Belgian artist Berlinde de Bruyckere (b. 1964) is a star of the contemporary art world whose invative practice focuses on sculpture. This publication, the first-ever mograph on de Bruyckere, offers a definitive and comprehensive look at the scope of her work over more than twenty years. The book includes de Bruyckere's first sculptures from the 1990s, mainly meditations on the human body in wax and wool, as well as her later sculptures with horses that earned her international acclaim. De Bruyckere's works, showcased in over two hundred rich illustrations, are rife with astonishing contradictions--they are simultaneously inviting and discomforting, embodied and abstract. A deep meditation on the universal issues of bodily fragility and pain, her work also conveys a rich cultural memory in visual form, as shown by one of the standout wax pieces in the mograph, her monumental Kreupelhout -- Cripplewood made for the Belgian pavilion at the Venice Biennale 55th International Art Exhibition, which exudes the vulnerability of the fallen, the humanity of a pieta. This book is an essential resource on an artist whose works are a provocative and influential addition to the contemporary art can.
Angela Mengoni is a researcher at the Universita IUAV, Venice.