Rendezvous in Doctrineland
Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven

Rendezvous in Doctrineland is a solo exhibition by Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven at Ulrik, New York, bringing together works from the 80s until now.

Exhibition Rendezvous in Doctrineland
Artists Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Date March 28 – May 11 2024
Venue Ulrik, New York

After graduating from her studies in graphic design, AMVK worked at a company that developed methods for measuring and graphically representing toxins. Her first assignment at this job was to illustrate a woman wearing a bikini cradling a Geiger counter. From this point forward, she began using pornographic images of women to embody abstract theories, as a joke. The conflation of lust and engineering became the leitmotif of her practice.

Partially in reaction to the 1972 “Limits to Growth” manifesto, AMVK made the denigrated material of plastic her primary medium. Her tactile interest in industrial materials, as well as the visual mechanics of advertising surrounding them, eventually led her to seek employment at a factory producing light boxes. She used discarded color plexiglass from this job to make works such as Girl Illustrated (1981) and Econom… + Chemis… Amusement (1981).

AMVK’s first journey to the empire state took place in 1979. During this trip, she acquired a number of books that became important references in her work. Among them was a Soviet engineering textbook “Theory of Elasticity” by Filonenko-Borodich, which informed her 1993 work Theory of Stress. Comprising of forty-five dayglo fabric samples depicting scenes of sexual intimacy and romance combined with descriptions of structures and machines under pressure. The work’s modular format underscores AMVK’s interest in the expansion and contraction of inner worlds, feelings, and ideas.

Diagnosis by the Eyes (1987) is a triptych based on a medical approach that studies internal organ imbalance through conspicuous facial symptoms. On the other hand, the Philosophical Rooms series distorts renderings of existing interiors as a function of ideas by thinkers like Maurice Maeterlinck and Richard Rorty.

For the drawings God and Violence (1994), AMVK asked a friend to pose while magnetizing a skeleton. Before each session they read “The Sermon on the Mount” from the Gospel of Matthew. A woman is staged as a new Christ, returning the idea of death to the cycle of life.

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven (b. 1951, Antwerp) lives and works in Antwerp. Her solo exhibitions include West Den Haag, The Hague (2023); Fridericianum, Kassel (2018); M HKA, Antwerp (2018, 2006, 1999); Kunstverein Hannover (2017); Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach (2016); Kunstverein München (2015); The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2011); Kunsthalle Nürnberg (2009); WIELS, Brussels (2008); Kunstmuseum Luzern (2008); Kunsthalle Bern (2005), and numerous shows at Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp, as well as at Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin. Her work was included in group exhibitions at Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; Yale Union, Portland; S.M.A.K., Ghent; ICA Philadelphia; The Artist’s Institute, New York; Shanghai Art Museum; and Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Buenos Aires. She participated in Manifesta 7. Her work is included in many public collections, such as Kunsthalle Bern; Royal Museums of Fine Arts Belgium, Brussels; M HKA, Antwerp; and the University of Chicago. In 2023, she was commissioned to produce a mural for KANAL–Centre Pompidou, Brussels.

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