22 Apr Available for Reference

Du 29-04-2016 au 29-05-2016

VERNISSAGE: 28-04-2016 6 > 9 PM

In Liège, one address is already well known among art lovers: the Yoko Uhoda Gallery. There, Yoko allows visitors to explore her favourites, her choices as a well-informed young woman, soundly educated by her godfather Stéphan and her father Georges, both of whom are great art enthusiasts and collectors. But for the moment, Yoko is lending her picture rails to her father: Georges Uhoda. With Georges Uhoda, art is not just a matter of aesthetics: the heart speaks as well. For him, his artistic choice expresses first of all the history of an encounter with the artists who, at some point in their lives, have found themselves in contact and in dialogue with him. It will be the “specific feature” of this exhibition of contemporary art. When pushing open the door to his daughter’s gallery, it is the arbitrary and voluntarily non-exhaustive choice of a man that you will discover. Nothing less than a bit of his soul. Nothing less than a bit of the history of these encounters.

His process in choosing the works on show originates in the joy of giving pleasure to visitors. But not only that; with this exhibition he offers you a message: his manner of approaching the world of art. Of course, Georges Uhoda is sensitive to innovative gestures; moreover, he holds the artist as prism of his era. He estimates the artist to be a revealer, a giver-away to the brink of provocation. With that in mind, you will admire visual artists as varied in their mode of expression as Daniel Buren, Tony Oursler or Thomas Ruff. However, each and every one of them is considered by the collector above all as persons, as beings who are humanly fascinating as much for the quality of the dialogue experienced during passionate and exciting debate as for the precision of their artistic process.

Listening to your host talk about his voyages through museums and galleries throughout the world is hearing the ever-current quest for Emotion. Artistic emotions, of course, but above all, those that arise from exchanged words, crossed glances, shared events. In his always benevolent portraits, he summons for you Caravaggio: his first emotional stirring in matters of art. He will explain to you his marvel and his love story with Arte Povera across the board.

Personally, it is when he is impassioned about the young artists supported by his daughter that I prefer him. For he knows them, these young artists. He follows them, accompanies them during their more than promising débuts, since these artists are John Franzen, Mark Melvin, Frédéric Platéus or SPYK for example. He talks about them with tenderness, respect and all due gratitude to their respective talent. For the continuation of the Uhoda family’s adventure with contemporary art is in good hands and the list of his favourites will be able to continue to grow with the same selection criteria: rich and sincere exchanges, the way our most beautiful love stories and our most faithful friendships are created.

But if on the day of your visit the magic of an encounter works itself between you and the Yoko’s father; when you have admired the Jannis Kounellis, Gilberto Zorio, Mario Merz, and  Djamel Tatah, with your eyes filled with the colours of Jonathan Meese, you ask him:
“- But in the end Mr Uhoda, among all these creators, these stars of contemporary art, which one particularly appeals to you? Which one do you consider to be the greatest?”

He will be sure to answer you, as he did me with a certain mischievous je ne sais quoi in his eyes:

“- There’s only one true international star in Belgium for me, and that’s (cyclist) Eddy Merckx.”

Gisèle Eyckmans

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