Johan Tahon Monk

2 December 2017 until 25 November 2018

From 2 December 2017 to 25 November 2018, the sculptural work of the leading Flemish artist Johan Tahon (1965) will be on display in the Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics. Johan Tahon: Monk is one of the exhibitions celebrating the reopening and the centenary of the museum. This is the first solo museum exhibition of Tahon's ceramic work. The artist exhibits contemplative figures and albarelli (apothecary jars), supplemented by small sculptures.

Johan Tahon was 15 years old when he made his first sculpture. He found strength and balance in sculpting. He created the magic he missed in reality in his studio. Although his work is highly personal, his sculptures have a universal healing quality.

Meditative sculptures

Tahon's monkish figures express a moment of stillness. The figures are introspective, their heads bowed, as if frozen in time. The viewer is absorbed into the emotion of the statue and through this glimpses the spiritual quest that is central to Johan Tahon's work.

Johan Tahon, Monk, 2016-2017, glazed ceramics, +/- 160 cm high. Photo: G.J. van Rooij.

True to tradition

Tahon works with sculpture in a traditional way. He finds it important to model his sculptures himself, in silence and totally absorbed, in his own studio. Associations with African, Egyptian and Greek sculpture are recognisable in his work, but also with masters such as Michelangelo, Rodin and Lehmbruck.

An established name

Johan Tahon studied sculpture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. In 1996 he came to the attention of Jan Hoet (1936–2014), Belgium's most influential curator and museum director at the time. This enabled him to exhibit in leading galleries and museums with other renowned artists. Tahon has since become a well-known name in the world of sculpture and ceramics. He is also no stranger to our country. He previously made a 14-metre-high statue for the Ministry of Finance. Additionally, his work is included in prominent public and private collections at home and abroad. The Princessehof also has two of his works in its collection.