David Zwirner presents an exhibition of new paintings by the Belgian artist Harold Ancart at the gallery’s 24 Grafton Street location in London.
Ancart began painting icebergs in January 2018 in response to a glacial winter in New York, where the artist is based. These new works will be on view in Freeze, Ancart’s first exhibition in the United Kingdom as well as his first presentation at the gallery. The title of the exhibition refers not only to cold temperature but also to the command not to move.
Ancart paints subjects that naturally invite contemplation such as the horizon, clouds, flowers, or flames. Mankind has gathered around a flickering flame for millennia, weaving stories and creating myth, while the flame generates faces and figures as it moves. Clouds, mountains, and icebergs function in the same anthropomorphic way. According to the artist, they carry many faces and tell many stories.
The subject matter of the iceberg is consistent throughout the exhibition. The only other recurrent element that unites the paintings is the horizon line that slices through each work, dividing sky and sea, foreground and background. This device dissects the painting from a figurative whole into abstract parts; subject concedes to form, color, and gesture; these works are a meditation on painting.
Harold Ancart was born in 1980 in Brussels, where he received his MFA at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de La Cambre in 2007. His work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at venues around the world, including WIELS, Brussels (2012); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013); The Menil Collection, Houston, Texas (2016), which marked the artist’s first installation at a major American museum; and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2017). He is currently working on a site-specific installation, which is set to debut in October 2018, for the Peindre la nuit exhibition series at the Centre Pompidou-Metz in Metz, France. In 2019, Ancart will paint nineteen handball courts across the five boroughs of New York City, as part of a citywide exhibition organized by Public Art Fund.
Works by the artist are included in the permanent collections of numerous institutions worldwide, including the Fondation Beyeler, Basel; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Lenbachhaus, Munich; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark; The Menil Collection, Houston, Texas; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Ancart lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.