TRIBUTE TO ART CRITIC PIERRE STERCKX
"Pierre had an effervescent mind. He knew what painting means. For him, there is no frontier between a painting by Bruegel, a painting by Braque and a sculpture by Cragg, no limit of time and space between a Da Vinci drawing, a Mehretu painting or a Calder mobile. They are all "Absolutely Modern", as Pierre fondly liked to say. I miss our conversations about art"
Pierre Sterckx, who died in May 2015, was an art critic, a curator, a lecturer and an art consultant. He worked for French art magazines Beaux-Arts Magazine, Art Press and Art Studio. He wrote widely on artists from different periods, from Holbein to Warhol, from Chardin to Mehretu, from Vermeer to Delvoye. A particular aspect of his work was that he established interdisciplinary connections between art and sciences, painting, philosophy and gastronomy, jazz and visual arts. He wrote extensively about American art, for example in 50 Géants de l'art américain (Beaux Arts publishing house). He was an expert of Magritte's work, notably authoring Rene Magritte: The Empire of Images (Assouline publishing house). A specialist of Belgian cartoonist Hergé, Pierre Sterckx penned numerous essays on Hergé, including Tintin: Herge's Masterpiece ( Rizzoli publishing house).
Pierre Sterckx was also a great supporter of Isabelle Bonzom's painting. They had a long conversation about art, which started the very first day the critic and the artist met, in 2001. This dialogue continued until Pierre Sterckx’ death. Read excerpts of this conversation between the art critic and the artist published in 2006 in Isabelle Bonzom's catalog The Heart of the Matter.
Pierre Sterckx curated three shows in which he presented Isabelle Bonzom's painting, including the Jouvences exhibition where, in addition to Isabelle Bonzom's, he gathered works of 22 other artists, among them: Tony Cragg, Christopher Wool, Charles Sandison and Eric Fischl. View related event : Delicious gravity
Pierre Sterckx regularly wrote about Isabelle Bonzom's painting. He was interested by her various series. Read about his thoughts on her Eric Fischl's portraits or her series of Meat.
" Isabelle Bonzom paints the savor of things.
She has developed themes as varied as urban forests, meats and nudes.
Yet, the invariant thread in her work is her concern with incarnation.
She paints the fluid evolution of the flesh, the turmoil of bodies and their passages."
In her book Collector published in Seoul, journalist, curator and art advisor Eunju Park dedicates her book to her business partner and mentor, Pierre Sterckx.
She also dedicates a long chapter to the impact of art on life. She bases her analysis on the painting of Isabelle Bonzom in which Eunju Park discerns a vital force and a creative abundance. The author views the singular approach of this artist as embodying the constructive and beneficent power of art on the human being.
Eunju Park interviews a dozen collectors of Isabelle Bonzom's paintings about their reasons for choosing her works what those paintings bring to them. As collector and art critic, Pierre Sterckx says :
"Isabelle Bonzom's painting titillates the problem of our society which asepticises the human body and death by giving us again the incarnate. Her art is an ocular caress, a lateral movement between the image and the touch, between abstraction and figuration, it's all about the pure instant and the rythmic process of the touch of color, it's not mortiferous, it's a dance, a sober jubilation."
© Isabelle Bonzom - 2021