Virginie Bailly


On the works of the Servitude de Vue series

The title of Bailly’s latest series of works is Servitude de vue.
Here’s what she says about them:
“It’s a term frequently used by architects. In fact, it’s a hatch between the kitchen and the dining room that was very fashionable in the fifties and sixties. But architects use them more for a window or opening through which you see too much of your neighbours. They have to make sure these openings are in the right place so that privacy is not violated. In my story, it of course becomes a hatch for the view and it is naturally related to my viewing boxes and installations, which are always intended to guide the eye. In this series I have, on the one hand, been inspired by the Capella degli Scrovegni, with its works by Giotto and, on the other, by Japanese prints in which the relationship between inside and outside is played out nicely. There are, for example, structures whose roof has been omitted so you can look inside, there are walls and non-walls and a couple of human figures who are there almost as nothing more than a motif or a smudge. And there are those architectural elements in Giotto’s work too, the columns and chapels and the search for the right perspective and the relationship between inside and outside.”

(Excerpt from ODELAY exhibition catalogue, Culturcentrum Hasselt, Belgium, Jan. 24 to Mar. 4, 2016)



Belgian artist Virginie Bailly lives and works in a sparsely populated suburb of Brussels, where the potentials for the urbanized landscape are still open and uncertain. The area bears the fitting name of “petit île” and supplies perfect fuel for her already quite extensive multidisciplinary oeuvre.
In her Vide-Plein series, Bailly analyzes paintings almost anatomically. She slices photos of ruins, half-demolished houses, and deserted sites on her cutting table. In her own very unique way, she dissects the structure of the photo, leaving only the essential in its place. Bailly hunts down not only the pure essence of the image with her expressive brushstrokes, she also explores the very fundaments of painting itself: color, composition, applying paint, and gesture.
In addition to the brushstrokes, which represent a basic building block, gesture is a very important aspect.
It’s gesture that picks up on all facets of the foundation of Bailly’s relentless precision, becoming like the filtered leftovers of heterogeneous perception. (Floris Dehantschutter)