Hervé Ic/Paul McCarthy. © Hugard & Vanoverschelde, photography

commissariat de Pierre-Yves Desaive
14.10.2016 – 18.02.2017
Charles Riva Collection, Rue de la Concorde 21, 1050 Brussels

la mort c’est l’autre. Chêne plaqué or vert, 2001

On the eve of the US elections, “The Power and The Glory” metaphorically examines the tension that exists between an artist’s desire to shine and his or her desire to exist, like in the world of politics.
Pierre Yves Desaive, art historian and curator is collaborating with the collection for this exhibition and brings together works of Harry Benson, Roe Ethridge, John Giorno, Andy Hope 1930, Jonathan Horowitz, Nathan Hylden, Hervé Ic, Mike Kelley, Sherrie Levine , John Miller, Jonathan Meese, Paul McCarthy, David Ostrowski, Richard Prince, Josh Smith and Reena Spaulings.
The exhibition features a selection of works from the collection to evoke the ambivalence of the art world, which is not too dissimilar from politics in its quest for recognition and conquest of power, its quest for meaning and search for truth.
With US current affairs and the upcoming presidential election as a backdrop, the exhibition plays with references and influences to get its message across. The title, which refers to the Christian doctrine – a key element in the conquest of the White House, helps strengthen the focus on these contrasts whose works are the protagonists. The art world appears here as a metaphor for the conquest of political power.
The exhibition creates a contrast between the ostentatious works, where the gold colour embodies the pursuit of glory, and darker-coloured and tortuous works that epitomise the tireless search of artists for meaning.
The sparse and frugal use of colour precludes extravagance in some of the works, reflecting a kind of duality between vanity and excess as well as restraint and quintessence.