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Dark Lines
5.11–5.12.2015 Arkadia International Bookshop, Helsinki

Dark Lines was not an altogether ordinary exhibition. Even though Bourgeot had produced artworks during his entire adult life, this was the first occasion that his drawings were shown to the public. While Bourgeot had not shown publicly, he certainly had produced an astounding numbers of works, from which a small, carefully selected number was included in this exhibition. The main part of exhibition was made up of his latest drawings (2014–2015). However, several of the selected works, including the largest pieces, dated back to 2005.

In the end, the decision to create this exhibition was made by the artist’s wife and the curator. One of the factors that drove them was very down-to-earth. The number of artworks in the Bourgeots’ home was becoming so considerable that they felt it was high time to bring them to the public realm, thereby initiating a dialogue between the artist and audience. Another reason was their simple and firm conviction: Ian Bourgeot’s drawings had to be shown and seen.

The central theme uniting the drawings in this exhibition was: “The Man”. This is the most recurrent topic in Bourgeot’s drawings. The artist has a very particular way of depicting the character of a man, which has changed only faintly over the years, even decades. Although the man assumes a variety of appearances, the inner character remains unchanging. On one hand he could be perceived as the archetype of man, on the other, he is quite possibly the artist himself.

On some occasions Bourgeot draws objects quite distinct from the man. These are objects that attract the artist’s aesthetic attention: teapots, books, vegetables, items of clothing, etc. These drawings represent a pause or respite – indispensable to the artist – that allows him to return to depicting the man from a new perspective. Drawing inanimate objects is a process that Bourgeot approaches from a singular viewpoint: the drawings are frequently inspired by what he sees in his actual surroundings or in photographs. Portraying the man is a different, perhaps subjective, exercise. The man, as it were, exists solely in the mind of the artist, and they share a similar and parallel life, memories, emotions, dreams, as well as nightmares.

The exhibition was curated by Anastasia Isakova.

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