Published by Ludion. Text by Michael Amy, Lorenzo Benedetti, Edwin Carels, Robert Devriendt. Interview by Eva Wittocx.
The oeuvre of Belgian painter Robert Devriendt (born 1955) is cinematic in character: his paintings, small in scale and highly detailed, resemble a series of film stills. A woman's heel next to a broken glass; a young man about to enter a wood; the bloodied mouth of a reclining woman--when contemplated in sequences, these frames form open, interpretable stories, although Devriendt establishes no clear-cut script or coherent narrative that might explain their connection. Rather, the viewer of the series becomes a kind of codirector to Devriendt's stories, almost involuntarily connecting the dots between works. In this way, Devriendt's paintings, with their deliberate visual abbreviation and cropping, test the automatism of the human compulsion to create narrative with the most minimal amount of information. Broken Stories documents this thought-provoking, disjointed and intricately detailed work, surveying Devriendt's entire career with an emphasis on his most recent works.