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Le BAM se dévoile ("BAM revealed")

From 10 February to 17 August 2008, BAM revealed some excerpts from its collections…

A generally accepted definition of a collection is "a gathering of objects of aesthetic, scientific, historical or geographical interest, with a value that stems from their rarity, or gathered for the enjoyment of accumulation".

Behind each collection, though, lies a man or woman who imbues it with a distinct aura…

The Duvivier and Neirynck collections

These qualities can be seen in the Duvivier and Neirynck collections, named after the people behind them…

For while the definition is universal, each piece forming part of the collection reflects an individual pleasure, desire, or memory. Behind the apparent objectivity of the word lies the inherent subjectivity in the choice of each picture, sculpture and drawing. These collections present two visions of Belgian collectors from the same era, collating works sometimes by the same artists and often from different perspectives.

The approaches run in parallel – not at cross purposes – both revealing the eclecticism of their shared interest. Exhibited over two floors, this exhibition is formed firstly from the "Fruits of the passion of the Duviviers" and secondly from the "Cobra passages" of the Neirynck collection.

The Duviviers – Love and the art of beauty

"The fruits of the passion" of the Duvivier couple revealed a number of works that spoke of them, that corresponded to them – unexpected and sometimes disturbing works. Imagine for a moment this couple admiring various works by young, often unknown artists, and individually drawing up a list of their must-buy works of art… After this initial selection, they compared lists and decided, by common agreement, to buy each piece that they had both noted down… Here, organic love joins, in a beautiful conjuncture, with the love of art and of beauty… By virtue of these choices, which often demonstrate a fascination with vivid colours, the Duviviers gathered together a fabulous diversity of artists from the international scene from the post-War period to the 1990s.

Opting for the lyrical abstractionism of Mortier and Lanskoy, upholders of new figuration and free figuration like Chaissac and Bertini, and also unclassifiable artists like Charlier and Baj, the Duviviers gave their hearts free rein to follow their artistic desires, all the while keeping in mind the notion of alternative figuration – the common thread running through this presentation.

In order to let this point of view come through, the exhibition's staging was kept simple, stripped of logic yet permeated by artistic emotion that captivated visitors' curiosity.

Finally, to offer a glimpse of this passionate couple's private life, a number of personal objects were displayed, to help visitors understand the day-to-day reality of this unique pair of collectors.

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