Nel Aerts (b. 1987 in Turnhout, lives and works in Antwerp) turns the Westfälischer Kunstverein into a “Haus der Wanderer”, a temporary home, a gathering place where wanderers and travelers encounter those other inhabitants and dwellers, who have been put up here by the artist. We see them in paintings and drawings: sometimes humorously absurd, sometimes emotionally appealing figures always competing with abstract two-dimensional patterns. This invite shows such a juxtaposition with a drowsily disoriented man underneath a poster of (a travelling) Matisse in Morocco. Travel is not limited simply to geographical measures and movements but may also describe internal developments and mental leaps. This belief feeds Nel Aerts’s practice when her reflections on her own identity and position as an artist form the backdrop of many of her works.
The exhibition at the Westfälischer Kunstverein can be regarded as one part of a diptych with another exhibition by Nel Aerts being simultaneously presented at the Kunsthalle Lingen – both shows have been developed in close collaboration and constitute the artist’s first institutional solo shows in Germany.
Curated by Kristina Scepanski