The exhibition project Middle Gate II – The Story of Dymphna is a collaboration between M HKA (Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp) and the cultural centre de Werft in Geel. Middle Gate II is the follow up to the exhibition Middle Gate, curated by Jan Hoet in Geel in 2013. The exhibition concept is closely tied to the legend of the holy Dymphna, saint of the possessed, the mentally ill and patroness against epilepsy and insanity. The legend of Dymphna shares a strong connection to the identity of Geel, "the charitable city".

Middle Gate Geel '13

Estate Philippe Vandenberg, courtesy Hauser & Wirth, image: (c) Luc Vuegen
Zonder titel, 2008
Drawing , 85 x 100 cm
houtskoop op papier

Philippe Vandenberg was no stranger to loneliness, hard work and the restless spirit of an artist. Besides his love and recognition for the works of Diego Velázquez and Francisco Goya, the artist dedicated himself to literature in the eighties. Slowly but surely his literature and the creative act of drawing became closely intertwined, resulting in Vandenberg’s own expressive style. Il me faut tout oublier speaks to his radical reflection about and views on the world. The creation of an image always goes together with the deconstruction of the actual image, the immediate eradication of the act of creation and in a way his own subconscious existence. “I have to forget everything” demonstrates Vandenberg’s ‘tabula rasa’, a desperate escape into silence. His works show a dark pessimism and disappointment in the shallow nature of the Western world, which is engulfed in rigid political and economic rules. At first sight, Vandenberg’s paintings look aggressive and desperate but upon closer inspection they are painfully and deeply moving.