Jan Fabre

Jan Fabre has created three new altarpieces for St. Augustine’s Church. He was inspired by the original paintings by Rubens, Jordaens and van Dyck. The former Augustinian church has since been transformed into the AMUZ convention and music centre.

The Antwerp 3

In 1628, the Augustinian order commissioned altarpieces for their abbey church in Kammenstraat from three of Antwerp’s most famous baroque painters. Peter Paul Rubens painted the canvas for the main altar, while Jacob Jordaens and Sir Anthony van Dyck painted works for the altars dedicated to St. Apollonia and St. Augustine, in the north and south transepts. The three works are now part of the permanent collection of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp and can no longer be seen in the church. On the occasion of “Antwerp Baroque 2018. Rubens inspires”, Jan Fabre was asked to create new, permanent works for St. Augustine’s Church, in accordance with the historical tradition of ecclesiastical commissions.

Jan Fabre

Fabre explores the visual language of the Baroque in his interpretation of the altarpieces but also took AMUZ’s three current functions into account: as a concert hall, a convention and business centre and a recording studio. He has transposed the altarpieces of Jordaens, van Dyck and Rubens into the language of 2018, creating “The monastic performance”, “The mystical contract” and “The ecstatic recording”. The key elements of Fabre’s work converge in these works: the lamb, the fire, woman, spirituality and diamonds, which symbolise his love of Antwerp.

Jewel beetle

Fabre chose to use the shields of the jewel beetle as a material for his alternative interpretations. He has already previously used this technique in the Hall of Mirrors of the Royal Palace in Brussels, where he transformed the ceiling into a Heaven of Delight. The pictorial effect of the shields of the jewel beetle strikes a balance between a mosaic and classic oils. The intensity of each shield is different because of the way the light reflects on them, causing a transformation of the image, depending on how the light falls.

Collage drawings

The altarpieces were created based on several different collage drawings by Fabre. These drawings are also exhibited in Antwerp, from 6 July until 4 November at the Rossaert art gallery in Nosestraat. The free exhibition is open every Friday and Saturday from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m.

AMUZ | from 03.07.2018

Angelos Bvba | foto Stephan Vanfleteren

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