Katrien de Blauwer — Love me tender


Collage, painting, photography, mixed media

Katrien de Blauwer
Love me tender

Past: May 18 → June 15, 2019

Two years after her solo exhibition, the galerie Les filles du calvaire announce the exhibition Love Me Tender by Katrien de Blauwer, simultaneous with the release of two new books by the artist Why I Hate Cars and Dirty Scenes, published by Libraryman.

The artistic practice of Katrien de Blauwer, who lives and works in Antwerp (Belgium), explores the realm of collage. Rather than a category or a compartmentalising genre, this term should be interpreted as a notion of total commitment. Her artistic idyll with collage started early, when, as a young woman, she studied art and fashion. Like a prelude to her current research, her mood books from that period already displayed a compulsive desire for images and for what lies beyond the image, a fascination for the image’s construction.

The brushstroke is as terse and precise as a scissor cut. Behind this intransigent “cut,” similar to photomontage and film editing techniques, there is a determination to reconstruct the image, to make a tale arise from it, and to give back to this raw material all its past “glamour.” She composes these collages from a selection of images found in old magazines. The collages feed off these old, forgotten photographs that De Blauwer recycles, cuts and links together. Hence an unexpected connection takes shape between several figures, between motifs and colours. More than merely formal, these associations are dictated by an immediate feeling and reflect the stimulating paradox of her practice. The choices she makes in the treatment of these fragments in fact relate back to her intimate thoughts, even though she manipulates anonymous images, which, at first sight, could seem to bear no relation to her.

« My collages speak about myself, about what’s keeping me busy. They’re my stories, how I deal with the past. My grip on reality, my ritual and routine. »

Katrien de Blauwer

By excluding the gazes and faces of her compositions, she preserves a certain neutrality, a freedom of interpretation which deliberately allows room for whoever wants to imagine themselves inside the image. The narrative and memory potential of the artist’s collages stem from this attention to universality.

For the galerie Les filles du calvaire, Katrien de Blauwer has developed two new series, two narratives in which she delicately reveals herself. As a support to her painted collages, the artist finds inspiration in her childhood memories. In Love Me Tender, both the title of the series and of the exhibition, the male figure is central through its absence. Only men’s attributes remain: cars, roads taken and the elegance of the women encountered; all viewed through the fantasies of a young girl. As for the Dirty Scenes, although they remain discreet, they reveal a little more femininity. For the first time since Katrien de Blauwer was first revealed to the Parisian public, the artist experiments with other formats, different forms and new materials. Here again, let us forget about the question of genre, of its reproducibility and its unicity, because the power of the proposition finds its origin in the indiscriminate reuse of the elements of which the work is composed. It is at once surface, collage, painting and photography.

Sébastien Borderie
  • Opening Saturday, May 18, 2019 3 PM → 8 PM
  • Meeting Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 3 PM

    Dans le cadre du Paris Gallery Weekend, signature à la galerie le dimanche 19 mai à 15H des deux derniers livres de Katrien de Blauwer, publiés aux Editions Libraryman (2019) : « Why I Hate Cars » et « Dirty Scenes »

03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

17, rue des Filles-du-calvaire

75003 Paris

T. 01 42 74 47 05 — F. 01 42 74 47 06


Filles du Calvaire

Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 6:30 PM
Please note that the gallery will observe its usual hours from May 11 to May 16, then from May 18 it will open Thursday — Saturday 11 AM to 6:30 PM

The artist