Garage Cosmos

Isidore Isou, Avenue de l'Exposition

30 November – 25 January 2020

Avenue de l’exposition

Thursday, December 19th - 7:00 pm
We will be happy to welcome you for a conference of François Coadou organized by Jeunesse et Art Plastic on the occasion of the publication of the book Isidore Isou published by La Lettre Volée.


As a prelude to the book on the multifaceted artist Isidore Isou, poet, painter, filmmaker, art theorist and sociologist to be published by La Lettre Volée on 19 December 2019 and echoing the exhibition on Romanian art at the Center for Fine Arts organised for the festival Europalia Romania, Garage Cosmos presents Isidore Isou, Avenue de l'Exposition. The show is an attempt to reconstitute the strangely forgotten exhibition of 1962 that brought together some 200 works in the cramped space of a gallery which has now become a pizzeria. There is nothing or very little left from the exhibition; neither photographs nor a list of the works. We will imagine how it was.
 
Isou has shown little of his work in Belgium. An intervention in the newspaper + or - zero n°21 in 1978, a participation in the exhibition of the Museum of Verviers: Art d'extrême occident in 1964, then, in 1978, at the Cirque Royal, the exhibition Ecriture et images, and at the Abbaye de la Cambre, recently, in March 2015 a Project Room organised by the students of the workshop of Johan Muyle and a few brief appearances at Garage Cosmos. Nevertheless, the profile of this artist is familiar to us, for we, inhabitants of the Brussels of Magritte, Mariën, Dotremont, Vandercam, Broodthaers, are drawn to a form of visual art that is closely connected to literature.

The exhibition

To illustrate the closeness of fine art and literature in the entrance of Garage Cosmos we have linked, side by side, two rebus works, an Isidore Isou's  Number  and a  Plaque  or  Industrial Poem  by Marcel Broodthaers. Same concerns but the approach differs. If the two artists are fond of referring to Mallarmé and Valéry, we feel here with Broodthaers the influence of Baudelaire in the choice of his bestiary, the Royal Spider.

In the main room stands the installation of the plaque of the "Exhibition Avenue", an avenue opened for the World's Fair of 58 as well as 21 paintings of various formats that were part of the 200 exposed paintings Gallery Namher. On the left wall a painting, consisting of 9 paintings assembled, " Grand panneau à Comparaisons , 1961", which served as a model for the installation, a reconstruction of the exhibition on the wall of right. It announces it both by its general conception, the idea that an assembly of paintings can constitute one and the same work beyond the peculiarities of each of the canvases and at the same time by its own dynamics: it obeys a diagram in cross where in the center we would have the monosigne canvases and on the periphery the network canvases, creating a movement starting from the most dense element, the most powerful, constituted by the monosigne fabrics, towards the most fluid and volatile element constituted by the network networks of the periphery.

Until now, people who watched some of the 200 Namher paintings did not have in mind the whole process of the exhibition, so their taste dictated their preferences, not the dynamics. set in motion by the artist during the exhibition. It is this dynamic that this exhibition tries to restore.

Grand panneau à Comparaisons, 1961
Arbres d’après Vlaminck, 1961