Catalog HERE

04.11.23 - 16.12.23

Madé van Krimpen proudly presents Johnny, Klaas Rommelaere’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.

Building on the heels of ‘Dark Uncles’, which delves into his personal family history, Rommelaere’s gaze shifts to the broader world with this new project Johnny. In 2021, Rommelaere saw Adam Curtis’ documentary, “Can’t Get You Out of My Head: An Emotional History of the Modern World” (2021) which cinematic exploration of power structures and societal themes made a profound impression on Rommelaere. He found similar nihilistic undertones in Mike Leigh’s film “Naked” (1993), of which main character ‘Johnny’ became the genesis of his namesake project. Rommelaere weaves together the visual language of both films by capturing screenshots and transferring them onto textile and applying stitching patterns and patches over them. The series comprises two distinct sets: one on cotton and another on velour. In the presentation of the Johnny series, Klaas Rommelaere introduces a dynamic interplay between two-dimensional artworks and sculptures.

The Johnny series depict not only societal nihilism but also Rommelaere’s personal fears, such as the recurring symbolism of snakes and his lingering apprehension of buildings collapsing after a trip to earthquake-prone Tokyo.

Rommelaere counterbalances the darkness with elements of comfortand beauty. Amidst chaotic scenes, he shows images of tranquility – a dance performance by Rosas, the elegance of orchids, reflections on yoga, a heart shaped lace on the shoes. Through the gentle act of embroidery, he inscribes words like ‘chaos,’ ‘react,’ ‘reload,’ and ‘recharge’ onto his works. This personal endeavor transforms the series into an attempt to impose order on chaos, creating a hyper personal narrative that fuses the artist’s introspective journey with broader societal reflections.

Another unique aspect of project Johnny is the involvement of elderly individuals, bridging generations as they contribute to the artistic process

Catalog HERE

About artist
Klaas Rommelaere (°1986, Roeselare, Belgium) creates intricately embroidered tapestries and embroidered sculptures that bridge the personal and the collective. His work narrates his lived experiences and is filled with familiar images and symbols representing both real and imagined human connections. Each piece is a labor of time and love, emphasizing the significance of the human connection to the creation and consumption of art. Rommelaere collaborates closely with a group of skilled elderly craftswomen (‘The Madams’) to bring his ideas to life.

Klaas Rommelaere's experiences include academic achievements, such as a Master's in Visual Arts (Fashion) in Ghent, Belgium (2011-2012), and a Bachelor's in Visual Arts (Fashion) (2008-2011) and a Bachelor's in Fashion Technology (2005-2008), both also in Ghent. Additionally, he has exhibited his artwork at various locations, including Gallery Zink in Germany (2020), Art Brussel in Brussels (2021), Gallery 38CC in Delft (2021), TEXTURE Kortrijk Museum (2021), Madé van Krimpen in Amsterdam (2022), and the Zeeuws Museum's "Protest Procession Parade" exhibition in 2023.