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16-3 – 31-8 2014
Jan Fabre. Insect drawings and insect sculptures 1975-1979

Jan Fabre. Insect drawings and insect sculptures 1975-1979

Rijksmuseum Twenthe will be exhibiting the early work of the Antwerp artist Jan Fabre. This is the first time we will be able to have an overview that shows all the facets of the early work of this artist, theatre maker and noted enfant terrible. His work from the early 1970s will now be brought together in a retrospective exhibition which can be seen from 16 March 2014 in Rijksmuseum Twenthe.

Insects and spiders

A feature of Jan Fabre's early work is unmistakably his fascination with insects and spiders. Fabre drew hundreds of sheets full of insects and spiders and made fragile insect sculptures. He does not observe the world of insects like an entomologist but recreates the phenomena of Nature, of Life and Death. This fascination runs like a red thread through his whole work.

World of His Own

As a twenty-year old Jan Fabre built on his parents' farmyard a primitive tent in which he single-mindedly created a world of his own. In that tent he lived, researched, experimented, created and slept. It was also there that Fabre made his first sculptures and sowed the seeds of all of his later visions, passions and obsessions. The tent was the stage in which he tried to follow in the footsteps of his namesake, the famous entomologist, Jean-Henri Fabre. In both subject-matter and form, Jan Fabre had already started searching in his early work for relations with the old Flemish masters and their themes of life and death and fortune and the transitory. Jan Fabre has probably no predecessors in his ability to express the tragic and comic aspects of life with such power and imagination as he manages to create on a stage inhabited by insects and spiders. His work is at the same time serious, humoristic and magical.

Art from Flanders in Rijksmuseum Twenthe

This year Rijksmuseum Twenthe will actually be showing four top exhibitions from Belgium. Three of these exhibitions are the result of our collaboration with the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, which is currently closed for a major renovation. These are Permeke and the Flemish Expressionists (through 16 March 2014),Rubens, Van Dyck, Jordaens. The Flemish Baroque (6 April 2014 through 28 September 2014) and Rogier van der Weyden and the Discovery of the World (14 September 2014 through 4 January 2015). Museum director, Arnoud Odding says: ‘it is an incredible coincidence that Fabre also comes from Antwerp. Rijksmuseum Twenthe has a strong relationship with a large circle of artists and art collectors. Sometimes the idea for an exhibition starts to grow during talks that I have with people from our network. That's how we came to set up the exhibition, Jan Fabre. Insect drawings and insect sculptures 1975-1979. When a marvellous opportunity like this comes our way, then I grab it!' The exhibition can be seen from 6 March through 31 August 2014.

Jan Fabre. Insect drawings and insect sculptures 1975-1979
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