Michaël Borremans (born in 1963 in Geraardsbergen, East Flanders) is a Belgian painter and filmmaker who lives and works in Ghent. His painting technique draws on 18th-century art as well as the works of Édouard Manet and Degas. The artist also cites the Spanish court painter Diego Velázquez as an important influence. His earlier drawings, many of which belong to the collection of fellow painter Jan Van Imschoot, are often used as a basis for his later paintings. In recent years, he has been using photographs he has made himself or made to order sculptures as the basis for his paintings.
Borremans studied at the Hogeschool voor Kunst en Wetenschappen Sint-Lucas (College of Arts and Sciences Saint Luke) in Ghent. Originally trained as a photographer, he turned his attention to drawing and painting in the mid-nineties. He uses old photographs of people and landscapes as inspiration for his work. His eye for detail and a perfection in execution have an alienating character.
Until his break-through, he was a teacher at the Stedelijk Secundair Kunstinstituut Gent (Secondary Municipal Art Institute of Ghent). Another painter Jan Van Imschoot had seen and bought many pieces of his work when it was exhibited in his local pub in Kalken. He put him in touch with Jan Hoet, the founder of the S.M.A.K. (Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst) (City Museum for Contemporary Art) in Ghent, Belgium. This led to an introduction to Frank Demaegd, owner of Zeno X Gallery in Antwerp, where he had his first major exhibition.
Exhibitions and projects
In 2011, Borremans' work was the subject of a solo exhibition, titled Eating the Beard, which was first on view at Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart in Germany and traveled to Műcsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest, and Kunsthalle Helsinki in Finland. In 2010, he had a solo exhibition at the Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo, and in 2009, he had a solo show at the Kestnergesellschaft in Hanover, Germany  In 2007, he had a solo show at gallery De Appel in Amsterdam, focusing on his cinematic works. In 2005, he had a one-person exhibition of paintings and drawings at the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.), Ghent. The paintings then traveled to Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London, and The Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, while the drawings traveled to the Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio. Other solo exhibitions include La maison rouge, Paris (2006); Kunsthalle Bremerhaven, Bremerhaven, Germany; and the Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, Switzerland (both 2004). In 2004, he participated in Manifesta 5, The European Biennial of Contemporary Art.
Public collections, including The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.), Ghent; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Deutsche Bank; among others.
- Nieuw werk van Michaël Borremans in Antwerp
- M A N I F E S T A Flash detection
- Michaël Borremans at David Zwirner
- Selected Press at David Zwirner
- Zeno X Gallery - Michaël Borremans works, biography and cv
- 'Michaël Borremans: the secret charms of the enigma essay by Stefan Beyst
- Michaël Borremans at artnet