press release

Sometimes the title of an artwork happens to be more meaningful than it appears at first glance. A title can seem irrational; in an inconsistent setting or just purely descriptive. Nevertheless titles can reveal more about the artists' intention than we would expect. Titles can even cause indignation as it happened with Marcel Duchamp's perhaps most renowned painting: Nude Descending a Staircase, n° 2 (Nu descendant un escalier n° 2) in 1912. This work surprisingly was rejected by the Society of Independent Artists (Salon des Indépendants) which was founded in order to display new and revolutionary developments in painting. The members of the Salon however felt that Duchamp mocked the Cubist movement. What they objected to was the contrast between the traditional descriptive title and the abstract visual image.

Duchamp was deeply interested in both visual and textual language. He understood words as mechanisms which can trigger numerous associations to manipulate meaning and to keep a certain layer of mystery around the artwork. It was Duchamp who suggested that the title of an artwork is an invisible colour. The exhibition: The Invisible Colour offers a different view on specific works in the museum collection by drawing attention to the various strategies artists use to deal with, and take advantage of titles. Some of the artists speak in a direct language (i.e. Francis Alÿs) while others, without the enlightenment of the title, would leave the spectator in a labyrinth of visual possibilities (i.e. Luc Tuymans).

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The Invisible Colour
A collection display
Kurator: Kristina Dittelova

Künstler: Pawel Althamer, Francis Alÿs, Jowan van Barneveld, Michael Krebber, Joëlle Tuerlinckx. Luc Tuymans