Up-and-coming Belgian artist Kasper Bosmans continues his interest in symbology with Motif (Oil and Silver) at Marc Foxx. His paintings and sculptures investigate rostral columns, whales, Roman shipping vessels, coinage, and Coco Chanel, among other seemingly unconnected imagery. About a dozen works, tastefully arranged, point to linkages both literal and figurative.
The first series of paintings, Coco, Chain (She Loves Pink, Juicy Details, Guava Jelly, Starlet Pink, High Maintenance, Little Princess) (2016), has a mouthful of a title that belies its easy consumption. The six pink gouache color swatches, arranged two high, are framed by a gray border and connected by a meticulously painted chain on the bottom three paintings. A physical chain appears on the other side of the gallery in Columna Rostrata (2016). Dangling from a chain, the small, blue-tinted Plexiglas vitrine contains a single page cut out of an art-history textbook that depicts a rostral column. The columns were used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to commemorate naval victories.
Images of warships in Legend: Motif (Oil and Silver) (2016), a series of five paintings arranged linearly, serve as a kind of key for deciphering the rest of the work in the gallery. In the illustrative paintings, Bosmans pairs warships with chains, battering rams, Coco Chanel logos, a whale’s skull, and a couple of coins. Chanel logos and coins resurface again in the center of the gallery in the piece Juno Sospita and Coco (Silver Denarius) (2016). The blue tabletop display case holds a yellow sweater with Chanel Paris logos sewn in and a single Roman coin placed on top.