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.
BEVERLY BAKER - LATITUDE ARTIST, USA
American artist (Latitude Artist, Kentucky), Beverly Baker initially works from administrative documents that she pinches from her work place or from pages ripped out of magazines or books. This initial material is then covered with multiple layers of letters, words and lines of colour.
Through regular visits to the workshops, Beverly Baker’s creations gradually cut loose from the text to become more graphic. The three pieces exhibited here demonstrate this. We are confronted with art that is verging on tapestry and contrasts with the simplicity of the medium. As, regardless of the evolution of her work, Beverly Baker always turns to the same modest instruments: biros, pencils or marker pens.
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.
WILLI BEGENAT - ATELIER KREATIVEN WERKSTATT, Germany
Using a rod dipped in paint, Willi Begenat (1940-1995), painted small motifs on a background of watercolours. The fruit of the artist’s patience and concentration, the motifs appeared and arranged themselves on the canvas or paper.
The piece exhibited here, evokes cave art, crawling with characters or creatures to form an intensely-populated abstract landscape.
Dorothy Berry - Arts Projects Australia
An Australian artist from Arts Projects Australia, Dorothy Berry likes to vary the media and techniques that she uses, sometimes within the same creation. She is the architect of fantasy mythical creatures including many birds.
Places to Exist showcases one of the wonderful parrots created by the artist. The staid bird shows us which path to take. Or, in all his glory, is he giving us some kind of warning?
Christine Cattebeke - Ateliers De Zandberg, Belgium
A regular at the De Zandberg workshops, Christine Cattebeke creates fine art with very bright colours, mixing oils and pastels.
Her pieces are quite repetitive and follow the same structure; the subjects – flowers, people, houses and mushrooms – appear in accordance with regular motifs. The piece in the Places to Exist exhibition is a perfect example of this.
On one occasion, Christine Cattebeke moved away from her creative pattern: a non-figurative textile creation made up of coloured squares and rectangles.
Valerio Ciccone - Arts Project Australia
Australian, Valerio Ciccone, has regularly attended the Arts Project Australia workshops in Melbourne for almost forty years.
Although she sometimes creates etchings or ceramic sculptures, Valerio Ciccone’s main work features drawings originating from daily press cuttings; front-page businessmen or politicians that become the subject of her portraits when transformed text is not the only object of her representations.
The piece exhibited here features intense grey and black charcoal drawings profiling the list of streets in the Melbourne neighbourhoods familiar to the artist.
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.
Robert De Zaeytijdt - CRÉAHMBXL, Belgium
Robert De Zaeytijdt (1929-1999) regularly attended the fine art workshops at the Créahm in Brussels from 1984 to 1998. During a relatively short period, he created an abstract and powerfully poetic piece. The artist used exclusive media such as Ecoline ink and acrylics to apply large, coloured flat tints on paper. These areas were always enhanced by a subtle, almost mathematic, ideographic punctuation using Chinese ink or pastels with graphics that evoked sheet music. Although he limited the use of colour to the point that his work resembled sketches, Robert De Zaeytijdt was also a talented colourist. Emerging from this subtle combination came doubt; a lingering doubt of his intention. This expands our interpretation even further and we can imagine that his compositions are hinting at a landscape or a portrait. Or, are they a form of expression of finely mysterious calligraphy that the artist should have kept secret?
In Robert De Zaeytijdt’s work, two worlds are superimposed, coexisting and complementing one another: the haziness of his innermost thoughts and signs of life that relate his restraint and light touch. An artistic creation which definitively draws us back into our own fragility.
Philippe Dafonseca - La « S » Grand Atelier, Belgium
An artist from La « S » Grand Atelier, in Vielsalm, Philippe Dafonseca creates pieces with a limited range of tones, – the whole spectrum is composed of greys, blacks and beiges – but nevertheless, they are rich and varied.
The artist depicts every-day elements and items as geometric structures and, in this way, forms a unique cartography of reality.
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.
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.
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.
Roland Goossens - CRÉAHMBXL, Belgium
Roland Goossens has regularly attended the Créahm workshops in Brussels since 1988. With a passion for history and geography, he produces drawings to which he often vigorously applies colour. Other than portraits, Goossens creates topographical maps of his journeys or that represent large urban centres. His maps act as a memory of the places he visits from day to day or through books.
Patrick Hannocq - Créahm Région Wallonne, Belgium
Theoretically, Patrick Hannocq’s (Créahm Région Wallonne) fine art work is abstract. However, it features overhead views of urban centres, gigantic buildings, maps or even the exact outline of the artist’s memories. Hannocq’s creations demonstrate, at least up until recently, a fantastic and very precise memory – like his choice of colours and materials or the process of the grid layout that keeps every bit of his work organised.
In Hannocq’s work reserved for Places to Exist, the Trinkhall’s second season, pathways appear, itineraries are invented and roads meet. Along with the artist, we take a path into the heart of the network; its density implied through the saturation of the medium.
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.
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.
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!
Alessandra Michelangelo - Blu Cammello, Italy
Regularly attending the Blu Cammello in Livorno, Alessandra Michelangelo (1961-2009), originally named Alessandra Brigiotti, is the creator of a polymorphous piece.
His painting work is resolutely more abstract than figurative. He put together symbols, drawing us back into our own interior universes and our secret places.
Jean-Jacques Oost - La « S » Grand Atelier, Belgium
Recently deceased, Jean-Jacques Oost regularly attended La « S » Grand Atelier, in Vielsalm, for thirty years.
In 1995, at a nude-themed exhibition, his output took a radical turn. From then on, Jean-Jacques Oost was almost exclusively devoted to representing female nudity. From time to time, the attitudes adopted by the artist’s skinny and sensual women were very suggestive but never obscene. They stayed in position, occasionally out of all context and suddenly appeared in our lives where they strongly prevailed.
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.
Dimitri Pietquin - La maisonnée, Belgium
Since 1978, at La Maisonnée workshop in Haut-Ittre, Dimitri Pietquin has been developing a graphic piece that lies somewhere between writing and portrayal.
Dimitri Pietquin’s pieces that feature in the Places to Exist exhibition, are stone slabs that mark out our landscapes and help us to make headway in places that have occasionally become arduous to cross.
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.
Elmar Schafer - Créahm Fribourg, Switzerland
Elmar Schafer has regularly attended Créahm Fribourg workshops for over twenty years. He is the creator of a strong and colourful acrylic piece in which the mountainous landscapes rise up and seem to fly away under the effect of the wind.
Piet Schopping - Atelier Jans Pakhuys, Netherlands
Born in 1955 in Hilversum, Piet Schopping is the creator of the largely two-dimensional piece in blank marker pen, pencil and acrylics. Writing is highly featured, recounting, from within the landscapes created by the artist, a story to which he alone holds the key.
The felt-pen cows of the composition on show melt into the landscape to form waves in the meadow which has become impossible for us to tell if it is grass or sea.
Jeanine Simon - La « S » Grand Atelier, Belgium
Jeanine Simon joined La « S » Grand Atelier in Vielsalm in 1995 when she had just lost her job. She had to free herself from the anxiety of self-indulgence to gradually find her own path. In 2002, Jeanine Simon ceased all production after the MADmusée, now the Trinkhall Museum, held a retrospective exhibition dedicated to her work.
Most of Jeanine Simon’s work maintains some form of naivety whether you consider its form or contents. From the whole of her work, a few remarkable pieces stand out: captivating vegetables – or still life? – powerfully prevailing.
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.
Louise Tournay, Belgium
Louise Tournay (1925-2010), nicknamed Loulou, initially a carer, left her job in 1966 after getting married.
She then turned to artistic pursuits, taking courses in model and sculpture creation before joining the Liège Royal Academy of Fine Art in 1977. However, the demands of the teachers discouraged her and they eventually left Louise Tournay to her own devices.
Louise Tournay created a large quantity of small sculptures, between 15 and 25cm tall, that depicted people from her entourage or reinterpreted famous pieces like Bruegel’s The Blind.
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.
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.
André Wostijn - Ateliers De Zandberg, Belgium
André Wostijn regularly attends the De Zandberg workshop. Through his workshop experience and collaborations with other artists, he has developed a very personal fine art language, half way between written language and graphics.
Although influential, Wostijn’s work maintains a certain degree of spontaneity; it is playful, positive and tinged with enthusiasm. His current work is polymorphous and brightly coloured: he creates poetry – that he either performs or writes – graphics, collages, drawings and paintings. Sometimes he creates multimedia compositions with all the elements mixing together.