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Frieze Fatigue? ICFF Exhaustation? Relax with Paul Delvaux


Paul Delvaux, “La Joie de vivre,” a 1938 oil painting. (© Paul Delvaux Foundation, Belgium)

You came, you saw, you Friezed (and joined the Collective), and then dived straight into NYCxDESIGN and ICFF. In the few days that stand between you and a road trip, body of water, and/or that teetering stack of unread books you can now refer to as your “summer reading list,” soothe your weary eyes with the help of Paul Delvaux (1897–1994). A selection of 20 of the Belgian artist’s quietly seductive works are on view through June 1 at Blain|Di Donna gallery in New York, after which they’ll travel to London.

Produced over a span of 35 years, the works in this non-selling exhibition follow Delvaux as he samples a variety of influences–James Ensor‘s skeletal hijinks, Giorgio de Chirico‘s haunted piazzas, Dalí‘s alienated objects and parched landscapes, Magritte‘s mysterious lovers and bowler-hatted men of mystery–and makes them his own, in a world where mythical figures contemplate crumbling cities (Delvaux studied architecture at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels before picking up a paintbrush), suspiciously lush foilage, roiling seas, and ribbon corsages, abandoned and pinned to the floor.

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