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The Power and The Glory
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The Power and The Glory

OPENING : OCTOBER 13th 2016 / 6 pm - 9 pm


Curated by Pierre-Yves Desaive


Harry Benson / Roe Ethridge / John Giorno / Andy Hope 1930 / Jonathan Horowitz / Nathan Hylden / Hervé Ic / Mike Kelley / Sherrie Levine / John Miller / Jonathan Meese / Paul McCarthys / David Ostrowski / Richard Prince / Josh Smith / Reena Spaulings 


Charles Riva collection is opening a new exhibition around a very topical issue.

On the eve of the US elections, “The Power and The Glory” metaphorically examines the tension that exists between an artist’s desire to shine and his or her desire to exist, like in the world of politics. Pierre Yves Desaive, art historian and curator is collaborating with the collection for this exhibition.



The exhibition features a selection of works from the collection to evoke the ambivalence of the art world, which is not too dissimilar from politics in its quest for recognition and conquest of power, its quest for meaning and search for truth.


With US current affairs and the upcoming presidential election as a backdrop, the exhibition plays with references and influences to get its message across. The title, which refers to the Christian doctrine - a key element in the conquest of the White House, helps strengthen the focus on these contrasts whose works are the protagonists. The art world appears here as a metaphor for the conquest of political power.

The exhibition creates a contrast between the ostentatious works, where the gold colour embodies the pursuit of glory, and darker-coloured and tortuous works that epitomise the tireless search of artists for meaning.

The sparse and frugal use of colour precludes extravagance in some of the works, reflecting a kind of duality between vanity and excess as well as restraint and quintessence.


The works of John Miller, Paul McCarthy or Sherrie Levine resonate with the paintings of Josh Smith and David Ostrowski or the photographs of Roe Ethridge and Nathan Hylden, which, while prompting a reflection on vanity, feature a plasticity indicative of this ambivalence between the will to exist, the desire to please and a necessary derision of the fleeting nature of success and human existence.

“The Power and The Glory” is a means of commenting on the search for fame, which gives power and calls for some thought on vanity, which establishes the terms of our human condition.


Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

- William Shakespeare, Macbeth



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"The Power and The Glory bij Charles Riva in Brussel. Macht, eer en geld"
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