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The Nelson-Freeman Gallery is pleased to present a new exhibtion of the Belgian artist Lili Dujourie. Through varied media such as video, collages, photography, sculpture, and installations, Lili Dujourie provokes an intellectual, sensual, and poetic commitment on the part of the spectator. Her work has been displayed in exhibitions on the international scene since the beginning of the 1970s. In 2005, the « Jeux de Dames » exhibition (exhibition manager : Lynne Cooke) at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussells was devoted to her work. She recently presented her work at the MOCA of Los Angeles in the WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution exhibition, in Kassel on the occasion of Documenta 12, and in June 2008 at the Biennale in Le Havre. This summer another exhibition featured her work at the Creux de l'Enfer in Thiers, and from September 5 to November 9, 2008 she participated in the Gwandju Biennale in Korea.
For her fourth exhibition at our gallery, Lili Dujourie presents a very recent series of nine terra cotta sculptures on the ground floor. Of a bone or plant-like appearance, the sculptures are placed on shelves, pedestals, or metal tables.
After cloth, marble, plaster, steel, or even iron, the artist uses clay for the first time, and she thus indicates her interest in rethinking contemporary sculpture. Clay is a material that makes it possible to reverse the essence of things, from the initial substance of creation to a new opening or a beginning. So it is at the beginning stage a meeting of the hand and the earth, the most natural meeting, the most essential one that exists.
Lili Dujourie thus pursues her experiments on sculpture by working clay with her fingers, palm, and fist. Expressionistic and organic, the 'Initialen der Stilte' (« Les initiales du silence » ), 'Memoires van de handen ' (« Mémoires des mains ») and 'Sneldicht ' (« Epigramme) series oscillate between the figurative and the abstract, suggesting the possibility of varied objects, creatures or shapes, while simutaneously maintaining a flexible imagination.
On the second floor three marble sculptures dating from the 1990s are presented. The two works from the « Dimanche après-midi à Berlin » series evoke, through their title and shape, a fictitious space - a space of dreams and memories - an inaccessible but possible world. Composed of two or three flat pieces of white and green marble, these sculptures are juxtaposed to the floor and the wall like shadows in a play of lights. Whereas marble is a rigid and heavy material par exellence, the colors and ondulations give the sculptures an impression of movement and lightness.
Conversely, 'Stil Licht' (« Silent Light ») lies in the middle of space with no contact with the walls around it. More radical and abstract than the previous series, the contrast between black and white - shadow and light - of the 9 superposed slabs of marble evokes the very foundations of the perspective.
Abstract at first sight, these works unveil their humanity little by little. Each sculpture thus reveals its own personality, its own energy, and thus requires more or less space. Through all her experiments in sculpture, Lili Dujourie offers us her vision of the essence of our mental activity, of our identity.
A catalogue of the works of the new series will soon be available.