Opening tonight at Saatchi Gallery in the heart of Chelsea as part of their SALON programme is Witte de Witte, a presentation of 9 monochrome (or practically monochrome) paintings by the Belgian artist Bram Bogart.
Staged in collaboration with Mayfair’s Vigo Gallery, the show takes what we traditionaly envision as Bogart’s style — bright, primary colours painted thickly and boldly — and turns it on it’s head by showing only his rarely seen neutral colour paintings! Taken as a group, these works not only showcase a different side to Bogart, but also illustrate his dramatic, varied and unique contribution to modernist painting.
Bogart, who passed away in 2012 at 90-years-young, completed his first all white painting in the South of France in the late 1940’s as a response to the light and dust of the Mediterranean climate.
One of the earliest works on show in this exhibition is entitled Differentes (1954) and is a textbook example of Bogart’s ever-increasing weight of material, thickness of impasto and more aggressive facture that would become Bogart’s mature style.
The show also includes Fête Javel and Zinc Jardin, both from 1960, and considered masterpieces by the artist.
By showcasing work from the breadth of Bogart’s oeuvre, Witte de Witte takes the viewer through the range of the artist’s influencers from Piet Mondrian, to Constant Permeke and even Van Gogh. It also allows for the appreciation of Bogart’s technical development and achievement over a more than fifty-year period.
Says Philippa Adams, Senior Director at Saatchi Gallery: ‘SALON is delighted to be staging for its second show an exhibition of rare works by Bram Bogart, and to be working with Vigo Gallery. We are particularly proud to be showing these nine works, which not only reveal his significance as a painter, but also reveal an aspect of his practice that many will be unfamiliar with.’
Witte de Witte follows the first edition of SALON, a presentation of paintings from the 1950’s and 60’s by the Japanese artist Tsuyoshi Maekawa. It will be followed by Calder on Paper: 1960-1976, this September featuring works by Alexander Calder and presented in collaboration with Omer Tiroche Gallery, London.