Lot 14
Post-War & Contemporary Art Auction | 14 October 2020
Walter Swennen (1946)

La complainte (The Complaint)

signed with initials and dated 'WS 90' and titled (on the reverse)

oil and lacquer on board, 122x110 cm

Property from the Egbert and Loes Dommering Collection, Amsterdam, acquired in 1990 from Galerie Nouvelles Images, The Hague.

The Hague, Galerie Nouvelles Images, 'Belgicisme Belicht. Acht kunstenaars uit België', 7 July - 18 August 1990, (illustrated in the exhibition catalogue).

Images and their effects: Imagination in the Plural

“Swennen’s paintings transcend all pictorial necessity. The medium is a means, not an aim. Paint and brush are pretences, just alibis.

His canvases are inhabited by sketchy, simplified, figurative, lightly, and fleetingly recorded motifs without context, which are very (often immediately) identifiable. Some contain a solitary image, others hold different motifs in surprising combinations without obvious correlations, or show mixed images originating from the combination/fusion of unequal motifs. Always striking are the visual impact of the image composition, the contrasting effect between image and background and the freedom, the absence of all hierarchic relations among the different motifs.

Because of the resolute absence of evident connections, reason is experienced as an obstruction to undergo the effect of the images. Therefore, we must loosen the reins of reason unconditionally. The final painting is not the final stage. Sprung from the artist’s imaginative power - in which the associations of images, forms and concepts are continually playing leapfrog - it is potentially a starting point for the spectator’s imagination. It is an explicit invitation to continue the imagination of the artist, a personal link which can turn the storyless images into a different unity for each individual spectator, on the condition that he feels involved. This is of course facilitated by the nature and origin of the motifs, which seems to be remnants of larger visual stories emerging from long gone, faraway dreams. Before we fully realize it, fragments of ‘visual conversations’ are created with memories stored in the mind’s reservoir.

Starting from Swennen’s images the spectator is thus standing face to face with his own imagination which drops him after an imaginary flight in the world of this own childhood/youth/past. Or to put it in [Just] Havelaar’s words: ‘The imagination is a recovery of the unconscious childhood dreams after the agony of our conscious maturity’” (Bart Cassiman in: ‘Walter Swennen’, exhib. cat. Stadsgalerij Heerlen & Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp 1990)

Voor deze kunstenaar is volgrecht van toepassing.

€ 15.000,00
€ 25.000,00
€ 50.000,00

Hamerprijs: € 50.000