To commemorate the 70th birthday of the artist photographer Karel Fonteyne and his 50 year career, Hangar presents a major retrospective of his work through a selection of 200 images.
As a flagship figure in Belgian and international fashion photography, Karel Fonteyne’s career in that genre spanned more than 15 years. His rather experimental style gave rise to pioneering images that went beyond classical fashion photography. In 1996, he decided to give up fashion photography to develop a more personal work. Karel Fonteyne is non-conformist. He plays with codes, deconstructs reality and prefers the complex to the obvious. “Generally, I don’t photograph what I see but what my mind reflects”.
The exhibition is neither linear nor chronological, but rather circular. The spectre of the present will not prevent the visitor from grasping Karel Fonteyne’s work because his images are ageless and out of time. Like a journey through the photographer’s mind, one jumps from photo to photo, from black and white to colour, from staged to spontaneous, from conceptual to fashion photography. The concept story has a direct influence on the variety of techniques. Concurrently homogeneous and heterogeneous, personal and universal, his work is an invitation to construct one’s own narrative.
Spread over the three floors of Hangar, the exhibition is composed of different chapters, where sensuality, esotericism, nature, solitude and humour combine to create a particular atmosphere of his inner world. Karel Fonteyne’s images awaken the senses and transport us into another universe. They tell a story without words.
A retrospective book entitled Spell will be published to coincide with the exhibition.