the surprising side of art – the work of Edith Dekyndt

Minimalist contemporary Flemish artist Edith Dekyndt (b. Ypres, 1960) is part physicist and part artist, and her work, like that of the great Mark Rothko, pulls me right in.  I don’t know what it is but there is something powerful, alluring and beautiful in her “simple” works of art.

Like other artists I’ve featured before such as Yves Klein or even Cynthia Karalla, Dekynd is an experimental artist who is far from preoccupied with the outcome of her art.  She uses the process of creation as a working tool in crafting her pieces.
Here are a few examples:
Her “X-Men series” of works (main image and above) are made from stretching satin over a stretcher and laying it face down over a shallow pool of coffee, ink or wine.  Through capillary action – this is the physics part – the delicate membranes of the fabric pull the liquid up, into and across the material totally defying gravity.  The final outcome is anybody’s guess but I think you would agree, the bruised and stained material is solemnly beautiful.  Sometimes an x-pattern mysteriously appears on the surface (no, really!).  Somehow it all reminds me of the Shroud of Turin, where the image of Christ has miraculously appeared on the linen (and now I’m getting hit by lighting!!!)
Her “Untitled, Graphite 06” on linen is also an experiment.  Slowly and repetitively for months, Dekyndt applied pencil marks until the area was completely filled.  What resulted was a sublimely wonderful piece of black undulations – from the pressure of the pencil built over time – moving through the surface like rippling water.
Working with a wool blanket and silver leaf, Dekyndt recently crafted “Untitled, Silver Blanket L” in an alliance of materials that is utterly unnatural.  In this case, the work is not finished but slowly tarnishes with time.  I love this piece in that it continues to evolve even as it hangs in your home and its final outcome is unknown.
There is something refreshing about art that is made by the artist (novel concept, I know!) and for which there is no anticipated plan for its finished “look”.  Maybe this is what art is all about.  Exploring the unknown without our human fixation to know, control or resolve.

richard rabel
richard rabel: interiors + art
interior design and art advising
new york city

image credits: courtesy of Carl Freedman Gallery, London who represents the artist.