Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Il n'y a de dieu qu'à l'image de l'homme - © Johan Muyle "Fantastique, j'aime, j'aime, j'aime...:0)))"

Johan Muyle has Left The Building – drawings, photographs & sculptures

“… One day in May, finding myself unexpectedly a guest in an English seaside villa, I allowed myself to be seduced by the idea of slipping some drawings and sculptures into the orderly chaos of this charmingly nostalgic house. Once my sense of curiosity and readiness to respond to the unforeseen had been aroused, the notions of ‘serendipity’ or ‘happenstance’ have led me to freely explore and take advantage of the unexpected, to think outside of the box, in search of a new way of experiencing things that question the status of the work of art…”. Extract of a conversation between Johan Muyle and Christine Gist, July 2014

Johan Muyle was born in Charleroi, Belgium in 1956, he lives and works in Liège and Brussels. His work has been exhibited in both private galleries and art centres in Belgium and abroad. In 1999 Muyle had a solo exhibition at University of Brighton Gallery as part of Brighton Festival and in 2000 he was commissioned to make a new work for a solo exhibition at Aspex, Portsmouth.

Is there life before death? - © Johan Muyle M. LANDER -2006

He has participated in numerous international contemporary art exhibitions and biennials (São Paulo 1998, Milan 2001, Poznan 2010 and Szczecin 2012) and his work is held in both public and private collections in Europe and North America. Between 1985 and 1994, Muyle focused primarily on assemblage sculptures that were animated using found materials. These works were exhibited at Magasin de Grenoble and Villa Arson, France as well as in various solo and group exhibitions in Europe.

In 1993, Muyle decided to leave behind the intimate world of his studio and travel to Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) with the goal of working with local artists and craftsmen. During various trips he encountered Kinshasa artists such as Chéri Samba (with whom he continued to work with in Europe through published interviews) and street children who created craft objects in collaboration with Muyle. These objects would later be integrated into sculptures that evoked Muyle’s impression of his African travels (the problems of the Mobuto era, looting, famine, AIDS).

Don't Speak To Me Of Love - © johan Muyle 2009

Between 1995 and 2006 Muyle devoted himself to large scale commissioned works. He created installations comprised of monumental animated paintings executed jointly with ‘cine banner’ artists from Tamil Nadu in southeast India. In 2003, this collaboration with the poster artists, whose traditional technique has all but vanished, resulted in a 1,000 square metre fresco at Brussels North station, entitled Je te promets un miracle (I Promise You a Miracle).

Since the end of 2004 Muyle has resumed his work with motorised assemblage sculptures, utilising new technologies, made from objects found during his travels or online. These pieces take a uniquely critical, poetically distanced look at the human condition, religious extremism, the disappearance of collective utopias and current affairs.

Mamiwata ou la vie comme elle va - © Johan Muyle M. LANDER 1993

Since 1991 Muyle has used sketchbooks to record his preparatory studies for objects and installations. The unique nature of Muyle’s work which combines aspects of vanitas, carnivalesque and humanism make him an inheritor of the Belgian artistic tradition and one of its contemporary representatives. His inclusion in the ‘Visionary Belgium’ exhibition curated by Harald Szeemann at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels in 2005 attests to this as does his participation in ‘ABC Art Belge Contemporain’ at Le Fresnoy – Studio National des Arts Contemporains, France, curated by Dominique Païni in 2012 and the acquisition of the large scale work ‘Het Zwarte Schaap – Hommage à James Ensor’ by Middelheim Museum, Antwerp in 2010.

Since 2006 Muyle has directed the sculpture studio at École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de la Cambre in Brussels.  view more of Muyles’s works

Opening reception (RSVP to on Wednesday 10 September 2014 from 19.00-20.30. Exhibition at St Benedict 81 Pevensey Road St Leonards-on-Sea TN38 0LR: Friday 12 September 14.30-17.30, Saturday 13 September 12.00-17.00, Sunday 14 September 13.00-17.00 and by appointment on Saturday 20 September & Sunday 21 September.

Posted 15:39 Wednesday, Sep 3, 2014 In: Public Arts

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