Charlotte vander Borght


Charlotte vander Borght

Melody Lanes

19 April 2023 – 27 May 2023 19.04.2023 – 27.05.2023

Rue Isidore Verheyden 2

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 Melody Lanes, an exhibition by Charlotte vander Borght, marks a rare moment in an artist’s studio when the confidence of craft and a blind faith in process override the impulse to second-guess any decision.

Those experiencing Melody Lanes will meet a new series of paintings that peel away from the wall to occupy the space of sculpture. Based on variations of the New York City metro seat, an object the artist began using in 2019, each three-dimensional “canvas” is a sibling of those currently in use. Selected for the qualities that allow it to provide endless functionality while simultaneously fading into the background of the metropolis, it is already a painted, sculptural object in the stream of life.

During the making of the work, vander Borght was involved in an interaction between the resin, its surface, and mark-making –– adopting subtle yet increasingly extravagant measures that push her subject to the edge of recognizability. In this body of work, they have been reformed, inverted, duplicated, and grafted. They have been doubled, pigmented, scored, stacked, and spooned. The objects are tactile, obstinate, and challenging. She has allowed the process of making to dictate the shape of each work on display. The result is a richness of detail that moves away from a prototype toward something more eccentric and, occasionally, more monstrous. Wall-mounted and gray like the scratched hump of a whale breaching the water’s surface, or acid washed in viscous green, they brace the corner of a room or march, misshapen, away from seriality. Nearby, two seats from the same series face one another on either side of the large glass window. Waiting patiently for a passenger, they return to functionality.

Abstracted themes of infrastructure and transportation reside elsewhere in a work from vander Borght’s ongoing series of photographs documenting active street scenes and cavities (truck-bed interiors, freight elevators, and corporate revolving doors). Only visible from the outside, an architecturally-scaled image of a sleek Metropolitan entryway replaces the typical façade of the building. Composed of Ben-Day dots, the photograph mimics the perforated ads wrapping the windows of a bus bumbling over the potholes on the Bowery. In this case, what the passenger sees differs from what the pedestrian sees. Through the process of grafting one skin of a building onto another, a new façade has taken its place, but this is nothing new. Those who appreciate street scenes know that they change quickly.

– Lola Kramer, New York, April 2023

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