1. Nick Ervinck – Galerie Franzis Engels

Nick Ervinck, ‘Noiterus’, 2021, polyester and polyurethane, Galerie Franzis Engels (stand 67)

The story goes that in later life Picasso longed to be able to draw again as freely as he did when he was a child. In recent years, Nick Ervinck went through a similar process. He thought about what would happen if he gave up the control of computer-controlled modeling.

NOITERUS is an example of a work created from a newly acquired gut feeling, which needed no prior design or sketch and was created in the most traditional way. The artist completely surrendered to inspiration that came from acting thought and thoughtful action, the result of playful handling of such elementary materials as polyurethane, polyester and Styrofoam. Thus a new design emerged that applied a cloak of SKIN to a surface sculpted with hammers, chisels and sanders. A pure confrontation with matter that culminated in an extraordinary, rock-like sculpture.

The artist left his comfort zone to pursue his urge to experiment and obtained a rocky sculpture that embodies the dynamics of nature – a favorite theme in Chinese landscape art. The type of gongshi stone Nick Ervinck creates here is equally whimsical and unpredictable.

NICK ERVINCK (° 1981) graduated from KASK (Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Ghent) in 2003 with a master’s degree in Mixed Media. He then specialized in computer modeling and sculpture, and works with materials such as polyester, plaster and wood. After teaching at art academies in Tielt, Menen and Kortrijk (2004-2012), he returned to the KASK to spend three years as a visiting professor here. His work consists of large installations, handmade and 3D printed sculptures, ceramics, prints, drawings, light boxes and animated films.

As diverse as this art production may be, above all, he remains fascinated by the “negative space” as he discovered it with classical sculptors such as Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. The finding that a “hole” in matter is such a young idea will probably haunt him for the rest of his life. As a child of his time, he plays a varying game between the physical and virtual world, using both classic and new craftsmanship (computers, 3D printing and milling). From here he explores in his own unique way classical themes such as man (with a focus on his anatomy and the emergence of cyborgs), plants (especially their genetic manipulation), masks and animals, always starting from an (art) historical background that he cuts with contemporary pop and sci-fi culture.

He has received several prizes: Prix Godecharle (2005), The Fortis Young Ones Award (2006), the Provincial Prize for Fine Arts West Flanders (2006) and the Rodenbach Fund Award (2008). In 2013 Ervinck also won the prestigious Merit CODA Award for his art integration IMAGROD

In 2009 Ervinck was praised for WARSUBEC, a monumental project created for the Zebrastraat cultural site in Ghent. Many public and private assignments also followed, including EGNOABER, Emmen; IMAGROD, Ostend; REWAUTAL, Sotogrande; LUCE, Amersfoort; TSENABO, Tielt; and WIBIETOE, Anderlecht. In 2009 he moved to an old car workshop and transformed it into an artist’s studio. He founded Studio Nick Ervinck in 2011.
His work has been acquired by art collectors around the world and shown in solo and group exhibitions at NRW-Forum Düsseldorf; Ars Electronics, Linz; MARTa, Herford; Paul Valéry Museum, Sète; Fenaille Museum, Rodez; Laboral, Gijon; Museum Beelden aan Zee, Scheveningen; Bozar, Brussels; Brakke Grond, Amsterdam; S.M.A.K., Ghent; Gallo-Roman Museum, Tongeren; Museum Dr. Guislain, Ghent; Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels; Museum M, Leuven; the Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent and the Middelheim Museum, Antwerp.

Outside Europe, Ervinck took his first steps with group exhibitions in UNArt Center, Shanghai; MOCA, Shanghai; Axiom, Tokyo; Oya Stone Mine, Tokyo; Northern Arizona University Art Museum, Flagstaff and Chamber, New York. In 2019, at the request of the City Council of St. Petersburg, Florida, he was commissioned to create a public sculpture in bronze, OLNETOPIA. In 2020, he was asked by the Chinese government to create ALUNIK for the Shenzhen World Conventions & Exhibition Center in Shanghai. In 2021, a large solo museum exhibition is planned for him in Häme Castle organized by the National Museum of Finland. In addition to some 50 works inside and outside, a new monumental installation will also be presented here.