Illusion and Revelation
From the collection of the Bonnefanten

We have always been fascinated by illusionism as a painting technique. Even the Ancient Greeks used optical illusions. Central perspective and its perfectionistic little brother the trompe l'oeil have been used since the fifteenth century to convince the viewer that the image in front of them is real and part of the same three-dimensional space that the viewer inhabits.

In modern society, digital technology is creating an illusionary layer of information that fits in seamlessly with our perception of the real world. It has become more difficult than ever to separate fact from fiction, genuine from fake.

Contemporary artists seduce us with visual worlds that can seem deceptively real and ordinary, but when we look closely they reveal a mysterious, ambiguous character. Sometimes there seems to be no logic to them at all.

It is inherent to artworks that they undermine our everyday, passive way of looking, stimulating and confusing us. At such a moment, our gaze is almost literally shaken loose from its customary thought patterns and associations, triggering a different mindset that may let us see a more truthful reality.

The exhibition Illusion and Revelation by Ernst Caramelle and the collection presentation also named Illusion and Revelation are on show in the Bonnefantenmuseum from December 24. The exhibition of Ernst Caramelle shows that the relationship between perception and visible reality is much more complex and ambiguous than we assume. This insight serves as the starting point for the focus in the presentation of works from the collection.

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René Daniëls, A Fountain in Africa, 1984.

This collection presentation features art from the following artists:

Francis Alÿs / Monika Baer / Joan van Barneveld / Centrum voor Cubische Constructies / René Daniëls / Jan Dibbets / Peter Doig / Marlene Dumas / Bob Eikelboom / Hadassah Emmerich / Luciano Fabro / Lara Gasparotto / Nancy Haynes / David Heitz / Rodrigo Hernández / Thomas Hirschhorn / Pierre Huyghe / Duan Jianyu / Suchan Kinoshita / Sol LeWitt / Laura Lima / Mark Manders / Katja Mater / Tanja Ritterbex / Roman Signer / Lily van der Stokker / Joëlle Tuerlinckx / Emo Verkerk / William P.A.R.S. Graatsma / Kim Zwarts

"Really good art is always relevant. Because it refers to possible worlds that are inextricably linked to our own. Because art gives shape to shapeless feelings and ideas, to revelations that would never have been revelations if not expressed, and to perceptions that would never have achieved that status if no shape had been found for them."' - Quotation from Marjoleine de Vos in NRC, 30 October 2016.