15 rue des Arquebusiers, 75003 Paris, Tel : 33 + 1 42 72 21 27
April 22 - June 10, 2023

The Belgian artist Bart Baele invites himself for his sixth solo exhibition at Galerie Polaris.

Through fifteen fascinating and tortured paintings, he delivers to us the universe populated by his demons. The strength of his work lies both in his palette in the symbolism of recurring motifs.  His pain, mixed with a bitter humor, is omnipresent, universal, and impregnates each of his paintings with a sincerity and a disconcerting spontaneity.

Bart Baele’s imagery is composed of heterogeneous and often recurring elements: crucifixes, reminiscent of the catechism of his childhood, skulls, testicles that fly into the air under the title of Victory of French or Flamish words, thrown on the canvas. Invoking his personal pantheon – Antonin Artaud, Edvard Munch, Vincent Van Gogh, James Ensor, Niko Pirosmani… Bart Baele quotes and uses them as a kind of incantation made out loud, accentuating the tension between satire and drama, pamphlet and fable, which runs throughout this fascinating work.  These quotations amplify an emotional charge from which the spectator cannot escape. The theatricality of existence takes here all its extent.

The Dutch painter Constant seems to have grasped Bart Baele’s approach by anticipation when he wrote: « a painting is not an assembly of lines and colors; it is an animal, a night, a cry, a human being, and all of that at the same time. »

The artist’s voice is like this cry, signifying that the artist exists and breathes, a silent but also ironic cry of anxiety.


The characters that populate his works are sometimes disembodied envelopes, already mowed down by death, sometimes puppets from Baele’s personal theater.

Ghosts, masks, skeletons, lost children: so many frail, often floating silhouettes. Referring to his life, but especially to his daily reflections on the place of man in humankind, Bart Baele draws a pessimistic portrait, but filled with the humor of Belgian artists.

If Bart Baele manages to take the necessary distance to this affliction that represents for him the contemporary life and the art of today, he does not translate less in his work, the strong feelings on this human nature.

Each painting is for him a scar of life.



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