Michiel Ceulers: Scissor Valley People (Birds of a Feather Flock Together)

Los Angeles

ft Kaspar Bosmans, Wim De Pauw, Birde Vanheerswynghels, and Benjamin Verhoeven

July 17 – August 21, 2021

Michiel Ceulers: Scissor Valley People (Birds of a Feather Flock Together)
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Michiel Ceulers: Scissor Valley People (Birds of a Feather Flock Together)
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Michiel Ceulers: Scissor Valley People (Birds of a Feather Flock Together)
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Michiel Ceulers: Scissor Valley People (Birds of a Feather Flock Together)
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Michiel Ceulers: Scissor Valley People (Birds of a Feather Flock Together)
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Michiel Ceulers: Scissor Valley People (Birds of a Feather Flock Together)
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Michiel Ceulers: Scissor Valley People (Birds of a Feather Flock Together)
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Michiel Ceulers: Scissor Valley People (Birds of a Feather Flock Together)
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Michiel Ceulers: Scissor Valley People (Birds of a Feather Flock Together)
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Michiel Ceulers: Scissor Valley People (Birds of a Feather Flock Together)
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Michiel Ceulers: Scissor Valley People (Birds of a Feather Flock Together)
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Michiel Ceulers: Scissor Valley People (Birds of a Feather Flock Together)
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Michiel Ceulers: Scissor Valley People (Birds of a Feather Flock Together)
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Kasper Bosmans
Dwarf Parade Dog (Ruby Nipples), 2018
butter, rubies
1.75 x 6.5 x 3 in
4.5 x 16.5 x 7.6 cm

Michiel Ceulers
Minenfeld für Rezensionen / eine Lehrstunde in Liebe (die Großzügigkeit der anderen), 2021
oil, encaustic, spray paint, gummies, and glitter on canvas on board
30.3 x 39.4 in
77 x 100 cm

Michiel Ceulers
Minenfeld für Rezensionen / eine Lehrstunde in Liebe (die Großzügigkeit der anderen), 2021
(detail view)

Michiel Ceulers
Sir Robert’s Faux Opening, (Rapport Vroom Vroom), 2021
oil, acrylic, gloss paint, and gummies on canvas and tote bag
31.5 x 25.5 in
80 x 65 cm

Michiel Ceulers
An attempt to distance “painting” from the hegemony of its image, 2021
oil, encaustic, gloss paint, liquin, and glitter on wood
20 x 27.5 in
51 x 70 cm

Michiel Ceulers
Schwules Babys / Liza Minelli est une traîtresse / Der Satellit Jupiter, 2021
oil, encaustic, gloss paint, and glitter on canvas on cardboard on wood
31.5 x 27.5 in
80 x 70 cm

Michiel Ceulers
Schlürfend aus einem Feuerwehrschlauch / when the world is flooded dance in the rain, 2021
oil, acrylic, glitter, perspex, silicone, and styrofoam on canvas
31.5 x 39.5 in
80 x 100 cm

Michiel Ceulers
Schlürfend aus einem Feuerwehrschlauch / when the world is flooded dance in the rain, 2021
(detail view)

Michiel Ceulers
The herald of his artistic progeny / soufflant votre trompette au milieu d'une fanfare, 2020-2021
oil, spraypaint, encaustic & tin foil on wood
27.2 x 33.25 in
69 x 84.5 cm

Michiel Ceulers
The herald of his artistic progeny / soufflant votre trompette au milieu d'une fanfare, 2020-2021
(detail view)

Michiel Ceulers
Dans les tubes du Guggenheim (le dernier espoir de la romance picturale), 2021
acrylic and perspex on canvas and board
28 x 22.25 in
71 x 56.5 cm

Michiel Ceulers
Starter / Boy O Boy, 2020-2021
gloss paint and magazine clipping on canvas and wood
31.5 x 21.65 in
80 x 55 cm

Michiel Ceulers
Starter / Boy O Boy, 2020-2021
(detail view)

Michiel Ceulers
Berliner Ensemble (Siesta), 2021
oil, encaustic, and perspex on canvas and wood
24.8 x 15.75 in
63 x 40 cm

Michiel Ceulers
Berliner Ensemble (Siesta), 2021
(alternate view)

Michiel Ceulers
Denkmall/incubator, 2021
cardboard, light fixture, paper, tape
49 x 42.5 x 24.5 in
124.5 x 108 x 62.25 cm

Michiel Ceulers
Denkmall/incubator, 2021
(alternate view)

Michiel Ceulers
Denkmall/incubator, 2021
(detail view)

Michiel Ceulers
Denkmall/incubator, 2021
(detail view)

Michiel Ceulers
Filme aus meinen Leben blitzen vor mir auf, 2021
bucket, cardboard, plexiglass, plastic, styrofoam, tape, wire
25 x 22.5 x 20.5 in
63.5 x 57.15 x 52 cm

Michiel Ceulers
Filme aus meinen Leben blitzen vor mir auf, 2021
(alternate view)

Wim de Pauw
How to disappear (in America), 2019
glass, plastics
33.5 x 25 x 33.5 in 
85 x 60 x 85 cm
 

Wim de Pauw
How to disappear (in America), 2019
(alternate view)

Wim de Pauw
How to disappear (in America), 2019
(detail view)

Birde Vanheerswynghels
untitled, 2016
phtalocyanine green pigment on paper
103 x 59 in
261.6 x 150 cm

Benjamin Verhoeven
Sculptural Movement: Chapter I & II, 2016
digital video; 12 minutes, 8 seconds
Edition of 3 + 2 AP
 

Press Release

Michiel Ceulers’ third solo exhibition with Nicodim considers the proverbial “canary in the coalmine” with new painting and sculpture. Forever employed as a harbinger of imminent danger, Ceulers concurrently examines the tiny avian as a sympathetic figure, a totem for the most fragile, the vulnerable, the first to disappear or be disappeared. Ceulers sees Los Angeles, like other cities with immense urban sprawl, as akin to the cages that isolate those canaries in the coalmines in direct opposition to their behavior when free: the birds prefer to couple-up and travel in groups. Rather than dwell on their isolation, he manifested the attitude of a canary recently liberated from solitary confinement, and invited friends Kasper Bosmans, Wim De Pauw, Birde Vanheerswynghels, and Benjamin Verhoeven to contribute to the show.

 

The discourse within the exhibition is also informed by two fictional, forever-coupled birds:  Edina "Eddie" Monsoon and Patricia "Patsy" Stone, the main characters in the classic BBC series Absolutely Fabulous, whom Ceulers sees as one of the most complex relationships of our time. (The title of his previous exhibition, A Condom Over A Zeppelin, was based on a Patsy zinger about Eddie’s ill-fitting outfit.) Though not always moonlight and roses, they always come through for one another in the end.

 

Ceulers’ art mirrors the artists’ real-life and fictive relationships, reflecting and highlighting the similarities and differences between them. Mirrors, a favored medium in Ceulers' recent work, break the fourth wall of his paintings by allowing reality, if not the viewer, to occupy a place in the heart of their tableaus. In contrast with the tactile grid works for which he is best known, the mirror works act as a seduction and a distraction, they function almost as 

 

boobytraps; when you gaze at them you end up staring at yourself and not the work. In this way, the idea of a tableau-as-representation is sabotaged. The work pushes its viewer back into the real real, and not the depicted real. Akin to the smooth surfaces of the monumental skyscrapers of downtown Los Angeles that seduce our gaze while simultaneously repulsing it with their impenetrable exteriors, the audience is (somewhat more tenderly) encouraged to look back at themselves.

 

Text by Michaël Van Remoortere

 

Michiel Ceulers (b. 1986, Waregem, Belgium) lives and works in Ghent, Belgium and Berlin, Germany. Ceulers graduated from the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam in 2011. Exhibitions include A Condom over a Zeppelin, Island, Brussels, Belgium (2021); Michiel Ceulers and Jorge Peris: Endangered Species, Galeria Nicodim, Bucharest (2020); A Fair Proposal, Barbara Seiler, Zurich, Switzerland (2019); Wenn es zittert wie ein Ente, DASH, Kortrijk, Belgium (2017, solo); LAURA (Ein bisschen Schnitzel in Magen war mir lieber als ein Vogel in den Himmel), Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2015, solo); ’The man who mistake his wife for a hat,’ Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam (2014, solo); 'Der Charme einer vorbeigehenden Frau steht in der Regel in direktem Verhältnis zu dem Tempo ihres Ganges,' Nogueras Blanchard, Madrid (2014, solo); Rien de plus qu'un théâtre d'idées fluctuantes et des échos de développements future, Arts Club, London (2014, solo).