At the heart of Tordoir’s show are two very large paintings—sublime and overwhelming works—which are as tall as the space itself and positioned opposite each other, spatially forming a central nave. With this intervention, two parallel spaces that function as side aisles are created, where a selection of earlier work from the 70s up till now is shown. The earlier work consists of paintings, mixed media and film. Although from different years, the content and form show a similar artistic attitude and thus complete the visual experience of the whole exhibition.
The two large paintings are inspired by a series of etchings by Giambattista Tiepolo, made between 1735 and 1740 and now in the collection of the Rijksmuseum. Tiepolo’s artistic practice took place during the Rococo, a time of discord without any common cultural destiny, and one that recalls our current era. The rootless protagonists in Tiepolo’s work—magicians, fauns, gods and dogs—wander around in a godforsaken decor of ruins and silent emptiness. In Tordoir’s paintings, these allegoric figures are transformed into people of our time, without direction or purpose, indifferent and self-sufficient in a setting that evokes a world of pollution and destruction.
Tordoir works across a wide range of media and forms, often collaborating with other artists, although the core of his artistic endeavour is painting. Recent (solo) exhibitions include: M HKA, Antwerp (BE); Witte de With, Rotterdam (NL); and Musée Régional de Art Contemporain Languedoc Rousillon, Sérignan (FR). In 1988 he participated in the Belgian Pavilion at the Venice Biennial together with Guillaume Bijl (curated by Jan Hoet). In the 70s and 80s, Tordoir’s work was shown at the renowned Dutch galleries Art & Project in Amsterdam and Galerie ‘t Venster in Rotterdam.