Maëlle Dufour & Jean-Michel François

DSC 0941
Maëlle Dufour, Entre intérêts, 2019, techniques mixtes, dimensions variables, exposition monographique de Maëlle Dufour, biennale Watch This Space 10, réseau 50° nord. Les Brasseurs, Liège et L’ISELP, Bruxelles © Isabelle Arthuis et Ithier Held
  • Date

    22/10/2022 08/01/2023
  • Location

    Le Delta - Espace Culturel Provincial, Namen, BE

Duo exhibition featuring the young Belgian artist Maëlle Dufour (1994) and the painter Jean-Michel François (1955) around their recent creations.

Maëlle Dufour is a visual artist who lives and works in Brussels and Ghent, Belgium. She is a laureate of the HISK (Higher Institute of Fine Arts) Ghent 2022-2023. She studied sculpture at ENSAV La Cambre (Brussels) and at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts (Helsinki). 

Through her sculptures and installations, Maëlle Dufour creates complex systems that question progress at the heart of past, known and future eras. She explores traces of decadence and the beginnings of hope, questioning double-edged progress and carrying consciousness-raisers who, through gestures of safeguard, reflect on the meaning of human evolution. It questions the origin, memory and rebirth of things (or their absence). Were the ruins destroyed by nature itself or by men who fought for territories? Are they the foundations of a renewal?

Maëlle Dufour has been awarded various prizes and grants, including the "Prix de la Commission des Arts de Wallonie, 2018", the "Prix du public de la Jeune Sculpture de la FWB, 2020", the "Prix Macors, 2021", "Un Futur pour la Culture, 2021" and "Cocof, 2021", as well as the "Prix du Hainaut 2018".

Unaffected by current trends, Jean-Michel François creates timeless paintings and has remained faithful to his own style for several years. His mixed technique combines the use of acrylics and coloured pencils in shades of grey, blue and black.

The materials cover the entire surface, creating the feeling of a stony, charcoal-like material, and giving rise to a mysterious and silent world.

At first glance, these "untitled" works may seem confusing, as they seem repetitive at first glance. They only reveal their secrets to the attentive observer who manages to detect the drawn forms. For underneath the always dark, sober and nocturnal tones, intriguing geometric shapes emerge, strange objects or architectures resembling pyramids, steles, bollards or slabs that give the viewer a feeling of solitude, anxiety and mystery...

Jean-Michel François was awarded the Médiatine Prize, Brussels 1988, the René Janssens Prize 1992 and the Jos Albert Prize 1997, Royal Academy of Belgium.

Quoted in numerous reference works, "Benezit" Belgian Art XXth century, Serge Goyens de Heusch "Dictionary of modern and contemporary plastic arts, Jean-Pierre Delarge", "Contemporary Belgian artists' drawings, Ignace Vandevivere".

Works in public and private collections: National Bank of Belgium, Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Province of Walloon Brabant, Province of Hainaut, Museum L (Louvain-La-Neuve).

On the occasion of this exhibition, a publication "Jean-Michel François, Les ailes brûlées" (Jean-Michel François, Burnt Wings), a poem by Françoise Lison-Leroy, will be published with the help of the Secteur des Arts Plastiques of the Province of Namur by Espace B. (paperback, 20 illustrations, 44 pages, 16.5 x 21 cm)