Gallery Sofie Van de Velde and PLUS-ONE Gallery present ‘L’Heure Bleue’.
L’heure bleue is that moment when the sun has set, but the night has not fallen yet. This phenomenon of the blue hour takes place just before sunrise or sunset, when a ray of natural light hits the sky and turns everything blue. This twilight moment only lasts a short while, but it’s a tipping point that vibrates with suspense.
On a first level, art works are selected with an emphasis on the color blue.
Up until the 19th century, the blue pigment ‘ultramarine’ was the most expensive color. The pigment was sourced from the precious stone ‘Lapis Lazuli’. The church dictated that this pigment should be used to paint images of the virgin Mary. Ultramarine thus became a symbol of holiness, virtue and modesty due to its economic value.
Although the color blue is presented here as independent, the symbolism has become intertwined with the contemporary art market as well. Blue paintings seem to be sold at a 10% higher price. By displaying this curatorial frame within a commercial art gallery, the cradle of the contemporary art market, the exhibition aims to present a critical reflection of the color blue in its individuality.
On a second level, L’heure bleue alludes to the idea of melancholy. The blue hour is an hour of change, a metamorphosis within the night. A moment is something one cannot hold on to, they slip through our fingers. The Melancholic mourns those lost moments, the beauty of history.
The Melancholic is wistful and reflects about the past and the future. Melancholy unites heaviness and lightness, tranquility and menace. This sadness is necessary in order to preserve and understand humanity.
As a final layer, the exhibition seeks to glance at the future. Melancholy is a state of reflection. We feel sadness due to a loss, but also a desire to fix it. If we could stop and examine this moment of change, what are then the challenges we face today? Can we engage in dialogue with other cultures, find unity in our differences? How to bare the past, if the future is uncertain? Melancholy drowns in nostalgia and tristesse, but also finds happiness within.