°1929, Brussels (BE) – lives and works in Brussels (BE)
The Brussels artist Jacqueline Mesmaeker initially worked in fashion, design and architecture, before developing an artistic practice in the 1970s that is both conceptual and poetic.
Mesmaeker’s work is elusive, like sand sliding between the fingers. It plays with time and space through a multitude of media – film, sculpture, photography, artist’s books, drawings, etc. She reflects on the major themes of art history – and the problems that artists historically struggle with: how a gaze, frame and space relate to each other, and how an image generates meaning.
As curator Guillaume Désanges writes in his text for Mesmaeker’s exhibition at La Verrière / Fondation d’entreprise Hermès: “erudite but non-academic, Jacqueline Mesmaeker’s work draws on the grand themes of the history of Western art: painting, figuration, historical subjects, nature, landscape, the frame, light etc. but as with Marcel Broodthaers, this appetite for classicism, and with it an element of pomp and circumstance, is continually distanced by a gentle, unspoken irony that lurks just beneath the surface – a critical mischievousness that allows the everyday and trivial to permeate the cracks in the edifice of classical solemnity.
Jacqueline Mesmaeker – Enkel Zicht Naar Zee, Naar West, 1978
Jacqueline Mesmaeker – Versailles avant sa construction, 1980
Jacqueline Mesmaeker – L’androgyne, 1. Avion en phase d’approche, 1986-2013
Jacqueline Mesmaeker – Hors-lieu, 1980
Jacqueline Mesmaeker – Mer, 1978
Jacqueline Mesmaeker – Les péripéties, 2014 – 2017
Jacqueline Mesmaeker – Les antipodes, 1979-2015
Jacqueline Mesmaeker spent most of her career in the shadows – especially of fellow male artists – but did present her work internationally at venues such as Muhka, Antwerp; Etablissement d’En Face Projects, Brussels; Vleeshal, Middelburg; Fondation d’Entreprise Hermès, Brussels; Extra City, Antwerp; MACs, Hornu; and Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem. Jacqueline Mesmaeker has an upcoming solo exhibition at Bozar, Brussels.
Jacqueline Mesmaeker is represented by the following gallery;
click through to discover more of her work.
You can also read many great entries about Jacqueline Mesmaeker’s work on Nadja Vilenne’s blog.