THE YEARS OF THE HOUR BLUE – JAN FABRE at Magazzino in Rome

Jan Fabre, Swords, Crosses and Daggers II, 1989
Bic-pen on paper, 238 x 165cm

The exhibition The Years of the Hour Blue at Magazzino in Rome is the fifth exhibition in the gallery by Belgian artist Jan Fabre. It features a series of works executed between the Eighties and Nineties and shown for the first time in Italy on this occasion.

Jan Fabre’s so called Bic-Art brings us back to the end of the Seventies with a series of performance-based works where the artist relates to space and art history by expanding the traditional notion of two-dimensional drawing. Walls, objects, rooms and buildings are transformed and through the obsessive use of the bic ballpoint pen, “erased” but also consecrated and legitimized. Some of Fabre’s most iconic works are born in this context: the series Ilad of the Bic Art;  Tivoli (the film is included in the show) from 1991; the Blaue Raum of 1988; the monumental The Hour Blue in the S.M.A.K. Ghent Collection and Das Medium from 1979, one of the earliest Bic-art works, where drawing becomes the object and the medium becomes the actual body of the work. In the series of works exhibited, Fabre synthesizes a universe made of symbols, metaphors, fantasies and realities that emerge, almost shapeless, from the deep blue colour field of the drawing. The Hour Blue is in itself a metaphor of passage and metamorphosis, one of the crucial themes of Fabre’s decennial production. Swords, daggers, demons, animal, human and hybrid  beings, an imagery that often draws from art history and, more generally, from a spiritual and mystic dimension, guide us through a twilight where figures emerge from the scrawled surface – they seem to prevail, and then again they are absorbed by the invasive gesture of the pen.

As Lorand Hegyi notes in his text for the 2011 exhibition at Museè Metropole Saint-Etienne, The Hour Blue is the best way to “disclose the poetic and sensitive universe of this exceptional creator.”

The exhibition is held on the occasion of the Italian premiere of Fabre’s new theatre production, Mount Olympus – To Glorify the Cult of Tragedy, a unique 24 hour long performance that will run from 7pm on the 17th to 7pm on the 18th of October at Teatro Argentina, as part of RomaEuropa Festival 2015.

 

Jan Fabre, One Turkish Scimitar, 1987
Bic-pen on paper, 238 x 164 x 4.5cm

 

 

Jan Fabre, Tivoli, 1990
35mm film, color, 10mins

 

The Years of the Hour Blue
Magazzino – via dei Prefetti 17
14 October – 10 November 2015,
Opening times: tuesday – saturday 11-20. Closed Sunday and Monday. For further information and images: 066875951 oppure info@magazzinoartemoderna.com

Mount Olympus – To Glorify the Cult of Tragedy
Teatro Argentina –  Largo di Torre Argentina, 52, 00186 Roma
Running time: 24 hours | Starting  17 October h 19 – Ends 18 October h 19

For information and tickets: romaeuropa.net or mountolympus.be