“Angel’s Throat” is an artist book published in conjunction with Berlinde De Bruyckere’s exhibition of the same name at Bonnefanten, Maastricht (2021). The book presents an intimate portrait of the artist, her studio, and the development of a new motif within her practice: the figure of the angel. The angel who embodies both darkness and light and whose warm wings offer shelter and comfort in unpredictable times.
For this publication, De Bruyckere entered into an artistic collaboration with author Erwin Mortier, who nurtured her working process with short stories, inspired by the sculptures in progress and the shared sources of inspiration. The dialogue between writer and artist is not a matter of question and answer, but an exchange of associative thoughts, an encounter in words and images. Two poems by Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert, which Mortier brought during one of the meetings, are also included in the publication.
Stijn Huijts, director of Bonnefanten and curator of the exhibition, anchors the new sculptures within the existing oeuvre and illuminates their complex layering. He carefully unfolds the tangle of layers of meaning and references characteristic of De Bruyckere’s visual language which draws from classical mythology, literature, art history and Christian iconography, carrying them out of their preestablished context and allowing them to touch on current, tangible subjects such as universal human suffering, refugee problems, violence and loneliness.