Adolpho Avril - La « S » Grand Atelier, Belgium
Adolpho Avril has regularly attended La “S” Grand Atelier in Vielsalm since 2003. A talented etcher, he is an artist with a prolific body of work. He frequently collaborates with the artist Olivier Deprez.
Adolpho Avril has created a very personal universe, populated with dark heroes. Après la mort, après la vie (publication FRMK, 2014), a joint project with O. Deprez, or even the scream tearing through the exhibition spaces here, a testament of the immense power of the artist’s fine art.
SILVANO BALBIANI - ADRIANO E MICHELE, ITALY
Italian artist, Silvano Balbiani, was regularly attending Adriano and Michele’s workshop in San Colombano al Lambro Artiste when he produced this series.
Coating the surface with acrylic, Silvano Balbiani discovered motifs and set to work to make them appear.
The selection chosen for Places to Exist showcases every-day objects – a pipe, a hat, a spinning-top – is magnified by the artist’s expressive force.
Samuel Cariaux - Créahm Région Wallonne, Belgique
Musician, Circassian artist, dancer and plastic artist, Samuel Cariaux is a “complete” artist who has regularly visited the Créahm workshops in Liège.
Strongly influenced by Japan - Samourai, calligraphy, sushi and Manga - Samuel Cariaux also draws his influence from the most sensual photography from adverts.
At the Trinkhall from January 2023, Samuel Cariaux has taken up a new form of expression: etching. Some of these kind of creations are on show here.
Anne De Gelas, Belgium
A photographer for over thirty years, Brussels-born Anne De Gelas has more than twenty personal exhibitions to her name and a large number of collective exhibitions, both in Belgium and abroad. She has also written several publications (Mère et Fils, 2018 ; Une journée (presque) parfaite, 2012 ; Le secret ou la question du journal intime, 2008).
A series of Polaroids by artist, Anne de Gelas, is on display. Her wonderful still-life photography is part of the long history of Western figuration and draws us equally into our most contemporary and timeless inner selves. As with so many other artists in the Trinkhall collection, in her still life photographs, Anne De Gelas is faithful to the here and now to the point of it becoming a necessity.
Pierre De Peet - Créahmbxl, Belgium
Pierre De Peet (1929-2019) was one of the leading artists from the CréahmBxl workshops, where he worked for almost thirty years from August 1990 until he passed away in November 2019. From quite a modest background, his poor health ensured that schools were inaccessible to him early on. As he explains in his autobiography, he helped out in the fields and then joined his brother in the family bakery, where he was a labourer for several years. In August 1990, at the age of 60, he joined the Créahm workshops. There, he gradually developed an overwhelmingly intense fine art body of work: drawings, paintings and etchings. Perfectly clear strokes, an intelligent use of colour, an innate sense of narration and an incomparable and outstanding use of poetry were the main elements of a pictorial form of language or expressionism, sometimes with his most tragic dimensions, which he continuously conversed with a kind of softness and tenderness never seen before. Pierre De Peet’s view of the world was both uncompromising and extremely indulgent. He leafed through magazines and art books, images of constellations, emotions and events, the thread of an elected chronicle of the nature of life, at its best and, occasionally, at its worst, people and the body seized by the nudity of existence, taking us back imperceptibly, to our own pain and our own hopes.
Frédéric Deschamps - Ateliers De Zandberg, Belgium
Kept in the Black Box next to Maurice Pirenne’s paintings, there are small parallelepipedal
sculptures. These are Frédéric’s “secret boxes.”
A versatile artist from the De Zandberg workshops, Frédéric Deschamp is, first and foremost, a fine artist, but he is also an actor and dancer. He also creates remarkable sound recordings. Both fragile and brutal, subtle and direct, his work is imprinted with mystery and resembles a game of hide-and-seek: there is always something hidden behind whatever is explicitly identifiable or recounted.
Places to Exist: when his mother died, Frédéric Deschamp, created a series of boxes, like ceramic coffins. On their exterior surfaces, the artist shares messages with the viewers. In certain pieces, he has also placed clay slabs; these are the secrets that he does not want to reveal.
Julien Detiège - CRÉAHMBXL, Belgium
As part of the partnership between l’Espace Muséal d’Andenne (EMA) and the Trinkhall Museum, Brussels artist, Julien Detiège, was hosted by the EMA on 10 and 11 February, 2022.
With the benefit of having a space dedicated to ceramic work, the EMA offered Julien Detiège and Jeanne Bidlot (his partner in crime from the CRÉAHMBXL workshops) a fitting space to create a new sculpture.
This was created by special request for the Trinkhall Museum as part of our second season of Places to Exist. Numerous examples of Julien Detiège’s work are here.
Julien Detiège’s earthenware is a surprising collection of portraits of women from his entourage, like three-dimensional labyrinths that feature emotions and behaviour within the world. The faces and bodies are elevated to the fragile architecture of living beings. Identities reform into places and portraits act as landscapes.
L’Espace muséal d’Andenne (EMA)
Based within the recently-renovated “Phare,” l’Espace muséal d’Andenne is, notably, dedicated to promoting all forms of ceramic.
The EMA maintains a friendship with the Trinkhall Museum, but also, a lovely collaboration in terms of fine arts. Also, in 2023, the two institutions decided to hold a joint exhibition entitled “With or Without Soul.” Julien Detiège’s residence in Andenne is one of the first stages of this.
Founded in 1983 by Luc Boulangé, the CRÉAHMBXL workshops offer a creative space, for artists with learning difficulties.
Some of them are part of the Trinkhall Museum collection. The two institutions have the same intention: to promote and disseminate a unique and important side of contemporary art.
Produced by Muriel Thies (Trinkhall Museum) and orchestrated by Calogero Marotta, a film documentary is a memorial of Julien Detiège’s residence at the EMA.
This audio-visual document is broadcast as part of the Places to Exist exhibition and constitutes a fully-fledged part of the scenography.
Aymeric Dodeigne - Créahm Région Wallonne, Belgique
Aymeric Dodeigne has only been visiting the Chréahm Liège workshops for a short time. A fantastic all-rounder, he readily joins in collective projects and likes to rise to new challenges.
In January 2023, he joined the etching workshop at the Trinkhall Museum, thus enriching his creation of new patterns.
Paul Duhem - La Pommeraie, Belgique
Paul Duhem (Blandain, 1919 – Ellignies-Sainte-Anne, 1999) began painting later in life. He was 70 years old when he first crossed the threshold of Bruno Gérard’s workshop, La Pommeraie, where the latter had already been resident for decades. His work, now circulated widely, is represented in numerous public and private collections. It remains completely in the artistry of drawing and painting, ad libitum, the same motifs which are used endlessly, always identical and always different, essentially, faces and doors with the same interior motifs which are also on show on his page, – Paul Duhem hoc fecit ! – through the intelligent, non-exhaustive range of colours and variations, continually leading to the action and daily ritual of painting, with the same ethos and the same tools – pencils, paintbrushes, set squares and protractors, a tin of sardines – where there are deposits of the pigments.
Johan Geenens - Ateliers De Zandberg, Belgique
Born in 1970, Johan Geenens has regularly visited the De Zandberg workshops since 2002.
A member of the Wild Classical Music Ensemble, Johan Geenens is also, maybe above all, the creator of major plastic works and now enjoys wide recognition.
His work - etchings, drawings and paintings - seems to indicate great restraint, of course through its contents, but also through the choice of extremely simple, even frugal materials. Johan Geenens’s creations are long haul, mobilizing the artist for weeks. The result is breathtaking, particularly the acrylics which portray the necessity of artistic creation.
Irène Gérard - La S Grand Atelier, Belgique
Born in Eupen in 1958, Irène Gérard has regularly visited “ La S Grand Atelier” since 2007.
Irène Gérard’s faces and bodies are made from pieces and fragments with the artist reassembling them one on top of the other. It’s a form of kintsugi: With the same action, Irène Gérard reconditions the beings she unveils and also the cracks. Thus, reminding us of our shared condition: fragility.
Giga - Blu Cammelo, Italie
A regular visitor of the Blu Cammello since 2008, Giga can very easily reproduce any image. A lover of words, he likes to illustrate prose just as much as poetry - he has also participated in several publication projects - and he often accompanies his images with text.
Since the beginning of 2021, Giga has devoted his time to a new project: large format reproductions of comic books from which he takes the dialogue.
The pieces on show here are deserted places, uninhabited towns; their existence indicated through the dialogues accompanying the images. Inspired by various comic books, the text is reworked and adapted according to the depicted situations.
Jean-Marie Heyligen - Home André Livémont, Belgium
Jean-Marie Heyligen (Ath, Belgium, 1961) is a plural-form artist: painter, etcher, sculptor. For over forty years, with endless patience, he has played the role of talking about important things in a way that is beyond words – stunned faces, abandoned and naked bodies, Indians from another world, knights from another time, all drawn into the irresolute enigma of shapes, strokes, materials, colours, images and things. The long-lasting theme of Jean-Marie Heyligen’s work is organised knick-knacks, constantly metamorphosing due to everything we secretly go through from childhood to adulthood.
Joseph Hofer - Atelier de Ried, Autriche
Born in 1945 in Wegscheid, Josef Hofer entered the Lebenshilfe in Ried im Innkreis in 1992. Five years later, then aged 52, he joined the Fine Arts workshop organized by art historian, Elisabeth Telsnig.
Josef Hofer’s creations were transformed after the artist acquired a three-pane mirror in the early 2000s. Observing at his leisure, from then on, Hofer devoted the majority of his creations to the male body. It was a lustful body which, when playing with the mirrors, was multiplied, showing both the front and back when he didn’t directly confront the mirror image - often quite crudely.
Josef Hofer used pencil and paper - color or lead; in his first creations, he sometimes turned to watercolor.
The works in the exhibition are “L’événement d’être là” which totally reveals Josef Hofer’s work on the body and desire. They belong to la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles and were acquired in 2014 and put into storage in the Trinkhall Museum.
Alexis Lippstreu - La Pommeraie, Belgique
Alexis Lippstreu (Suresnes, 1972) regularly visits the Fine Arts workshop at La Pommeraie.
With limited materials - pencil, paper - Alexis Lippstreu creates fantastic copies of the paintings of the masters. Gauguin’s, Manet’s or Velasquez’s scenes are reinterpreted, reinvented within infinite series. Each drawing is a variation on the main theme, endless, always taking over and adding more to the craft. Whether a reworking or a new page of the history of art, Alexis Lippstreu’s work cuts to the bone with great restraint and art consumed by starkness, revealing the heart of the most famous paintings.
With almost hypnotic reiteration, Alexis Lippstreu’s work also acts as an invitation to contemplate the workshop relationships between the artists and the person referred to as “the team leader.” What is possible at the workshop and what is forbidden? What happens when a certain book devoted to a certain artist disappears and, along with it, one of the main sources of inspiration? What path or enclosure do pastels draw when replaced by lead pencil?
“Naturally, Alexis has not had any artistic education; he had no urgency to create.
When he arrived at La Pommeraie, he found out about my workshop and came along. All his graphic elements were in place. I wouldn’t want to downplay my role, but other than providing him with the materials, being within eyesight, he doesn’t need anything. If I’m not around, it really bothers him; it’s unnecessary to describe the particular relationship that has developed between us over the years. His creativity didn’t surface in secret, silence and solitude; he functions within a workshop around other people and I have a real presence, that I hope is in no way humiliating. On a daily basis, he is in the company of colleagues who motivate and encourage him. Alexis is able to take a step back from our world and put himself in his own bubble where time - our time - no longer exists. These are the magic moments that he repeats every day. There is a whole vocabulary that he doesn’t know: artist-œuvre-gallery-museum... On the other hand, whether or not he pays much interest in his exhibitions, the travel, previews and restaurant surrounding them are completely fundamental and he remembers every detail of his experiences for many years to come. Of course he has no interest in money whatsoever; he doesn’t know its value and it’s certainly not the driving force of his creativity. Nor is he interested in the future of his work […] He never considers its future and, when he finishes a drawing, he puts it away on the shelf and immediately forgets about it. I even think that we could throw it away and it would have no effect on him. My current role is to protect, catalog and circulate his work.” (Excerpt from Bruno Gérard’s, “Alexis Lippstreu. Gauguin, Degas, Leonardo de Vinci and co…” Alexis Lippstreu, Liège, MADmusée-Créahm Région Wallonne, 2012, p. 11-12.)
Ronny MacKenzie - Project Ability, United kingdom
Ronny MacKenzie regularly attended the Project Ability artistic workshop (Glasgow) when he produced the piece showcased at the Trinkhall Museum. We currently have no information about this artist.
Alain Meert - Créahm Région Wallonne, Belgium
As an active participant of the Créahm Liège workshops since 1996, Alain Meert has given the Trinkhall Museum one of his emblematic pieces: Le musée idéal (2019). His artworks are a central part of a pirate ship set up on the Museum’s grand floor, just as much as the people and projects important to the artist. This piece presents itself as a metaphor of our museum policy.
Alain Meert is also an incredible copyist. Reproductions of animals or still life are transformed by his hands. The Places to Exist exhibition mainly draws on this side of his work. In comparison with De Gelas’s Polaroids, Alain Meert’s creations recount the precariousness of our existence with incredible power, as much as its density and extensive complexity.
Alain Meert is one of the three Créahm Région Wallonne artists to join the etching workshop in January 2023. Gradually finding his rhythm and nailing down his style - on zinc, or plastic - Alain Meert is exhibiting a series of portraits.
Le musée idéal d’Alain Meert
The ideal museum is a work created throughout 2019 by one of the leading artists of the Créahm workshops, Alain Meert, in preparation for the opening of the Trink-Hall. The artist answered the question addressed to him - What is a museum? -by means of a sumptuous boat, all sails outside, where nonchalantly drawings, paintings and sculptures are exhibited. It is a theatre of papers, cardboards, objects, multiplied, unusual and familiar presences that fit exactly in between consciences. The whole world that fits in a boat: Alain Meert's ark. And it is a museum, as we want it to be, that navigates by dreaming among ideas, shapes and emotions. Captain (Navy), Alain Meert is a pirate. May we, at the Trink-Hall, let ourselves be led by its thousand ports and its ho ho ho!
Bertha Otoya - Atelier Creativity Explored, USA
Born in Peru, Bertha Otoya regularly attends the American workshop, Creativity Explored.
At the beginning, she devoted herself to textile work, making tapestries and kilts according to traditional Peruvian methods. From 2009 onwards, her work took another path: at this point, Bertha Otoya turned her attention to painting, mostly in black and white. Gradually, etchings became a more important part of her creations: snakes, fish and mysterious creatures popped up on the front of manuscripts; copies of various works ranging from pacts with the devil to Milton’s Paradise Lost.
Three of Bertha Otoya’s pieces are showcased in Places to Exist. Otoya’s creatures slide into place, leading us to a wonderful universe or occasionally worrying depths.
Michel Petiniot - Créahm Région Wallonne, Belgium
Michel Petiniot has regularly attended workshops at the Créahm in Liège for around thirty years. Michel Petinio’s strokes saturate the image space, whether in colour or black and white. Made up of crosshatching and small, geometric shapes mostly created by felt-tip pens, the drawings bring together urban and rural landscapes. The people and animals featured are made up of the same graphic elements as their environment.
Several of the artist’s creations are dotted around the Places to Exist exhibition, notably “La Montagne oculée,” a recent piece (2019).
Michel Petiniot’s mountain looks upon us, wreaking havoc on the lines between humans and non-humans, so that we can perceive the power of expressiveness of moments which with us – like us – make up the world.
In the exhibition, there are two tapestries for us to admire. They emanate from a triptych and result in an exclusive collaboration between Michel Petiniot and Brigitte Corbisier, who has a residency in the Créahm de Liège workshops for several months. The two artists share the same taste in vegetation, insects and garden birds. They have worked together using the medium of sewing, momentarily moving away from their preferred techniques – etching for Brigitte Corbisier, drawing for Michel Petiniot. Patiently and carefully, motifs took shape on their material. While their first goal was to contemplate the issue of animals from a fine art point of view, the artists broadened their intentions to create a genuine depiction of the relationships between existing beings, between living things and our engagement to our environment.
Salvatore Pirchio - Blu Cammello, Italy
Born in 1960, Italian artist Salvatore Pirchio has regularly attended the Blu Cammello since 2009. We have few biographical facts that might help us interpret his work.
His fine art creations and the monochrome ink, mostly depict urban scenes: people in cafes or passers-by in the rain. A very fine example of these creations is showcased in Places to Exist.
Several of the artist’s etchings are also on show. They reveal landscapes that appear to disturb a somewhat mysterious ship sail with great simplicity.
Maurice Pirenne - Belgium
On the first floor of the Museum, the “black box” houses several pictures by the artist we sometimes refers to as the Chardin of the 20th Century. An understated artist, Maurice Pirenne (1872-1968) never attended any academy or art school. Nevertheless, to his benefit, he had a very solid knowledge base. He travelled in Belgium and overseas to strengthen his proficiency and practice his painting technique. Maurice Pirenne returned to his birth town, Verviers, in 1900, and lived there until his death. Pirenne produced even more small-format pieces gradually throughout his career, while his focus was always withdrawn into the intimacy of his inner self – a window sill, a door handle or a bar of soap forming the central subject of his most powerful paintings.
Pascal Tassini - CRÉAHM RÉGION WALLONNE, BELGIQUE
Born in Ans in 1955, Pascal Tassini is a plastic artist with a mental disability. Active for more than twenty years in the workshops of the Créahm Région Wallonne, his work is now recognized worldwide. Among his many achievements: a hut, emblem of his work. Built within the studio where he works, the Cabane is particularly important in the artist's creative process. It is composed of the very material that has made Pascal Tassini's work so special - and renowned -: recycled materials intertwined with each other by means of textile pieces tied together. Located in the heart of the workshop, the hut offers a refuge in Tassini; it is the place that authorizes creation and houses the finished works. It is so emblematic of her work that in 2003, during the monographic exhibition dedicated to her by the MAD, the artist created a variation of the cabin within the walls of the museum. And in 2017, when he exhibited at the Christian Berst Gallery in Paris, Pascal Tassini displayed on the wall a large photographic reproduction of this extraordinary architectural achievement. The Cabin not only occupies a central place in the artist's work, but also represents a major piece of recent art history.
Bob Verschueren, Belgium
In the late 1970s, Brussels artist, Bob Verschueren, abandoned pictorial work in favour of creative arts which proved to be neither Land Art or individual sculptures. Organic and mineral, his creations are always fashioned to make us consider our relationship with places.
Horizons, bright plant topographies, Bob Verschueren most intimately reveals our emotions towards the very idea of places, just like we have been trying to get to grips with – veins, paths, flights, tiny and vibrant landscapes, where internal and external borders fade and give free rein to the mind, which has finally become a thing amongst things.
Pascale Vincke - Créahmbxl, Belgique
A workshop artist at the Créahm in Brussels, from 1986 to 1998, Pascale Vincke’s plastic art activity is mature, intense and brief. Her work largely consists of portraits inspired by magazine pages and adverts. Pascale Vincke uses her painting to twist and transform this glitzy and sparkly world; it breaks free of itself.
“See how the image communicates with the actual edges of the figure within - she messes around with it and literally plays with the frame. Free of affectation, delicately, the interplay of the image and the frame points to the conditions of visible possibility: The image is constantly under the threat of extinction or, in better terms, it seems to be permanently inhabited by a hesitation of existence, an escapist project, simultaneously maintaining its own visibility, the slice of silence and darkness of which it consists and paradoxically makes possible, the silence from which it is born. This is why, without any doubt, it escapes from its origins and guidance through the rituals of demonstration, commerce, inner elation: it stretches towards its edge and also predicates its own appearance.. It has never turned to the inside, it opens up to the troublesome and vast bareness of the outside.” (Excerpt from Carl Havelange, “Les portraits de Pascale Vincke : une anthropologie silencieuse,” Pascale Vincke, Liège, MADmusée-Créahm Région Wallonne, 2006, p. 34.)
Andréa Wellens - Het Zonnelied, Belgium
With the advantage of attending Het Zonnelied workshops in Lennik, Andréa Wellens produced fine art work mostly using pastels or, sometimes, paint.
Although she excels in portraits, the artist also created the superb still life showcased in Places to Exist. This is conveniently in dialogue with the series of Polaroids by Brussels photographer, Anne De Gelas. The two artistic offerings are well-matched in terms of their chromatic range and their comparable intentions.