Spotlight: Belgian artist Peter Buggenhout’s sculptures will inaugurate the new Madrid space of Galería Hilario Galguera

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About the artist: Belgian artist Peter Buggenhout (b. 1963) creates visceral, hard-to-find assemblage sculptures. Often these sculptures tend towards the abject, incorporating various forms of detritus, such as plastic wrappers and inflatable objects, and even blood and animal intestines. Next week Buggenhout’s newest sculptures will be exhibited in “A dog with eyes for the blind”, a personal exhibition that will also mark the inauguration of the new Madrid outpost of the Galería Hilario Galguera (opening September 7). The exhibition marks the artist’s second solo exhibition with the Mexico City-based gallery; in 2017 he made his debut with “Los Ciegos Guiando a los Ciegos”. Over the years, Buggenhout’s sculptures have also been featured in exhibitions at MoMA PS1 in New York, as well as the Palais de Tokyo and Center Pompidou in Paris.

Pierre Buggenhout, I am Tablet #6 (2021). Courtesy of Hilario Galguera Gallery.

Why we love it: From materials as unexpected as dust, debris and blood, Buggenhout constructs large-scale compositions that eschew any form of representation. Instead, these works adhere to an internal logic that negotiates the viewer’s place in space with changing perceptions of the object. Buggenhout called his unexpected arrangements shrapnel in their unexpected and jarring nature. He sees his creative process as a metaphor for the human condition; our lives become the sum of scattered moments and close-at-hand experiences from which we ultimately hope to wrest some kind of meaning. “There is no right or wrong perspective for judging,” the artist explained. “My works are not meant to be memorable and therefore appear unexpectedly different from all sides.”

Peter Buggenhout in the studio (2017).  Courtesy of the artist and Galería Hilario Galguera.

Peter Buggenhout in the studio, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Galería Hilario Galguera.

According to the Gallery: “Peter Buggenhout works with the intention of complexifying and deepening different ideas, creating works that express vital aspects of contemporary existence such as decadence, overaccumulation, uncertainty, destruction and ignorance, among others… What appears [in his works] for the overwhelming chaos is actually the result of a painstaking, long and methodical process. The sculptures, often overwhelming in size, manifest as ruins or the archeology of the artist’s sentiment towards the current state of Western cultures, and act as a counter-proposal to current trends of quick and easy consumption. Despite the brutality of the works, there is nostalgia and hope, evident simply because the act of making involves an affirmation of life and a promise of resurgence. Both are suggestive in the title of the exhibition “A dog with eyes for the blind”, in which blindness does not mean the end of all forms of vision.

“Peter Buggenhout: A Dog with Eyes for the Blind” will be presented at Galería Hilario Galguera, Madrid, from September 7 to November 5, 2022. Meanwhile, “Stijn Cole: Horizons » is on display at the Galería Hilario Galguera, Mexico City, until November 20.

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