Fondation Thalie - Inhabiting Intimacy - Brussels, Belgium

Fondation Thalie
Inhabiting Intimacy (Habiter l’intime)
24 October - 7 December, 2019


This exhibition—spearheaded by Nathalie Guiot—features works on paper culled from private collections in Brussels, which are presented like a cabinet of curiosities.

The kind participation of collectors (Isabel Bourne, Yolande De Bontridder, Frederic de Goldschmidt, Cedric Lienart de Jeude) and Anne Pontégnie’s expert gaze shaped the exhibition.

More than 80 artists are included, amongst them: Francis Alÿs, Joël Andrianomearisoa, Louise Bourgeois, Ulla von Brandenburg, Isabelle Cornaro, Wim Delvoye, Mark Dion, Lionel Estève, Paul-Armand Gette, Camille Henrot, Fabrice Hybert, Pierre Le-Tan, Karine Rougier, George Segal, Jim Shaw, Franz West…

The Fondation Thalie will present Inhabiting Intimacy (Habiter l’intime): an exhibition that doubles as a cabinet of curiosities and brings together a selection of works on paper from private collections in Brussels. In the context of Brussels Drawing Week—and echoing the Art on Paper fair at the Bozar in Brussels—more than 150 works will cover the fondation’s walls.

Collectors in Brussels have agreed to share works on paper. Each collector made a list, and rediscovered buried treasures he or she had forgotten. With almost adolescent excitement, they found themselves; they confronted their gazes; they created associations, bridges… yielding this ephemeral, graphic-heavy cabinet of curiosities, an exhibition that’s a bit trenchant. Over one hundred works by artists from various horizons hang across the walls, unified through the medium of paper and its fragility.

Seen together, this confluence of works questions our identities, our desires, our solitude. It reaches down into the depths of our souls, our bodies and the visceral network that we pretend to overlook.

Traveling into erotic and secret dreams, getting drunk on the frenetic and smoky features of ink and charcoal, or like a voyeur, observing the sexual activities of a clandestine couple, or confronting the shameless exhibitionism of a portrait…

It’s a pictorial journey that displays the exuberance of our beings, of our multiple identities. Living is diluted by the habits we practice… Let’s free ourselves from social pageantry, let down the masks, wander…

To inhabit the intimate is a maze, a labyrinth for those with curiosity; in the intimacy of the domestic space of the Fondation, there are preparatory drawings that shape a collective utopia, others like joyous attempts at mineral or chromatic abstraction, stemming from the lyricism of the artist.

The body is a habitat, idealized, exhibited, mutilated by some demiurgic forces. The psychedelic graphic cabinet envelops and provokes the viewer—there discovering, hopefully, in the infinite interpretations of these proposals, his or her inner sanctum, a part of his or her soul, yin and yang… It’s just turning on the switch.
Benevolent humility by Francis Alys, the bare body by Paul-Armand Gette, the poetry of gesture by Helena Almeida, eruptions by Arnulf Rainer, etc.—an infinite maelstrom, farcical, an invitation to go beyond the borders of good taste.

About the Fondation Thalie
The Fondation Thalie—first called ThalieLab—was created in 2014 by the collector and philanthropist Nathalie Guiot. The foundation’s mission is to support, promote and disseminate contemporary creation committed to societal themes. The goals are cultural transmission, exchange and knowledge-sharing. This support is manifested through exhibitions featuring emerging artists, plus residencies and production grants. As an incubator of thought, the foundation is committed to defending and promoting a collective intelligence in the field of arts and culture.
The Fondation Thalie has just closed its open call for projects on the theme of Chroniques Européennes (European Chronicles), which will allot a production grant to artists and writers. The winners will be announced at the beginning of December.

Photo: view of the exhibition Inhabiting Intimacy (Habiter l’intime), Fondation Thalie, October 2019, Brussels © Laetizia Debain