Thursday, June 25, 2015

Michaël Borremans at Dallas Museum of Art

Michaël Borremans at Dallas Museum of Art

Here the flesh returns to painting as Borremans' waxy version attempting to reestablish a corporeality that Tuymans, Richter, Sasnal paints our distance from. Borremans reconnects the body to its threat. Like early scenes in horror films - prior first blood - Borremans' forebode body-violence by situating it it within disorientating relations, establishing it as flesh. The body is imparted the possibility of being threatened. Borremans' realism exists to position the body capable of bodily "abstraction," (violence) the subtle wavering of flesh constructed by painter using brushstrokes to threaten hurt. Like Guston's plodding version establishing the act of drawing a painting, a Borremans painting loosens (abstracts) to threaten the body what could be done, coming apart with the fragile blow of a stroke. If the trope of horror-films was to die after sex, it was because the carnality established the body as fragile, human, meat; sex filled the character with blood for the destruction to come. I don't watch a lot of horror, but my guess is that there is another equal trope of putting body through some kind of medical examination, or equal expose, a moment to rub lotion into its skin, soften them. Borremans paintings are like that, trying to regain ground lost by those Germans who would coldly render it by giving its corpse (painting and body) back its blood.
Borremans treads dangerously close to the Gottfried Helnwein, a disserving though important relation, it exists as what Borremans is not but could be, treads close to, kitsch-horror. Making Borremans relation with an uncomfortable line plainly silly by having the line already crossed and staked and surveyed by an artist with all the bright lights showing, Hollywood actors writing favorable copy. It's unfortunate for Borremans having the third act of the horror show already known.

And see too: Luc Tuymans at David Zwirner, Andro Wekua at Sprüth Magers, Thomas Eggerer at Richard TellesKaoru Arima at Misako Rosen