This summer, de Appel presents a Solo Project by the Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard (1967), a show with its artistic starting point located in the mental world of Rod Bianco*. Melgaard is one of the most chameleonic figures in contemporary art. His work evolves and mutates at breakneck speed owing to his continual introduction of new themes, ideas and semi-imaginary characters such as Bernard St. Summiere, Mr. Black Pearl, Rummelsnuff, Joey Stefano, Frost and Les Super. Bianco is the latest protagonist; he is neither an alter ego nor an avatar of the artist, but a fictional personality who may simultaneously be regarded as a ‘production unit’. The entirety of work and activities that develops under his auspices is legible as a multilayered visual novel. Melgaard reveals himself in this respect as a gifted storyteller who constructs a narrative microcosm by means of visual and textual indications.
Melgaard’s fascination with sometimes provocative subcultures and practices has previously induced him to explore the worlds of Black Metal, violent homosexuality and sadomasochism. Now too he remains partial to the ‘unusual’; no reputation is spared and no taboo eschewed. Besides a series of sculptures, the exhibition includes a new series of photorealistic paintings which are overpainted with Melgaard’s hallmark expressionistic iconography and vigorous linear gestures.
The exhibition will be accompanied by the publication the book "Rod Bianco", a compilation of memorabilia surrounding Rod Bianco, including diary entries from the South Pacific and snapshots from Barcelona; paintings by Bjarne Melgaard and others; hypnotized chihuahuas and Fiorucci girls; and a new essay by Ann Demeester. Bookorders via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Events in the context of the exhibition:
Sun. 11 July, Sat. 4 Sept. at 3 pm
Free guided tours of the exhibition
Sun. 5 September: Finissage:
Sunday School, 4 pm: one work of the exhibition becomes subject of close reading by Edwin Becker, head of exhibitions at Van Gogh Museum.