reviews

Guy Mees, Van het blauw van de zee (From the Blue of the Sea), 1980–90, pastel and pencil on paper, 52 3/8 x 60 1/4".

Guy Mees

David Zwirner | London

Guy Mees, Van het blauw van de zee (From the Blue of the Sea), 1980–90, pastel and pencil on paper, 52 3/8 x 60 1/4".

Belgian artist Guy Mees’s paper cutouts—elongated, irregular scraps of colored paper pinned directly onto the wall—are at once transcendentally beautiful and strikingly material. Verloren Ruimte (Lost Space), 1992, to take one notable example, consists of two slivers of different reds flickering by. The work, which is drawn from the 1983–93 series of the same title, seemed to flash at a higher realm of experience. Yet one of the paper scraps protrudes subtly from the wall—a powerful remnant of the artist’s process that stops the work from transporting the viewer somewhere else.

Over the course of a forty-year career, which started in the abstract-painting scene in Antwerp and amid the wider European Zero network of the 1960s, Mees (1935–2003) created a diverse oeuvre that ranges across media and modes, from early, often humorous variants of Minimalism and Conceptualism

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