Two of Hearts is a visual dialogue between two artists: Jonathan Meese (Germany) and Rinus Van de Velde (Belgium).
The exhibition has been created in a collaboration between these two leading international artists, who have been given free rein to curate the exhibition throughout the gallery's exhibition spaces. Through dialogue and mutual inspiration, but without exceeding their individual practice, the artists have created an exhibition in which Rinus Van de Velde's almost photographic black and white works meets Jonathan Meese's powerful and expressive palette. The rather straightforward encounter between two different styles creates a more clear and nuanced expression of the individual work. This is again complemented by both artists' strong sculptural, figurative paintings, which give the exhibition further dynamism. The ability of both artists to express themselves through many different media is central to their dialogue. In addition to paintings, works on paper and sculptures, a film by each of the artists is shown.
"It’s a useful reduction to say that both Jonathan Meese and Rinus Van de Velde work with alter egos. These are not just the usual art-world flirtations with persona (which often more or less resemble the artist or are recognizable as character studies), but more sustained practices of proliferating biographies and personalities" writer Steven Zultanski writes in the accompanied exhibition catalog. He ends his texts with: "So the idea of collaboration between these two artists makes sense, even if their work is rather stylistically distinct: working together is a way of expanding each of their worlds outward, allowing them to overlap with other worlds. It’s also a further form of self-effacement (as collaboration always is), masking and altering their individual concerns, splintering them so that they proliferate. Their shared concern with alter egos is a part of a larger effort to negate the idea of a static reality; with exuberance and more than a touch of melancholy, they aim to transform fixed, lived experience into speculation and play."