Michaël Borremans: The Acrobat


A breathtaking selection of Michaël Borremans’s lustrous paintings, this catalogue showcases his technical mastery and creative use of mise-en-scène.


ISBN: 9781644230831 Category:

Michael Borremans


“Michaël Borremans may be the greatest living figurative painter.” -John Vincler, The New York Times

“‘The Acrobat’ provides an opportunity – all too rare on this side of the Atlantic – to see the genius of Borremans in the flesh…It’s painterly magic. A major New York museum retrospective is long overdue.” -John Vincler, The New York Times

Recalling classical painting, both through technical mastery and choice in subject matter, Borremans’s depictions of the surprising and the bizarre invites a second look. Uncanny scenes of figures looking at blurred acrobatic displays, hooded subjects rendered in Rembrandt-esque lighting, or solemn portraits demonstrate Borremans’s unique vision. In this recent body of work, Borremans continues to draw the viewer in closer with his intimately scaled paintings of mysterious figures in peculiar arenas.

Accessible yet full of rich detail, this pocket-size book features fifteen masterful works offering a mystifying narrative. An illuminating text by Katya Tylevich mines the scenes Borremans sets, conjuring the multidimensionality of the works’ emotional power and their unique place in the lineage of art history.

Additional information

Weight 76 g
Dimensions 11.9 x 17.7 cm
Publisher name David Zwirner Books
Publication date 30 October 2022
Number of pages 64
Format Paperback / softback
Contributors Text by Katya Tylevich
Dimensions 11.9 x 17.7 cm
Weight 76 g


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Michael Borremans's innovative approach to painting combines technical mastery with subject matter that defies straightforward interpretation. His charged canvases address universal themes that seem to resonate with a specifically contemporary relevance. The artist was born in 1963 in Geraardsbergen, Belgium and in 1996 he received his M.F.A. from Hogeschool voor Wetenschap en Kunst, Campus St. Lucas, in Ghent. Borremans continues to live and work in Ghent.

Katya Tylevich is an arts and fiction writer. She is the author of Gus Van Sant: The Art of Making Movies, Art Oracles, and Success Oracles, as well as many book and monograph contributions, essays, and interviews. She is the coauthor of My Life As a Work of Art. Notable artist collaborations include The Marina Abramovic Method Cards as well as projects with Barry McGee and Todd Hido. She has been a contributing editor and writer for publications such as Elephant, Mark, Frame, Domus, and Pin-Up. With her brother Alexei she cofounded Friend & Colleague, a platform for editions, fiction, and special projects. She is currently writing a book titled Fear Eats the Soup and working on projects with Michaël Borremans as well as Marina Abramovic.