The Performance


Oil on canvas

71 x 83 cm

The only subject of The Performance is a satiny sheet covering a quadrangular object, probably a crate, lying on a reflective wooden surface. The only decor is a neutral grey background. Its extremely sober composition and chromatic palette and lack of context remove any descriptive dimension from the work.

In keeping with his pictorial style, the hyper-realism of The Performance seems to want to rival photography. Nevertheless, it remains in the camp of great painting as a demonstration - or performance? - of a masterful technique recalling the return to figurative art in the 1930s and 40s.

This work by Michaël Borremans was presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection during the 2009 "Mapping the Studio" show at the Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi in Venice.