Reality Meets Fantasy in ‘The Flames of Vanity,’ Antoine Roegiers Solo Show in London

The exhibition at Robilant and Voena includes work from from across more than a decade of the artist's oeuvre.

Antoine Roegiers, The Mocking Laugh (2024). Courtesy of Robilant and Voena, London.

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What You Need to Know: On view through April 5, 2024, London gallery Robilant and Voena is presenting the solo exhibition “Antoine Roegiers: The Flames of Vanity.” The show marks Roegiers’s first-ever solo in the United Kingdom and is comprised of works dated from 2012 through today—with several of them making their public debut—providing insight into the artist’s practice and evolution. Overlapping with the art fair TEFAF Maastricht, Roegiers was one of only two artists chosen to be featured in TEFAF’s editorial. Though most of the works on view are oil on canvas paintings, examples of his work of oil on panel combined with video, as well as a video installation, are also included—the latter of which he has continually explored in his practice.

About the Artist: Belgian-born, Paris-based artist Antoine Roegiers (b. 1980) maintains a practice that spans drawing, painting, and video art, and is recognized for its high degree of detail and influence of early modern Northern European painting traditions. Roegiers studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, where he was awarded the Rofer Bataille Foundation Prize, and graduated in 2007. Later, in 2021, he received the Yishu 8 prize, and undertook a three-month residency in Beijing. He has been the subject of solo exhibitions across Europe, the United States, and China, and can now add the U.K. to that list.

“In these paintings, I mix themes from real life, ideas from the old masters, while trying to be free and open about how my painting develops” the artist said. “I rarely sit down with a fixed idea of the outcome; when I paint, it’s intuitive, I’m often surprised by the direction the painting takes. In the most recent paintings in this exhibition, a fire has engulfed the world, but I don’t know what is beyond that smoke. Like the characters in the paintings, I wait to see what the world will look like after this terrible and destructive change.”

Why We Like It: Roegiers’ work blurs multiple boundaries. The influence of Dutch and Flemish Old Masters like Hieronymus Bosch and Brueghel the Elder is evident through the composition and rendering of landscape and figures, yet his aesthetic sensibility and subject matter is decidedly contemporary. A strange aircraft emerging from some type of hangar or barn, which occurs across several works, appears in an otherwise idyllic landscape. The same or similar landscape in other works is encroached upon by fire and smoke, creating an instability and tension. In a series of figurative works that evoke allegorical baroque painting, the subject is blurred, recalling photographs taken at a lower shutter speed, again creating a sense of temporal flux. Together, the works, which come from more than a decade of the artist’s practice, offer a glimpse into an expansive, imaginary world where time and place are suspended, and interpretations of the work are multiplicative.

See inside the exhibition and featured works below.

Installation view of “Antoine Roegiers: The Flames of Vanity” (2024). Courtesy of Robilant and Voena, London.

Installation view of “Antoine Roegiers: The Flames of Vanity” (2024). Courtesy of Robilant and Voena, London.

Antoine Roegiers, One’s Loss is Another’s Gain (2024). Courtesy of Robiland and Voena, London.

Antoine Roegiers, Triptych: The Kiss (2014). Courtesy of Roebilant and Voena, London.

Antoine Roegiers, Veiled Sun (2024). Courtesy of Robilant and Voena, London.

Antoine Roegiers: The Flames of Vanity” is on view at Robilant and Voena through April 5, 2024.

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