Gilbert De Bontridder: Look at me and see what I could not (yet) see

through the eyes of:

Sara Bachour & Joep Hinssen
Maarten Davidse & Simon Weins
Studio Oneindigheid (Charlotte Lagro, Chaim van Luit, Joep Vossebeld) Tim Rutten & Roel Pansters and Krist Gruijthuijsen

The Bonnefanten presents the exhibition Look at me and see what I could not (yet) see, of work by the Belgian painter Gilbert De Bontridder (1944 - 1996) and recipients of the Gilbert De Bontridder Award (presented annually by the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design (MAFAD) and Stichting Art Promotion Limburg). Magda De Bontridder recently donated works by her husband to the Bonnefanten, and this year the Gilbert De Bontridder Award will be presented for the 20th time at the MAFAD. The occasion has prompted an exhibition that focuses on the artist after whom the award was named and on its recipients. In the exhibition, the recipients of the award enter into dialogue with the work of Gilbert De Bontridder.

Gilbert De Bontridder

The painter Gilbert De Bontridder (1944 -1996), who was originally from Belgium, played a pivotal role in the social and cultural life of the Maastricht region, following his appointment as a teacher at the Academies of Fine Art Maastricht, in 1985. He organised numerous exhibitions for the famous artists' initiative Het Bassin, was editor-in-chief of the journal of the same name, published writings about painting and was a member of art committees and boards, including the Limburg Art Collection Foundation and the Arts Council of The Hague. Besides being a versatile artist, De Bontridder was also a gifted teacher who, despite anti-intellectual tendencies in the Dutch art world, argued in favour of art theory and philosophy as the basis for artistry.

Gilbert De Bontridder Award and exhibition

On his death in 1996, Gilbert De Bontridder left behind an oeuvre of paintings and collages, including some monumental works in Maastricht and its vicinity, and a series of publications and writings on painting. Besides being an artist, writer, organiser and curator, De Bontridder was also a gifted teacher at the academy. An incentive award was named after him in 1997, which is presented annually at the MAFAD. The Gilbert De Bontridder Award is intended as an incentive for graduate artists who operate on the borderline between practice and theory.

To celebrate the twentieth edition of the award (July 2017), the museum is introducing the public to painting developments in the oeuvre of Gilbert De Bontridder. It also invited eight recipients of the award, who prefer to operate as a collective, to collaborate with the deceased artist, as it were, with retroactive effect. These young artists have adopted fragments of his work and, through video, light and sound works, continue where De Bontridder's oeuvre left off twenty years ago.

Curators: Paula van den Bosch & Joep Vossebeld