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Pars pro toto

Johan De Wilde


29.05 - 10.07.2021


Installation views

Press release

Johan De Wilde ‘Pars pro toto’ – 29 May – 10 July 2021
Art Brussels Week in the galleries, Thursday – Sunday, 3-6 June, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Central to this new exhibition by Johan De Wilde at Hopstreet Gallery is the drawing series Pars pro toto. With this extensive work, De Wilde carefully reflects on the famous idea of the ‘Renaissance, a window on the world’. The 28-part series evokes the frescoes painted by Fra Angelico and others in the 15th century in the friars’ cells of the Convent of San Marco in Florence. Each fresco is reduced to its essence – a particle of colour – and rebuilt as a window or a view. This results in an alienating and confrontational relationship between time and space, reality and imagination, and gives rise to the burning question of ‘how to live by looking’.

The exhibition also offers a wide selection of other new work as well as parts of Requiem, a tribute to the late curator Tanguy Eeckhout, parts of the series Indoor Impressionismus, the Pi series and a brand new series on coastal towns.

Pars pro toto is also the title of the third part of the Hands of Time monograph that Johan De Wilde is working on tirelessly. This new book will be presented to the public during the opening weekend.

Hans Theys in Hands of Time – Pars pro toto

…The drawings are meta-paintings (paintings that speak of painting), but they are also objects that evoke a spiritual attitude to life. They remind me not only of Mondrian, but also of the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Barnett Newman’s Stations of the Cross, or Bernd Lohaus’ works with wood or brown tape: minimal, but not minimalist…

Philippe Van Cauteren in Hands of Time – Pars pro toto

…The stacking and layering of “redundant” lines in each drawing — allow me to describe it as such — is a return to meaning, is an opening towards the meaning of language, time and space, history, memory, place, and even identity…

Luc Derycke in Hands of Time – Pars pro toto

….The thing that delights me the most when viewing Johan De Wilde’s work is that silence is always eloquent ….


Johan De Wilde (°1964) lives and works in Ghent. He studied graphic art at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) in Ghent.

He had solo exhibitions in Museum Dhondt Dhaenens, Huis Van Wassenhove; Emergent, Veurne; Loods 12, Wetteren and also participated in group exhibitions including S.M.A.K. presents in Club Solo, Breda; M.M.O.M.A., Moscow; Museum Dr Guislain, Ghent; 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa; Ecce Homo, Antwerp; Drawing the Bottom Line and The Collection (1) Highlights for a future, S.M.A.K.; Dean Project, New York.

His work is in the collections of the S.M.A.K., MAC’s Grand Hornu and the National Bank of Belgium.