“I discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it.”
The Biennale of Painting is in its fifth edition. The three regional museums of the Lys region join hands again to bring together paintings from the last hundred and fifty years. Contemporary painting plays a prominent role in this project as well. This edition focuses on the longing for the Unknown and Exotic versus the certainty of the personal, and local, environment.
The 2016 edition carries the somewhat surprising subtitle Yoknapatawpha. The name’s origin can be attributed to American writer William Faulkner’s fictional Yoknapatawpha County province, the setting for most of his novels such as The Sound and the Fury, and Absalom, Absalom! This fictional land bears a striking resemblance to Faulkner’s native Mississippi region, Lafayette County, a point he acknowledged during his career.
At the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, the work of two artists from the museum’s own collection, James Ensor and Albijn van den Abeele, provides the commencement for a painterly discovery that involves numerous artists from different generations and continents. While Albijn Van den Abeele, from Sint-Martens-Latem, always sublimated his own familiar surroundings into his painting, James Ensor longed for his own exotic world.