Spotlight: 5 Artists Offer Unique Takes on Contemporary Abstraction in a New Brussels Exhibition

Galerie Sept presents 'Dialogues in Abstraction,' highlighting the genre within a contemporary context.

Katrin Fridriks, Cosmic Stargate & enlightened Consciousness (2023). Courtesy of Galerie Sept, Brussels.

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What You Need to Know: Brussels-based Galerie Sept presents the group exhibition “Dialogues in Abstraction,” a brand new exhibition on view through January 21, 2024. The show features the work of five diverse contemporary artists: Katrin Fridriks, Lee Hyun Joung, Nikodem Szpunar, Nicolas Dubreuille, and Daniele Basso. The presentation marks the gallery debut of Fridriks, an Icelandic artist whose work focuses on the intersection of humans and natural forces, such as gravity. Her work is juxtaposed with that by Lee Hyun Joung, who mines both her South Korean heritage and traditional materials to create ink-on-paper works. French artist Nicolas Dubreuille works frequently in sculpture, creating works that relay his background in graphic design, and tap into the painting tradition of geometric abstraction. Also frequently working in sculpture, Daniele Basso, who hails from Italy, investigates the meaning of symbols and life through the material of mirror-finished stainless steel. Another newcomer to Galerie Sept’s program is Polish artist Nikodem Szpunar, whose Minimalistic, volumetric paintings convey his experience in furniture and product design.

Why We Like It: Within the context of contemporary art-making today, the mode of abstraction is set within an expanded field, offering artists ever-new approaches and interpretations to work with and personalize. “Dialogues in Abstraction” highlights the flexibility and mutability of the genre, as each artist featured brings their own distinct style and imperatives to their work—yet commonalities can still be located. In Fridriks’s acrylic paintings and Lee Hyun Joung’s ink paintings, there are distinct allusions to the representational; Fridriks’s poured paint could be interpreted as water or another liquid substance being forcibly moved, while Joung’s meticulously rendered ink lines evoke mountain ranges or hilly landscapes.

Similarly, the dialogue created between the practices of Brasso and Dubreuille offer insight into how works informed by three-dimensional works result in intriguing lines of inquiry when applied to two-dimensional mediums.

According to the Gallery: “‘Dialogues in Abstraction’ celebrates each artist’s dedication to their craft, showcasing their efforts to harmoniously balance abstract art elements. The exhibition is a tribute to the varied influences that shape these artists’ visions, exploring common themes like environmental consciousness, the intricacies of artistic gestures, and the depth of personal expression.

This exhibition promises a rich and engaging artistic experience, revealing the profound connections and motivations that unite these artists. It invites audiences to delve into the world of contemporary abstraction, fostering meaningful discussions and acknowledging the role of creativity in transcending cultural barriers.”

See inside the exhibition and featured works from the exhibition below.

Installation view of “Dialogues in Abstraction” (2023). Courtesy of Galerie Sept, Brussels.

Katrin Fridriks, Awakening Wave of Ascension (2023). Courtesy of Galerie Sept, Brussels.

Lee Hyun Joung, Collision (2023). Courtesy of Galerie Sept, Brussels.

Nicolas Dubreuille, Ref. 368 (2023). Courtesy of Galerie Sept, Brussels.

Nicolas Dubreuille, Untitled (2023). Courtesy of Galerie Sept, Brussels.

Dialogues in Abstraction” is on view at Galerie Sept, Brussels, through January 21, 2024.

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