Lieve Hakkers, Sander Breure & Witte van Hulzen at tegenboschvanvreden

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“After the guests have left . . .” proposes a moment of domestic intimacy. A clever positioning of works in the gallery entrance immerses the viewer in a spatial pull between sculptural humor and painterly melancholy. Made of an upright rectangular slab of bronze mounted on a metal pedestal, Sander Breure & Witte van Hulzen’s Doorman, 2022, takes the shape of an archetypal monument only to dismantle the trope. The artists draped a pair of white headphones over the statue’s “head,” threading their cable through a keyhole located at roughly navel height, and placed a pair of slippers and socks haphazardly at the base. Despite its lack of features, the stele appears almost human or, at the very least, like an artwork turned coat hanger.

Lieve Hakkers’s painting Monsters Having Dinner, 2023, seems, at first, to be entirely abstract. Light-blue hues contrast with thicker strokes of brown tempera layered in wispy curves on the absorbent surface. Only after carefully studying the blotted forms can the viewer decipher two figures gazing at each other in profile, a mirrored composition reminiscent of the famous optical illusion Rubin’s vase. The painting TV Kisses, 2023, repeats the blue palette to depict a luridly lit kissing scene broadcast on a television. Within the dark living room, the screen sheds its cold light on a supine body on a couch, rounding out the narrative of a quiet night in, the host at last alone in their own house.

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