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IntroductionABOUT THE WORK
It is immediately apparent that Isabelle Menin’s artistic background is in painting. Her bright colours and invigorating, fanciful manipulation of texture and materiality have enthralled the art community. Menin’s works are like vortexes, pulling viewers in deeper and deeper.
Menin describes her compositions as “Inland photographs and disordered landscapes”, as a means of drawing parallels between the complexity of the human character and that of nature. The inspiration for her work is drawn in part from Peter Paul Rubens and the so-called “Flemish Primitives”, an artistic circle prominent in the 15th and 16th Centuries that included Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling and Rogier van der Weyden. Menin’s link to the Flemish masters can be seen in her endeavour to create a distinctive form of reality inside fictional worlds.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Born in 1961, Isabelle Menin currently lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. After graduating from the Graphic Research School (ERG) in Brussels, in 1999, she explored painting for around 10 years, while working both graphic design and illustration jobs for various clients. Nature has always been a recurring theme for the artist, particularly flora, as aforementioned, starting with her interest in painting. After exhibiting some of these paintings in Belgium during the 1990s, Isabelle Menin decided to abandon the paintbrush and turned her interest photoshop and digital photography, in the late 90s. Still pursuing her interest in flowers, just on a new digital path, she begun a journey of experimentation. She started viscerally taking pictures of the flora that surrounded her and scanning these pictures. She doesn’t photograph a complete arrangement, but rather individual flowers. Which means each single anemone and each orchid is brought in front of the camera, perfectly illuminated and captured with technical expertise. She built up her vast digital collection with these individual shots, piece by piece. Once they are transcribed into a digital palette, she juxtaposes the individual flowers over each other creating complex, multi-layered collages. Some flowers might be moved to the background to create more spatial depth, others she might pile over one another to form delicate mountains. Her incredibly elaborate, ephemeral compositions of flora seem to belong in a world of dreams rather than reality. This is still the way she works today, however, with an entire ocean of flowers to choose from and with better technical and digital skills to apply to her creations. Often her final works are large enough to crash a computer’s processing power. She continues to experiment with digital textures and colors, transforming them, mixing them, and giving shape to their fictional nature, which retains both a dense and flamboyant feel at the same time. Isabelle Menin continues to exhibit across the world and her work is now recognized around the world, through an ever stronger loyal collector base.
1961 Born in Brussels, Belgium Studied Art at the School of Graphic Research in Brussels Lives and works in BrusselsExhibitions
2017 Garden on Orchard, Muriel Guépin Gallery, New York, USA 2017 Seattle Art Fair, Muriel Guépin Gallery, New York, USA 2017 Gothic Show, Lehman College Art Gallery, New York, USA 2016 Karen Margolis and Isabelle Menin, Muriel Guépin Gallery, New York, USA 2016 Round it up!, Muriel Guépin Gallery, New York, USA 2016 Art Market San Francisco, San Francisco, USA 2016 Total Flora, Galerie Christine Knauber, Berlin, Germany
2016 Belgium Modern Art Exhibition, Hongqiao Museum, Shanghai, China 2016 OFF Art Fair, Brussels, Belgium 2016 Kunstraï, Amsterdam, Netherlands 2016 MIA Fair, Milano, Italy 2016 Setup Contemporary Art Fair, Bologna, Italy 2016 Fotofever - Carrousel du Louvre, Paris, France 2016 The Perception of Beauty - Group show, Sophie Marée Gallery, The Hague, Netherlands 2016 Femmes de Belgique - Group Show, Sophie Marée Gallery, The Hague, Netherlands 2016 FLORA, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Mons, Belgium 2013 The Perception of Beauty, Sophie Marée Gallery, The Hague, Netherlands 2013 Les Femmes de Belgique, Sophie Marée Gallery, The Hague, Netherlands 2011 Belgium Modern Art Exhibition, Hongqiao Museum, Shanghai, China 2010 250/3, Galerie Antonio Nardone, Brussels, Belgium 1999 FLORA, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Mons, Belgium