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Toon Michiels

Toon Michiels solo exhibition in Rencontres d'Arles 2015

American Neon Signs by Night and Day
In the mid seventies, Toon Michiels made various journeys to the United States of America, where he undertook a number of road trips in a rental. Very quickly, Michiels developed a fascination for the spectacular neon signs that motels and restaurants had placed along the highways to lure passing drivers to make a stop-over. The neon signs meant to trigger anyone’s attention and fantasy, with their playful graphic and architectural qualities and colourful lights. Michiels photographed them by day and by night in a rigid, systematic way: frontal view, placing them in the middle of the frame with just a bit of space around them – whatever size they might be. The series connects strongly with the typological work of the German photographers Bernd & Hilla Becher, but one may also see a parallel with the pre-WWII work of Walker Evans, who was equally fascinated by text in photographs. Michiels photographed his anonymous sculptures in full colour, in a time when colour photography was hardly considered a serious art medium. This fact, in combination with its clarity and richness, makes this project stand out in the history of 20th Century photography.
Frits Gierstberg

Exhibition curator: Sam Stourdzé, in collaboration with Christien Bakx and Erik Kessels.
Texts: Frits Gierstberg, chief curator, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam.
Exhibition coproduced by the Rencontres d'Arles and The Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam.
Exhibition venue: Église des Trinitaires. 

herman de vries
herman Sarah and Karlyn in the Steigerwald
herman Sarah and Karlyn in the Steigerwald
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11.09 – 13.09.2015


18-20 SEPT 2015 




Royal Academy 
Mutsaardstraat 31
2000 Antwerpen

Saturaday 17-10-2015
10.00-18.00 hrs