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NEW OPENING - Friday 29/03/2019 at 7pm

HUGO DEBAERE °1958-+1994

'SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI'  in colaboration with SMAK

curator J.Van der Borght


BruthausGallery presents the work of Hugo Debaere (°1958 /+1994 Gent)


Hugo Debaere died young and completely unexpected in 1994.

It is important that his oeuvre should certainly not be forgotten, especially when we see the actual current relevance of his work from the eighties and early nineties.

The work of Hugo Debaere is included in many collections, it is also regularly shown in museum exhibitions (SMAK, Bonnefanten, etc.).

Bruthausgallery and many others with us, want to revive this artist and his work that it deserves.

Hugo Debaere was a Belgian contemporary artist. His practice encompassed a wide range of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, neon, video, drawing, graphics, installation art, mixed media and performance.


Known is the invitation to Wiesbaden as 'artist in residence' in the local zoo. Debaere discovered working with elephant manure there. It gave his work a special boost. For example, from 1990 to 1993 he created large sculptures based on animal manure mixed with wood glue and urine, applied to metal mesh and jute. This kind of sculptures such as eg. "Big Tit" (1992), "Nimba" (1992) referred to original myths of origin, death, fertility, etc.

Although these forms have a great expressive influence, the way in which they are displayed gives a certain triviality, but without the suggestion of a spectacle. Suspended in space, without a stable contact point, they assume a lightness that can be interpreted as the loss of the ability to find a place in a world that is increasingly washing away myths of origin.


Debaere's work shows influences from both Western and African art. On his travels in Africa he discovered the seemingly simple patterns through which man is in contact with the natural world around him, but also the naturalness with which materials are recycled and adopt a new functional identity.


Debaere has an important and extensive artistic legacy, based in Ghent SMAK. In 1995 Jan Hoet, curator of 'Chambres D'Amis', Documenta IX in 1992 in Kassel and 'Over the Edges', set up an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Ghent, in honor of Hugo Debaere.


Bruthausgallery made, in collaboration with Philippe Van Cauteren, a relevant choice of masterpieces by Hugo Debaere, through his artistic career.

We show Debaere's work in its broad diversity and in the spirit as the artist himself presented his work. We want to give a surprising insight into what many people will recognize, but maybe have forgotten ...


At the same time as this Hugo Debaere exhibition in Bruthausgallery, work by him will also be shown at the SMAK in Ghent, following the anniversary of 'De Collectie' by SMAK. This year Hugo Debaere died 25 years ago ...

This is a first exhibition of Debaere's work in Bruthausgallery. Bruthausgallery wants to re-introduce the important artistic legacy of this artist. Regular exhibitions, lectures and projects will be organized with Hugo Debaere's work.


We would like to thank the family of Hugo Debaere: Serge, Eric and Jaqueline Debaere and also Philippe Van Cauteren, Iris Paschalidis, Christophe Neerman and Bjorn Heyzak (SMAK and The Collection - Ghent) for the special support and assistance with the development and construction of this exhibition.


Joris Van der Borght

Curator - Bruthausgallery



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