Alain Biltereyst “Slow, Simple, Sweet” and “Grey” at Brand New Gallery, Milan / MOUSSE CONTEMPORARY ART MAGAZINE

Alain Biltereyst “Slow, Simple, Sweet” and “Grey” at Brand New Gallery, Milan

by mousse

February 11~2016

Alain Biltereyst “Slow, Simple, Sweet”

“Slow, Simple, Sweet” is the first solo exhibition by Belgian artist Alain Biltereyst in Italy.

Biltereyst continues to explore shapes and colours through his plywood paintings series.

Although his small paintings tend to be abstract, the artist always starts from an existing (urban) reality.

The study of signs is a theme that runs through Biltereyst’s work. These ties to the present are what differentiate Biltereyst from the abstract art of early last century, which wanted to evoke a world of its own, separate from the existing reality. In his work we always find a reference, to the contemporary everyday life, the here and the now.

The raw wood on which he works, the deliberate errors in the geometric shapes and the inaccuracies created while painting refer to graffiti art dynamics.

With a background in graphic design, Biltereyst is fascinated by the vividness and struggle of commercial and other signs in the public arena. A poster, a design on a truck, logos, ads out in the street, etc… all these signs are part of an everyday idiom, blurring the lines between culture and subculture.


at Brand New Gallery, Milan
until 20 February 2016

Alain Biltereyst “Slow, Simple, Sweet” installation views at Brand New Gallery, Milan, 2016



Grey is a very common colour in nature. The human eye can recognize the same object as grey or as any other colour depending on how much light there is. The eye can distinguish 16 levels of grey. Grey is a complementary colour.

The grey colour in painting has been experimented and theorized for centuries. The Classic conception considers grey as an “off-white”. It can be obtained adding black to white. However, there are other methods to obtain grey: for example combining the three primary colours (blue, yellow, red). In this case grey is called “neutral grey”. Differently from black, this special colour allows to simulate more naturally the shadows. Another way to create grey consists in mixing the primary colours for printing: cyan, magenta yellow.

This colour defines a relationship between the sensible and the super sensible. As Hegel wrote in his essay “Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences” [1]: “The symbol expresses both more and less than its intended meaning”.

“Grey matter” contains most of the brain’s neuronal cell bodies and for this reason grey colour is referred to the intellectual sphere.

Moreover, it represents an attitude characterized by objectivity and balance because grey is a colour which includes white and black: good and evil.

David Batchelor wrote in Chromofobia [2]: “For this colour–intense, heightened, pure, unqualified–offered a glimpse of the `Other World’, a world beyond Nature and the Law, a world undimmed by language, concepts, meanings and uses”.

He noted that “Dorothy’s Kansas, as we know, is grey”.

Domenico de Chirico

Participating artists: Martin Erik Andersen / Chris Bradley / Jesse Darling / Keith Karquhar / Anders Holen / Daniel Keller / Yves Scherer

[1] G.W.F. Hegel, excerpt from “Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences”, 1830

[2] David Batchelor, excerpt from “Chromophobia”, London: Reaktion, 2000


at Brand New Gallery, Milan
until 20 February 2016

“Grey” installation views at Brand New Gallery, Milan, 2016.

Courtesy: the artists and Brand New Gallery, Milan.