Charles-Henry Sommelette

1984 · Belgium

Artist biography

Charles-Henry Sommelette is is an established, mid-career contemporary artist, who originates from Belgium, like other famous artists such as Sarah Van Marcke, Quinten Ingelaere, Audrey Hepburn, Pascal Bernier, and Sarah & Charles. Charles-Henry Sommelette was born in 1984.

Historical Context of Belgium

Bordered by France and the Netherlands, the small country of Belgium has been considerably influenced by its neighbours throughout time and asserted itself as a vibrant and inventive artistic hub in the later part of the nineteenth century. Belgian art productions were essential in the unfolding of Surrealism in the 1930s, mainly through the works of Rene Magritte and Paul Delvaux. Among others, Marcel Broodthaers, Wim Delvoye, Francis Alys and Luc Tuymans are key figures of the Belgian art scene of the twentieth century. Greatly influenced by Belgian artists, the Symbolist movement was a prominent artistic trend, early predecessor to Surrealism, and including artists such as Léon Spilliaert, Jean Delville, Fernand Khnopff and James Ensor. As the era of the avant-garde began to take place in Europe towards the late nineteenth century, Brussels turned into a hub for the Art Nouveau movement, which included the architect Victor Horta amongst its creators.

Further Biographical Context for Charles-Henry Sommelette

Born in 1984, Charles-Henry Sommelette was primarily influenced by the 1990s. Art in the 1990s was defined at the beginning of the decade by a group of artists in the United Kingdom that came to be known as the YBAs, or Young British Artists. They were a diverse group of creatives, affiliated loosely by their age, nationality, and their association with Goldsmiths and the Royal College of Art in London, as well as being favoured by super collector of the time Charles Saatchi. The most famous artist of the group is Damien Hirst, who was also an early organiser of group activities. Other artists included Chris Ofili, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Gavin Turk, Sarah Lucas and Sam Taylor-Wood. Much of their work became noted for shock tactics and the sensationalism of both material and message. They also became famed for their use of throwaway materials, wild-living, and an attitude that was simultaneously counter-culture rebellion but also entrepreneurial. They achieved a large amount of media coverage and dominated British art during the decade. Their international shows in the mid-1990s included the now legendary ‘Sensation'. Relational Aesthetics became a core idea. It was a term created by curator Nicholas Bourriaud in the 1990s to describe the tendency to make art based on, or inspired by, human relations and their social context. Works by artists such as Douglas Gordon, Gillian Wearing, Philippe Parenno and Liam Gillick were described as key artists who worked to this outline.

Charles-Henry Sommelette

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