Zonder titel (Souvenir) [Untitled (Souvenir)]

Walter Swennen


Leaflet, 231 x 150 cm.
Materials: oil paint, paper, canvas

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BK005124).

What we see in Walter Swennen’s paintings is seemingly easily recognizable. When, however, we try to arrive at a deeper interpretation of the works, we get stuck. Why the windmill? What exactly has happened, or will happen? Why such dark surroundings? In the end, the easily named images appear not so recognizable, nor as unambiguous, as all that. The works raise more questions than they answer. And it is precisely here that lays the power of Swennen’s art. Not the painting or the drawing as end-stage, but the process that takes place when we look at the work. Swennen provides us with some tools, stepping stones for starting a personal journey through his works. While at first we could still follow the artist via the nameable motif, could laugh along with it and understand it, to get any further we soon have to take a leap in the dark. For behind the recognizable elements there hides a deep void. The artist leads us only up to a point, and from there we are left to our own thoughts, feelings and fantasies.

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