Thierry De Cordier

Central Pavilion
55th International Art Exhibition
la Biennale di Venezia
1 juni – 24 november 2013

Thierry De Cordier shows nine paintings which fill the four walls of room 9 of the Central pavilion. His work is juxtaposed to an early sculpture Richard Serra in the middle of the room. In this installation the two artists reflect, both in their own way, on the relation horizontal-vertical.


Thierry De Cordier is a philosopher, performer, sculptor, writer and poet. As a young artist, he lived a nomadic existence that caused him to reflect upon architecture as a model for social relations. For a long time, his garden was a substitute and a metaphor for the world. Later, he turned his back to the world to look at the sea. Thierry De Cordier is an existential artist who tries to understand the world through his own experience. His work is the result of a personal quest: a search for his own identity, his relationship to the world, and his role within society. His work, in which the infinitely small is reflected in the infinitely big, develops organically from his inner psyche. In the last few decades, Thierry De Cordier has dedicated himself to painting. Recurrent themes include mountains, seascapes and desolate landscapes that are partly inspired by the vast, black and white topographical paintings made in China during the 10th and 11th century, yet capture the essential qualities of the landscape and light of Northern Europe. The grey skies and ink black seas of his monochromatic paintings evoke melancholy, with the most dramatic scenes being those in which waves and mountainous cliffs fuse together to embody the forces of nature within a single primal image.
A large room dedicated to De Cordier’s work forms part of the Venice Biennale 2013 and can be seen in the exhibition The Encyclopaedic Palace in the central pavilion. Recent solo exhibitions include Landschappen at BOZAR, Brussels (2012), and exhibitions of drawings at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2007). He was responsible for the Belgian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1997. His monumental public work De Kapel van het Niets, in the garden of the Sint-Norbertus psychiatric hospital in Duffel, Belgium, was inaugurated in 2007.
Thierry De Cordier was born in Oudenaarde, Belgium, in 1954. The artist currently lives in Ostend, Belgium.

Photography © 2013 Dirk Pauwels, Gent
Courtesy the Artist and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels