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SIRIUS, 2020 - Jacqueline Mesmaeker

SIRIUS, 2020

Jacqueline Mesmaeker  

Print, Photograph, Mixed Media
50 x 70 cm / 19.69 x 27.56 inch
Edition of 20 copies, signed and numbered by the artist on certificate

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  • Medium: Digital barite print, embossed print and silkscreen on paper
  • This work is unframed
  • Pick up at / ships from Brussels (BE)

about this work

This edition combines two elements – a digital Barite print installed in an embossed space on a heavy cardboard paper, accompanied by a silkscreened assemblage of text.

The text – which the artist calls ‘a cascade of words’ – consist of parallel columns of words in which each column jumps back and forth around a central letter. But rather than contextualising the image, this assemblage of freely associated words clouds our reading with a multitude of low and high cultural references. It is unclear what the accompanying image exactly depicts, though there’s a clear cosmologic reference through the title. Sirius is part of the constellation Canis Major and is the brightest star visible from any part of Earth. As is often the case in Mesmaeker's practice, this work is about making the overlooked visible, about framing our gaze and generating meaning.


Sirius is a limited edition that Jacqueline Mesmaeker produced in the context of artlead’s public project A Temporary Monument for Brussels.

about Jacqueline Mesmaeker

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 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.

Galerie Nadja Vilenne, Liège 

You can also read many great entries about Jacqueline Mesmaeker’s work on Nadja Vilenne’s blog

Learn more about this artist

Other works by Jacqueline Mesmaeker