’s frescoes in Wurzburg depicting the four continents on a massive ceiling.