MAASTRITCH, Netherlands–––Flemish artist Johan Tahon’s exhibition Wir überleben das Licht at Bonnefanten Museum consisted of new and existing works (January 26 – February 12, 2018).
Translated into English as We Survive the Light, the exhibition features achromatic, monumental figurative sculptures imbue a reverential, monastic feel. Fantastic, mythic, even biblical, with their twisted limbs, wings, horse and golem-like torsos, each appears to be the physical manifestation of its own psychology. Each, introspective and alluring.
Tahon likes the combination of tangibility and spirituality, believing that this link forms a necessary completeness. The ceramic work is remarkable for the way it is bathed in glaze, lending it a ritual character in Johan’s eyes. Cut-outs, perforations and distortions refer to the deepest psychology.
The works were constructed from a combination of different materials: plaster and ceramics, ceramics and bronze, and bronze and plaster.
Inspired by Tahon’s work, German musician and poet Till Lindemann, frontman of the band Rammstein, wrote five poems for the occasion, which were shown alongside the exhibition.
The artist’s contemplative figures and albarelli (apothecary jars) were also featured at the Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics December 2, 2017 – November 25th, 2018. Johan Tahon: Monk was the artist’s first solo museum exhibition.
About the artist: Since 1994 Johan Tahon exhibits his work on a regular basis in Belgium as well as abroad. In 1996, he caught the attention of Belgium’s most influential curator and museum director Jan Hoet (e.g. Documenta 9), who made it possible for Tahon to interact with world level artists in the internationally renowned exhibition De Rode Poort in the Ghent Museum of Contemporary Art (with a.o. Luc Tuymans, Vito Acconci and Sam Taylor-Wood). From then on Tahon got the full support of Hoet and Tahon started exhibiting his work at different galleries and in prominent museums across Europe, solo or combined with works of a.o. Ilya Kabakov, Günther Förg, Tony Cragg and Stephan Balkenhol.