The Appearance


Oil on canvas

160 x 198.1 x 3.2 cm

Shrouded in mysterious chiaroscuro, three men put their hands on a large table, peering over at each others’ upwardly-turned palms. A sober painting, The Appearance has no additional narrative or even decorative context, making it impossible to explain the odd action and gesture.

A clever play between light and dark makes Belgian visual artist Michaël Borremans’ scenes look timeless, as though they have been taken from a past that, for lack of context, remains undefined. Their composition and hyper-realism also reflect the photographic gaze he casts on his canvases in a creative confusion of genres.

The Appearance is in the Pinault Collection. It was exhibited, among other places, in the major group show "Mapping the Studio" at the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana in Venice.