london

Philippe Vandenberg, D’après ‘L’Ennemi Intérieur’ (After “The Enemy Within”), 2003, oil on canvas, 78 5/8 x 78 3/4 x 1 1/8".

Philippe Vandenberg

Hauser & Wirth London | Piccadilly

Philippe Vandenberg, D’après ‘L’Ennemi Intérieur’ (After “The Enemy Within”), 2003, oil on canvas, 78 5/8 x 78 3/4 x 1 1/8".

At heart of the Philippe Vandenberg’s work is a primal poetry, one that emerges both from the images he brought to life and from his formal invention. Mysterious figures—naked primitive men surrounded by animals (horned bulls, wolves, lions, donkeys)—populate the terrain of his dark, painterly landscapes. For instance, in D’après ‘l’Ennemi intérieur’ (After “The Enemy Within”), 2003, on an unevenly painted and repainted ground—white, with a very faint pastel-hued haze of yellow, pink, blue, and green—a group of four men on their hands and knees are surrounded by a field of dripping black, green, and blue paint daubs. Leering hounds lie on their backs, completing a scene that seems a kind of pagan ritual shot through with black humor. Several of the works feature lyrical statements scrawled onto their surfaces; NOW PATIENCE IS FLOWERING INTO DEATH, for instance,

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