Guy Mees: The Weather is Quiet, Cool, and Soft
Sternberg Press, 2018, 188 pages
“…Guy Mees’s (1935–2003) photographs, videos, and above all his fragile works on paper are characterized by a formal rigor combined with sensitivity and delicacy. The uniqueness of his oeuvre lies precisely in its avoidance of conventional aesthetics and discursive classifications. A leading figure of the Belgian avant-garde, Mees left behind an outstanding body of work that transgresses geometric abstraction, Minimalism, Conceptualism, and applied art.
The Weather is Quiet, Cool, and Soft is published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (February 1–April 8, 2018), and at Mu.ZEE, Ostend (November 25, 2018–March 10, 2019). Borrowed from a note the artist jotted down on one of his works on paper, the title pays homage to the atmospheric impermanence of Mees’s works, as well as his infra-ordinary, relativistic, and poetic approach. With emblematic works and unpublished archival materials from the artist’s creative phases spanning the 1960s to 2000s, the publication emphasizes the idiosyncrasy and significance of Mees’s practice and personality. These are complemented by two new essays by Lilou Vidal and François Piron; a translation of a text by Fernand Spillemaeckers from the 1970s; and an interview conducted with Mees’s friend and accomplice Wim Meuwissen, his long-standing gallerist Micheline Szwajcer, and Dirk Snauwaert, who produced the first retrospective and a definitive monograph dedicated to Mees’s work. …”