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"The Trees" (2008) is reproduced from Michaël Borremans: As Sweet as It Gets, distributed for Hatje Cantz by ARTBOOK | D.A.P.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/12/2014

Michaël Borremans: As Sweet as It Gets

"Like Michaël Borremans himself, the title of his mid-career survey As Sweet as It Gets is, on one level, humorous and open, and yet also possessed of potentially darker intentions. The expression 'as sweet as it gets' seems emphatic and clear: it conveys nothing less than a feeling of absolute contentment, the sense that everything is right with the world. At the same time, this simple phrase, oddly familiar and intentionally vague, raises any number of questions. Connotation is everything of course, and meaning is often determined solely by inflection. As anyone who has spent time in the American South knows, for instance, the innocuous wish, 'Good for you!' can mean either 'aren't you great' or 'aren’t you stupid!' In a similar vein, As Sweet as It Gets may imply either the embrace of a sunny present or a resigned acceptance that things are as bad as they will ever get. The tense ambiguity lingering in that expression provides an appropriate metaphor for Michaël Borremans’ work, characterized as it is by subtle symmetries of stunning beauty and disturbing abjection, humor and despair, strength and fragility, and life and death. For lurking in the shadows of the sunny construction, 'as sweet as it gets,' resides something darker: a sensibility that recognizes that if anything is 'as sweet as it can get,' it can quite easily—and will most likely—soon turn bitter." Excerpt from Jeffrey Grove's essay and Borremans' 2008 painting "The Trees" are reproduced from Hatje Cantz's remarkable new oversized volume.

Michaël Borremans: As Sweet as It Gets

Michaël Borremans: As Sweet as It Gets

Hatje Cantz
Hbk, 11.5 x 13.25 in. / 304 pgs / 120 color.





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