What is striking about the paintings by Michaël Borremans (*1963 in Geraardsbergen) is a technique that is almost like that of an Old Master. The Belgian artist is a virtuoso in his use of a reduced, melancholic palette of beiges, browns, and grays. As seductive as the aesthetics of the works may be, their contents are nonetheless disturbing and difficult to decipher. His paintings’ protagonists, who are based on illustrations derived from newspapers, illustrated magazines, and scientific reference books, are seen engaged in mysterious activities, while any narrative elements that might provide some explanation are lacking. Borremans’s subjects are clearly set in the past, in the world of his parents and grandparents, and they refer time and again to the art of earlier eras.
Featuring an instructive text by Jeffrey Grove, this elegant volume is the first to present all of Borremans’s paintings and can thus be regarded as the standard survey of his painterly oeuvre.