Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp - Donation Friends of M HKA, 1999 (Inv. no. S0262).
From a distance, Solitaires seems massive and heavy. Closer up, we see the ‘solitaries’: separate little balls of clay, each hung from a rope, bound together into a whole. Kneaded by hand, each ball has its own shape. The body is Michel François’ main source of inspiration from the world of forms, particularly in its most unexpected details. This gives genesis to concave and convex shapes, casts, prints, cross-sections and photographs. Of determinative importance here, is the print that the fingers leave behind. After selection and assemblage these details go on to lead full lives of their own. The very varied objects of Michel François have this sort of ‘organic naturalness’, a natural connection with reality as their common attribute. The work hangs unmovingly, but at the same time there is a suggestion of motion. Michel François is fascinated by elementary physics: the laws of energy, dynamism and movement. In his work he addresses those aspects that elude science’s objectivity, that find no room within the rational and schematic scientific approach. His sculptures possess a concentrated power, tension, restrained violence and lurking danger.
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The M HKA’s contemporary art collection has grown thanks to a combination of acquisitions, donations and long-term loans from various public