Art Brussels 2020

Thu, 28 May 2020 – Mon, 15 June 2020


We are pleased to present a selection of Anita Witek, Ian Eric Visser and Yelena Popovas’s latest works at Art Brussels Gallery Viewer.

Currently featuring Yelena Popova.


Anita Witek


As Witek’s main interest lies in the subliminal influence of the photographic environment on our perception and memory, she removes the focal points from the source material by cutting them out. It is the background of these “erased” motifs – the spaces surrounding the depictions as well as the surface structures and fragments that are generally not at the centre of attention – that the artist draws on as her source material. Following the principle of the collage, she layers these elements on top of each other to create imaginary spaces that she then photographs in various stages of the assembly process. By decontextualizing the fragments and transferring them into new, unintended contexts, the artist strives to reveal inherent, latent levels of meaning.


Associating Witek’s photographs with the structure of memory images is in accord with the artist’s methodology, for memory image are – like Witek’s handling of picture fragments – “subjective, highly selective reconstructions, dependent on the situation in which they are recalled”, based on the process of memory as “an act of assembling (‘re-membering’) available data that takes place in the present.”


(Stephanie Damianitsch, Traces of Time, Leopold Museum catalogue, Vienna, 2017


Anita Witek’s solo exhibition, Do It in the Dark, at Akademie Graz, curated by Astrid Kury, is currently on until 26 June.


Ian Eric Visser


Jan Eric Visser’s practice revolves around environmental and ecological problems: waste pollution, shortage of resources, overproduction and rampant consumerism. He uses as his source materials everyday, household inorganic waste to create abstract sculptures. Visser’s practice may be considered a unique personal footprint, raising notions of consumerism and transience, enigma and exigency.


The forms of the sculptures created by Visser are intuititve, guided by the shapes of the inorganic waste, often product packaging. His creative process involves wrapping the assembled waste materials in paper pulp. Once impregnated with wax, such as votive candle residue, the objects take on a new identity. Visser refers to this process as ‘Form Follows Garbage’, exploring the limits of controlling shapes, forms, materials and colours.


Asserting a material presence and at the same time avoiding the descriptive content of waste, Jan Eric Visser places waste in suspended animation. Visser’s works are never titled: ideally his auto-poetic objects go beyond the domain of language and its conditioned response.


Jan Eric Visser’s solo exhibition, The garbage bag as muse at Stedelijk Museum Schiedam has been extended until 4 October 2020. 


Yelena Popova


Yelena Popova produced Keepsafe (I and II) tapestries, for her solo exhibition at Holden Gallery, Manchester in 2019. The exhibition was a culmination of Popova’s enquiry into the nuclear waste in Britain. While visiting decommissioned nuclear sites around the UK she discovered several Magnox-reactors of the first generation the core of which will remain toxic for the next few generations and will have to remain on the British coastline until at least the end of the century, thus becoming themselves a pile of contaminated waste. Keepsafe (I and II) are meant as artistic propositions for mausoleums for the decommissioned reactors. They show, in a very abstract way, the graphite core of the reactor and the propositional mausoleum built above it, surrounded by the seascape where most of the reactors in the UK are located.


With their transparent, softened geometric forms, Yelena Popova’s paintings recall the graphics and aesthetics of both Russian Constructivism and Minimalism, and open up conversations about the materiality of painting today. The elliptical curves and repeated, rhythmic shapes on her linen canvases articulate the kind of balance, external and internal, expressed through fixed rotation. Popova’s series of latest paintings, Sun Paths, reference the passage of light and electric current while reflecting on the equilibrium of forms and colours.


Popova’s solo exhibition, The Scholar Stone Project at the Holden Gallery, Manchester School of Art, UK, was closed on 27 March 2020.