Schildersverdriet (Painter`s Sorrow) was an exhibition of photographs by three painters: Piet Dieleman, Erik van Lieshout and Luc Tuymans. Their photographs were displayed at De Kabinetten van De Vleeshal.
‘Schildersverdriet’ (‘Painter`s Sorrow’) is the Dutch name for Saxifrage: a plant notoriously difficult to paint or photograph. Schildersverdriet is also the title of one of Piet Dieleman’s photographs on display in the same titled exhibition. The title alluded to the fancied ‘conflict’ between painting and photography. The emergence of photography is believed to have gradually cut painting loose from its roots. Reflecting reality became the province of photography – and painting was forced to take a new route. On the other hand, many painters (such as Degas, Breitner and Richter) have taken advantage of photography in order to further develop their painting. Schildersverdriet was an exhibition of photographs by three painters: Piet Dieleman, Erik van Lieshout and Luc Tuymans.
Piet Dieleman (Arnemuiden, 1956) has always taken photographs. His black-and-white photographs have many scenic elements. Dieleman captures light, in all its shades and variations: colouring a tree trunk; penetrating a stable window; diffused by grass. Printed on special paper that renders white grey and seizing coincidences occurring in the dark room, Dieleman gives his photographs a painterly air. Schildersverdriet provided insight into Dieleman’s painting – as if the photographs offered a glimpse of his sketchbooks.
Erik van Lieshout
Erik van Lieshout’s (Deurne, 1968) photographs are brash, brazen and glossy. Patently stage-managed, Van Lieshout’s work is a reflection on fashion photography and its depiction of ‘dangerous’ big city living. Unlike Dieleman’s work, Van Lieshout’s photographs are completely separate from his painting. Van Lieshout started taking photographs whilst at art academy. Later he concentrated on painting. Schildersverdriet was the first showing of his photographic work.
Luc Tuymans’ (Mortsel, 1958) photographs are stills from the films he shot in 1981 and 1982. On the stills the moving image has been frozen in a photographic manner. The blurred photographs dovetail with Tuymans’ painting, in which he reflects on the impracticability of creating definitive images. The stills appear to have been put temporarily on hold, waiting to be set back in motion – and to once again lose themselves in movement.