The Sun Also Rises at Everyday Gallery

Artists: Julien Saudubray, Taylor Anton White, Sergio Fernandes, Mirco Marchelli, Adrien Vescovi, Antoine Langenieux-Villard, Natacha Mankowski, Xolo Cuintle, Fran Van Coppenolle, Charles Benjamin, Bertrand Fournier

Exhibition title: The Sun Also Rises

Venue: Everyday Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium

Date: June 26 – August 21, 2021

Photography: Silvia Cappellari, Seppe Elewaut / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Everyday Gallery, Antwerp

With each new show, Everyday Gallery tries to capture the lived experience and emotions of our time; because art, when curated with care, can attune us to the present moment, allowing us to live life to the fullest. Learning from the past while looking towards the future, Everyday Gallery’s recent exhibitions have tried to create a space where visitors can dwell in the present, where past and future intersect. With characteristic care Everyday Gallery now curates its latest group exhibition, The Sun Also Rises, which provokes the sentiment of early summer through contemporary abstract art.

We are presently in late spring, and summer is about to begin. After a long winter the world is now literally and figuratively in bloom. The trees have taken on their bright green colors, pristine and fresh. The cool dew that covers the fields at the break of dawn mixes effortlessly with the mild warmth that greets us at noon. The contours of objects, buildings, and landscapes around us now gain in clarity and the faces we see radiate in the rising sun. Public space is filling up again with joyous chatter and laughter. In time, all of this will give way to the languid hotness of late summer and the dampness of autumn. But for now, the best is yet to come: summer is on the rise, and we linger in the welcoming warmth of a world that finally feels alive again.

The Sun Also Rises is an attempt to capture this sensation of early summer. Through the careful juxtaposition of twelve internationally renowned abstract artists, the show turns the gallery into an aesthetic space that welcomes the tactile signs of summer: the effervescent deepness in the color pallet of Julien Saudubray, Taylor Anton White, Sergio Fernandes, and Mirco Marchelli; the sun-bleached colors in Adrien Vescovi’s works; the bubbly, warm blues and greens in Antoine Langenieux-Villard’s works, which almost feel like withered snapshots from the Mediterranean Sea; the soft luxuriousness and surreal estrangement of Natacha Mankowski and artist duo Xolo Cuintle; the playful spontaneity in the work of Fran Van Coppenolle, Charles Benjamin, and Bertrand Fournier that are reminiscent of a child playing with sand and toys on a sunny beach.

To achieve this effect, The Sun Also Rises pairs the participating artists in duos, almost as if they were dancing partners. A move solicits a counter move, a call solicits a response, and so the interaction between these artists grouped in pairs conjures up an unexpected dialogue, reminiscent of a spontaneous conversation with a friendly stranger on a warm summer evening. Taken together, the whole of these conversations constitute a pleasant chatter, a scattering about of color, light and openness that mimics the aesthetic space of early summer.

The title of this show acts as an incantation, helping us to set aside our worries and to dwell in the present moment. Inspired by a book with the same title, written by American modernist writer Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises is well aware that every moment is fleeting and that every summer day must come to an end. To live with this knowledge and yet to live life to the fullest is precisely the idea explored by Hemingway. Cohn, one of the main protagonists of the novel, says: “I can’t stand it to think my life is going so fast and I’m not really living it.” To which his friend Jake placidly responds: “Nobody ever lives their life all the way up except bull-fighters.” To really live life to the fullest, Hemingway suggests, requires learning to live in the moment. Like Hemingway’s novel, and like the first signs of summer in late spring, Everyday Gallery’s latest group exhibition wants to create a space in which the visitor can dwell, just enjoying the moment without a care in the world, in joyous anticipation of a summer that is about to start. All of this will end as surely as the sun will set; but for today, remember: the sun also rises.

Text by Bram Ieven