Eric Derkenne - 13.02. - 10.05.2015

  • Eric Derkenne's work brings to mind a scrivener monk or a shaman: on the one hand, the strictness attached to the slow task of weaving and, on the other, the sacred dimension of a highly precise and unchanging ritual

    Born in Stavelot (Belgium) in 1960, from 1995 to 2011 Éric Derkenne attended the artistic workspace "S" Grand Atelier in Vielsalm, in the heart of the Belgian Ardennes mountains. Here he could enjoy a series of creative (visual arts and theater) workshops for the mentally challenged.
    Based on the path of original stem cells, he discovered the natural division of living things and, in a single reunified Big Bang, the growth of his own aesthetic world.
    His encounter with large-scale formats and with color inspired him to pursue a search linked to the primary shape that would thenceforth accompany his own development: the circle.
    Ever more attached to ballpoint pens as his sole work instrument, he took to filling sheets of paper with a network of convolutions, of strokes built up into coils, giving birth to enigmatic portraits.
    In the resulting battalion of totemic figures, each soldier stands out due to endless graphic details. Indeed, our eye gets totally caught up by the multiplicity of curving schemas densified to dizzying heights.
    Or are his figures in fact wrenching and desolate battlefield landscapes?
    Eric Derkenne passed away at Saint-Vith (Belgium) in July of 2014, having built up—over a fifteen-year-period—a monumental oeuvre forever true to his original approach.

    Conceived as a lively symphony in several movements, this exhibition showcases some one hundred pieces by Eric Derkenne—a creator affected so severely by Down's syndrome that he was unable to express himself in words. As such, the show treats viewers to a voyage of the senses, swooping down onto a genuine game of mirrors.

    Exhibition Curator: Gustavo Giacosa, independent curator and stage director

    The works displayed are from the Collection de l'Art Brut, who acquired this creator's drawings in 2013, as well as from the "S" Grand Atelier.

    Eric Derkenne's exhibition in the medias:
  • Practical information


    february 13 - may 10, 2015

    Opening reception

    Thursday 12 february 2015. 6:30 pm

    Exhibition curator

    Gustavo Giacosa, independent curator and stage director


    Gustavo Giacosa, Eric Derkenne – Champs de bataille, (FR/AN), Bruxelles/ Vielsalm, FRMK/ La ‘S’ Grand Atelier, 2014 (120 pages, 100 ill.)


    The exhibition is not accessible to people with reduced mobility.

    Free guided tour

    February 14 at 2pm
    online booking, within the limits of the seats available.

    Young public workshop (ages 8-12)
    Fee: 10.- per child

    February 14 at 2pm
    May 9 at 2pm
    online booking, within the limits of the seats available.

    Guided tours

    Upon request for groups and classes: in French, German, English and Italian.

    Free guided tour for teachers (duration 60 min)

    Thursday 19 february 5pm
    online booking, within the limits of the seats available.