Catch Up With Klaas Rommelaere - Zink Waldkirchen

Catch Up With Klaas Rommelaere

Following the solo exhibitions at our gallery and Texture Museum, Kortrijk, Klaas Rommelaere stayed busy! One of the most exciting projects is a collaborative exhibition with Manon Kündig at DMW Gallery, Antwerp.

Titled „Cadavre Exquis“, the pair draws on a playful practice common with Surrealist artists whereby artists continues working on the others‘ work without any preplanned rules or vision, resulting in a combination of two consciousness. Having known Manon since school, Klaas has had a respect for her for a long time. So this was a very fun project for them to work together.

We started sketching and making blank sketches with cardboard and paper. We made people who are waiting in lobbies and airports but we did not know what the other would do. I knew she was making terrazzo but did not know what colours or how it would look.“

Upon first glance, they are quite different artists. What the Surrealists often had was that they were all painters or drawers, so with that shared technique it was a natural collaboration. But Klaas works in embroidery, and Manon makes terrazzo with repurposed materials. One is quite rigid and concrete, and the other is flexible. However, this collaboration showed more commonalities between the two than not. Both their practices could be considered as traditionally „decorative crafts“, but they elevate their respective approaches in such a way that they are undeniably exquisite works of art.

From DMW Gallery, „There is a certain level of unpredictability, surprise and spontaneity not only in the final collective juxtaposition but also during the primary inception of the separated elements… The outcome of the final pieces is revealed gradually during the whole creation process. The final result depicts figures that lie in waiting, which nowadays is all we appear to do. A reference to waiting non-spaces like office lobbies and airports, where time does not exist and you can disappear into an anonymous no man’s land. “

Somehow even though they didn’t know what each other was doing, the final results are very harmonious. Some of the soft pastel of the terrazzo faces by Manon juxtaposed against the patterned clothing by Klaas‘ embroidery highlights the calmness. But under those still waters of Manon’s faces, there is a lot going on through the ‚body language‘ formed by the construction of Klaas‘ pieces. They are able to tell a whole story along with the faces created by Manon. They’re resigned to waiting for a while, or they’re numb to the daily hustle bustle that includes a lot of waiting around (for the train, bus, lunch order…), or they’re frustratedly adjusting themselves every 2 minutes. These are all stories we are familiar with, and can see quite evidently in the pieces.

Klaas Rommelaere x Manon Kündig at DMW Gallery, Antwerp Klaas Rommelaere x Manon Kündig
The Self-possessed, 2021
Stone, glass, concrete, pigments, seashells & cotton embroidery on nylon fabric
140 x 615 cm

Klaas Rommelaere x Manon Kündig at DMW Gallery, Antwerp Klaas Rommelaere x Manon Kündig
The Self-possessed, 2021 (detail)
Stone, glass, concrete, pigments, seashells & cotton embroidery on nylon fabric
140 x 615 cm
Klaas Rommelaere x Manon Kündig at DMW Gallery, Antwerp Klaas Rommelaere x Manon Kündig
The Self-possessed, 2021 (detail)
Stone, glass, concrete, pigments, seashells & cotton embroidery on nylon fabric
140 x 615 cm
Klaas Rommelaere x Manon Kündig at DMW Gallery, Antwerp Klaas Rommelaere x Manon Kündig
The Stoical, 2021
Stone, glass, concrete, pigments, seashells & cotton embroidery on nylon fabric
120 x 260 cm
Klaas Rommelaere x Manon Kündig at DMW Gallery, Antwerp Klaas Rommelaere x Manon Kündig
The Smoker, 2021
The Impatient, 2021
Stone, glass, concrete, pigments, seashells & cotton embroidery on nylon fabric
215 x 80 cm (each)
Klaas Rommelaere x Manon Kündig at DMW Gallery, Antwerp Klaas Rommelaere x Manon Kündig
The Lobby, 2021 (detail)
Stone, glass, concrete, pigments, seashells & cotton embroidery on nylon fabric
130 x 200 cm + 75 x 55 cm (part of set with other work titled ‘The Lobby’)
Klaas Rommelaere x Manon Kündig at DMW Gallery, Antwerp Klaas Rommelaere x Manon Kündig
The Lobby, 2021 (detail)
Stone, glass, concrete, pigments, seashells & cotton embroidery on nylon fabric
130 x 200 cm + 75 x 55 cm (part of set with other work titled ‘The Lobby’)
Klaas Rommelaere x Manon Kündig at DMW Gallery, Antwerp Klaas Rommelaere x Manon Kündig
The Temperamental, 2021
The Restless, 2021
Stone, glass, concrete, pigments, seashells & cotton embroidery on nylon fabric
110 x 310 cm (each)

About The Artist

Klaas Rommelaere was born in Roeselare, Belgium in 1986. The young artist originally graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Art in Ghent as a fashion student. He then pursed a fashion career with internships at Henrik Vibskov and Raf Simons, where he soon realised he had strong artistic visions that needed to be materialised. Leaving the fashion world behind him, he continued to express himself with familiar materials – needle, thread, wool, and yarn. The artist is renowned for his embroidered tapestries of images inspired by cult classic movies and his personal experiences. Whether it is cross-stitch, crochet, or classic knitting, the artist’s works are firmly rooted in both the everyday and the subculture of urban life in Antwerp. As this handcraft is extremely time consuming, the artist decided to collaborate with a group older ladies expert in hand made textiles, eventually creating communities all around Belgium. Rommelaere’s works are a result of his surroundings – his life, his entertainment, his community. The artist currently lives and works in Antwerp.

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