“Twenty years after his death, the “V comme visages, V comme Vandycke” exhibition is the first sizeable monograph dedicated to the artist, both as a painter and a poet, as it is accompanied by a book of his poems reissued by Taillis Pré. With it, comes another paradox: overall, we will not remember Vandycke for his portraits. Needless to say, what about his encounters and companions! Just take a look at Bobo, the grandma, candidly looking ahead, tight-lipped with determination, arms crossed and hands aged from doing laundry, the garden and housework. Look at the children’s faces, mostly shown head-on, pale and preoccupied with their dreams. Vandycke did well to hold back from putting them together: they could have been appealing to the point of misunderstanding! Portraits of friends, portraits of women, even in their sleep – including nudes, of course – this is how they reveal their inner thoughts. Nudes acting as the landscape.
Faces are restrained bodies. Countless faces caught on drifting leaves on a café terrace, at a market, during chance meetings in the voracious and constant movement of drawing everything close at hand. In truth, self-portraits, always on the lookout for transformations. The more mystic faces of creatures that are so secretly similar; so comparable but so individual. Horrible faces that we devour, divided faces with multiple eyes, faces eaten away by death, open mouths that only serve as the outline of a hole! Everything is screaming in an earless place. Interior bodies that fully resonate in and outside the workshop, a speechless memory and living beings carrying us away.” (Lucienne Strivay, exhibition commissioner).