• Marie-Jo Lafontaine

    Serie Mensch gib acht
    2021, C-Print, 90 x 90 cm
  • Serie Mensch gib acht
    2021, C-Print, 90 x 90 cm
  • Frozen Margarita
    2021, Diasec und Öl auf Holz, 138 x 222 x 3 cm
  • Serie Mensch gib acht
    2021, C-Print, 90 x 90 cm
  • Serie Frozen Margarita
    2021, Diasec und Öl auf Holz, 140 x 180 x 3 cm
  • Lost Paradise, 2001
    Print on Diasec und Monochrome, 120 x 229 cm.
  • Lost Paradise
    Print on Diasec
  • Lost Paradise, 2001
    Print on Diasec, 182 x 147 cm.
  • Lost Paradise, 2001
    Print on Diasec, 182 x 147 cm.

Biography

Born in Antwerp in 1950, Marie-Jo Lafontaine has become one of the most respected contemporary artists. She studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture et des Arts Visuels, "La Chambre" in Brussels from 1975 to 1979 and spent 1985 at MIT in Boston. In 1987, she took part in the "documenta", where her video sculpture "Les larmes d'acier" (The Tears of Steel) helped her achieve an international breakthrough. In 1996, she began collaborating with Todor Todoroff on interactive audio installations. In 1998, she was named Flandrian Cultural Ambassador (Ambassadeur culturel de la Flandre), and in 2006 she won the arena project "I love the world" at the opening of the World Cup in Frankfurt am Main.

In her photographic works - typically an image with a wide monochrome stripe at the bottom that serves as a visualization of mental projection - and in her videos, Marie-Jo Lafontaine comments on contemporary problems, but not in the manner of a newsreader. Her way of expressing herself is that of an aesthetic and artistic position based on the conviction that love and death, illusion and reality as well as reason and passion are contradictory concepts that are nevertheless inextricably linked. Inspired by Nietzsche and Rilke, she also emphasizes the sublime in her powerful, challenging images(1).

This leads her to her search for the truth behind all deception, be it in life or in the media. And she is also always concerned with exploring the connections and relationships between people, nature and technology, the character of our conditions of existence and our possibilities of success and failure.

Her videos, or rather video sculptures and installations, do not offer the viewer a duplication of reality, but are rather stage plays with the possibility of gaining insights and understanding art and life. She has said: "When the subliminal becomes visible, it is a happy coincidence! It's important because it's like nothing is said. Because what is hidden in the subliminal is the part of the other that appears, which we must not seize." (2)

(1) See Christiane Dressler: Unconditional Austerity and Beauty. The Belgian artist Marie Jo Lafontaine is one of the most important media artists of our time, in: Die Welt, 11.07.2009

(2) See Gerhard Charles Rump, "Photography is more intimate than cinema". Marie Jo Lafontaine on memories, repetition and the power of beauty, in: Die Welt, 01.08.2009

For Marie-Jo Lafontaine, the spirit and the body are flowers reaching for the sky, while flowers are pagan nativities, expressions of the great movement of existence.

Marie-Jo Lafontaine, 2010s ©Photo, Atelier Lafontaine; quote, Véronique Bergen, 2018

Exhibitions

Museum and single exhibitions (selection)

2023

Wolken, Museum Sinclair-Haus

2020

Mit allen Wassern gewaschen...Museumslandschaft Hessen, Kassel
Irish Museum of Modern Art, From the Edge to the Centre

2019

Nude-Female Bodies by Female Artist, Postdam-Villa Schoeningen
Troubled Waters, Bruxelles BOZAR

2016

Künstlerräume, Weserburg - Museum für Moderne Kunst, Bremen

2015

Macht und Gewalt - Ohnmacht und Widerstand - Fotografie aus der DZ BANK Kunstsammlung, Neuer Kunstverein Aschaffenburg e.V., Aschaffenburg

2014

Marie-Jo Lafontaine: Victoria/Liquid Crystals, Lempertz Brüssel

2013

Das schwache Geschlecht – Neue Mannsbilder in der Kunst, Kunstmuseum Bern

Blütenzauber, Museum Bad Arolsen, Schloss Bad Arolsen

2012

Changing Perspectives-15 years of ECB´s art collection, ECB, Frankfurt

Asche und Gold. Eine Weltreise, MARTa Herford

2011

Enfant en Danger - Enfant Dangereux, Gevaarlijk jong, Museum Dr. Guislain, Gent, Belgien

Selected Works, Huize Minne - Sint Martens Latem, Belgien

2019

Nude-Female Bodies by Female Artist, Postdam-Villa Schoeningen
Troubled Waters, Bruxelles BOZAR

2016

Künstlerräume, Weserburg - Museum für Moderne Kunst, Bremen

2015

Macht und Gewalt - Ohnmacht und Widerstand - Fotografie aus der DZ BANK Kunstsammlung, Neuer Kunstverein Aschaffenburg e.V., Aschaffenburg

2014

Marie-Jo Lafontaine: Victoria/Liquid Crystals, Lempertz Brüssel

2013

Das schwache Geschlecht – Neue Mannsbilder in der Kunst, Kunstmuseum Bern

Blütenzauber, Museum Bad Arolsen, Schloss Bad Arolsen

2012

Changing Perspectives-15 years of ECB´s art collection, ECB, Frankfurt

Asche und Gold. Eine Weltreise, MARTa Herford

2011

Enfant en Danger - Enfant Dangereux, Gevaarlijk jong, Museum Dr. Guislain, Gent, Belgien

Selected Works, Huize Minne - Sint Martens Latem, Belgien