ExhibitionGal. Barbara Jandrig, Krefeld 1985
Literature"René Daniëls: Kades-Kaden" Ulrich Loock & Bart Cassiman, exhibition cat., Kunsthalle Bern 1987, cf. reprod. of a similar dyptich
Provenance121 Art Gallery, Antwerp
THE CANVAS AS PLAYGROUND OF THE MIND
"First of all I need a framework, a hold-on to paint. This is the idea and I play with it until a conglomerate of ideas arises. These always relate to many facets of life."
Central to Daniëls' oeuvre (° Eindhoven 1950) is the idea. His canvases are, as it were, visual ideas in which our gaze is guided through a poetic labyrinth of motifs. He addresses the viewer's engagement to give meaning to his work. That is why his paintings will always remain unfinished. They demand a certain way to look at a space, and by extension to the world.
From 1984 on, the bow tie motif plays a leading role in Daniëls' oeuvre. It resembles a window, or a perspective, floating through the suggested space and thus offering a view of the world outside. The perpetual dynamic between inside and outside, representation and reality and the vague border between them renders a vibrating aura through Daniëls' paintings. They encourage the spectator to reflect upon his own position and the work of art's in a certain space.
The repetition of motifs is beautifully expressed in the unique diptych "Memoires van een vergeetal" (1985). Both are spatial perspectives decorated only with windows or paintings. The large color fields, applied with a loose brushstroke, seem to absorb the spectator. One brightly lit on a deep blue background, the other dark on a sun-drenched background. Two opposites, day and night, each wanting to draw the viewer towards themselves. An inner struggle is triggered, accompanied by the guidance of the poetic title.
The technical aspect of Daniëls' painting offers the perspective its special stratification. A semi-transparent coat of white paint covers the image, on which new elements are then applied. "I made the layers translucent, as if looking through a candy wrapping" he explains his technique. The famous bow tie motifs hover on top of this haze.
The rhythmic repetition of motifs illustrate the importance of poetry and music in Daniëls' oeuvre. This era's music genres such as punk and new wave were an important source of inspiration for the artist. While working, tunes from bands like Talking Heads and Sex Pistols blazed through his studio.