Zonder titel [Untitled]

Narcisse Tordoir


Painting, 40 x 40 x 12.5 cm.
Materials: acryl, wood, gypsum

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BK5213_M26).

Zonder titel (Untitled) (1985) consists of a number of square panels measuring 40 x 40 cm, which together form a grid. The empty spaces between the panels are a significant part of the work. The panels are painted in acrylic, which ensures an even layer of paint. The palette is reduced to three colours: red, white and black. Each panel has a motif. Recognisable objects reduced to the simplest outlines alternate with diffuse organic forms. These linear figures are inspired by objects in Tordoir’s immediate surroundings. Five halves of plaster balls are also integrated in the work: one white ball in the centre, four black balls around it. In this way Tordoir breaks with the flat surface of painting and renders it more spatial. The panels appear to be mutually interchangeable and escape every attempt at unambiguous interpretation. The work is a labyrinth of signs. We witness an inventory of images without any pictorial centre or hierarchy. The individual motifs are often recognisable, but in relation to each other they create a mysterious and enigmatic whole, a rebus without a clear solution. The title provides no further guidance and refuses to guide viewers in any particular direction. Tordoir mystifies the everyday by taking it out of its usual context.

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