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Jan Vanriet | Vanity

Jan Vanriet | Vanity

Published on the occasion of the exhibition VANITY at the Roberto Polo Gallery, Brussels, 06.02.2015 – 09.04.2015
€45.00
ISBN: 9789401424165
Sizes: 24,5 x 29 cm
Pages: 240
Cover: hardcover
Publisher: Lannoo / Roberto Polo Gallery | 2015
Text: Charlotte Mullins
Vanriet’s work in this volume, mostly from the last three years, extends to nine series. [The Contract | The Visitor | Emptiness | Halali | Vanity | Bracelet | Salted Meat | City Lights | Opera] Presented in a loosely chronological fashion, each series is divided by short introductions and is punctuated by poems, songs, sketches and watercolours.
These works are the latest in a long and prestigious career that has seen Vanriet represent his country at the SЛo Paulo and Venice biennales and, more recently, stage ambitious exhibitions at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp and the National Museum in Gdansk.
Since 1986, Vanriet’s family history has informed much of his practice, particularly events around World War II. Recent series include ‘The Music Boy’ (P. 11), which depicts his grandmother and uncle – his mother’s twin brother – playing the accordion as a boy before the war. ‘The Homecoming’ (P. 8) shows the effects of the war: the same uncle’s eyes now appear hollow and empty, all youthful vigour and optimism departed. ‘Losing Face’ (2013) included around seventy portraits of some of the 25,000 Jewish and Roma deportees from Dossin Barracks in Malines to Auschwitz. ‘Bella’ (P. 10) is from this series, a head-and-shoulders portrait of an elegant woman in a patterned blouse, feathered hat and veil. Vanriet has painted her without eyes, as if she is fading from view. He has given her a partial identity – she’s no longer a number, but a person with a name. However, the painting suggests, this can never be total, it can never rescind the past...