Thierry De Cordier is a philosopher, visual artist, writer and poet. As a young artist, he lived a nomadic existence that caused him to reflect upon architecture as a model for social relations. For a long time, his garden was a substitute and a metaphor for the world. Later, he turned his back to the world to look at the sea. De Cordier is an existential artist who tries to understand the world through his own experience. His work is the result of a personal quest: a search for his own identity, his relationship to the world, and his role within society. His work, in which the infinitely small is reflected in the infinitely big, develops organically from his inner psyche. In the last few decades, De Cordier has dedicated himself to painting. Recurrent themes include desolate landscapes, seascapes and mountains that are partly inspired by the vast, black and white topographical paintings made in China during the 17th and 18th century, yet capture the essential qualities of the landscape and light of Northern Europe. The grey skies and ink black seas of his paintings evoke melancholy, with the most dramatic scenes being those in which waves and mountainous cliffs fuse together to embody the forces of nature within a single primal image.
Thierry De Cordier (b. 1954, Oudenaarde, Belgium) currently lives and works in the Alpujarras, Spain. A large room dedicated to his work was on view in the exhibition The Encyclopedic Palace curated by Massimiliano Gioni at the Venice Biennale in 2013. Solo exhibitions include Iconotextures at Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels (2016); Landschappen at BOZAR, Brussels (2012) and Drawings at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2004-2005). He was responsible for the Belgian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1997. His monumental public work De Kapel van het Niets, in the garden of the Sint-Norbertus psychiatric hospital in Duffel, Belgium, was inaugurated in 2007.
text by Thierry De Cordier, published by MER. Paper Kunsthalle, 2017, 288 pages, French
text by Michel Draguet, published by Royal Museum for Fine Arts of Belgium, 2016, 32 pages, English, French and Dutch
text by Thierry De Cordier, published by Salon Verlag, 2015, 170 pages, French
text by Bernard Dewulf, published by Ludion, 2002, 268 pages, French
edited by Jonas Storsve, published by Centre Pompidou, 2004, 96 pages, English and French
24 October 2019—9 February 2020
Boghossian Foundation – Villa Empain, Brussels, Belgium
1 July 2017—3 January 2021
Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands