Côte à côte
OPENING 17 October
Exhibition > 15 November 2020
Geukens & De Vil, KNOKKE
Photocredits: David Samyn, 2020.
Where sculpture, painting and found objects find each other side by side, where the absurd and the uncanny meet: that is where works by D.D. Trans emerge. The artist’s pseudonym refers to a former transport company, but also opens a window to a very important aspect of his work: transformation.
D.D. Trans finds and selects daily objects, to transform them into new shapes and meanings. The title ‘Côte à côte’ (meaning side by side) is the most natural thing in the world for this artist who places seemingly incompatible or unexpected items side by side. While doing so, he questions contemporary art and artistry in a light, intelligent way.
Indirectly, D.D. Trans reflects on one of the greatest and most widely practiced arts: painting. Colorful dots of paint are gently placed on a toothbrush or branch. The colors remain pure and unmixed. There are similar colored dots on a white dustcoat. The painter's palette also recurs a few times: an empty mixing palette as a breakfast plate, or a watercolor palette that serves as a kind of birthday cake, the candles half-burnt, and fixed in a crooked position.
Using the colorful strips of a plastic fly curtain, he creates a layered circle, which brings to mind the ‘targets’ of color field painter Kenneth Noland: the longer you look, the more the colors seem to melt into each other. The work has an irresistible pull, which keeps you dwelling in this spiral of color.
The inherent references to our daily culture give the oeuvre somewhat of a popart atmosphere. Yet it also surpasses the presenting of ‘ordinary’ commercial objects as art. A milk bottle balancing symmetrically on top of a perfect replica of its own bottle cap is an example of inversion. Cardboard boxes being turned inside out, a house of cards made of matchboxes, and two little bottles of glue being intricately connected: these are all snapshots of the world turned upside down. These objects have been freed of their intentional functions, and are in search of a new life. A lighter, inseparably attached to a can of hairspray, like a slightly flammable, destructive, yet addictive relationship. ‘Keep dreaming’, it says on the lighter: one can hardly be more hopeful.
Those inside-out cereal boxes and stacked matchboxes also evoke architectural shapes. D.D. Trans does not dismantle, he builds. The works best function side by side in an architectural context, in a scenography that is well-considered for the space, and where they can communicate with each other. The relationship and distance to the works are crucial. Their raison d'être changes according to the viewer's perspective. With his simple actions and combinations, D.D. Trans offers us a new, refreshing perspective on the objects, shapes and works of art with which we share our daily life.
D.D. Trans received several solo exhibitions at Richard Fonke Gallery in Ghent in the 1990s. More recently, he showed his work at, among others, Gallery Valerie Traan in Antwerp, Loom Gallery in Milan, Martin Kudlek Gallery in Cologne and Galerie Ramakers in The Hague. His works are part of numerous collections, such as M HKA, Antwerp; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar; and Collezione La Gaia, Busca. ‘Côte à côte’ is his first solo exhibition at Geukens & De Vil.