The Years of the Hour Blue | 2015

14/10/2015 • 10/11/2015


It is with great pleasure that Magazzino announces the fifth exhibition in the gallery by Belgian artist Jan Fabre. The exhibition The Years of the Hour Blue, features a series of works executed between the Eighties and Nineties and shown for the first time in Italy in this occasion.

Jan Fabre’s so called Bic-Art brings us back to the end of the Seventies with a series of performance-based works where the artist relates to space and art history by expanding the traditional notion of two-dimensional drawing. Walls, objects, rooms and buildings are transformed and through the obsessive use of the bic ballpoint pen, “erased” but also consecrated and legitimized. Some of Fabre’s most iconic works are born in this context: the series Ilad of the Bic Art;  Tivoli (the film is included in the show) from 1991; the Blaue Raum of 1988; the monumental The Hour Blue in the S.M.A.K. Ghent Collection and Das Medium from 1979, one of the earliest Bic-art works, where drawing becomes the object and the medium becomes the actual body of the work. In the series of works exhibited, Fabre synthesizes a universe made of symbols, metaphors, fantasies and realities that emerge, almost shapeless, from the deep blue colour field of the drawing. The Hour Blue is in itself a metaphor of passage and metamorphosis, one of the crucial themes of Fabre’s decennial production. Swords, daggers, demons, , animal, human and hybrid  beings, an imagery that often draws from art history and, more generally, from a spiritual and mystic dimension, guide us through a twilight where figures emerge from the scrawled surface – they seem to prevail, and then again they are absorbed by the invasive gesture of the pen.

As Lorand Hegyi notes in his text for the 2011 exhibition at Museè Metropole Saint-Etienne, The Hour Blue is the best way to “disclose the poetic and sensitive universe of this exceptional creator”.

The exhibition is held in the occasion of the Italian premiere of Fabre’s new theatre production, Mount Olympus – To Glorify the Cult of Tragedy, a unique 24 hour long performance that will run from 7pm on the 17th to 7pm on the 18th of October at Teatro Argentina, as part of RomaEuropa Festival 2015.


For over 35 years, Jan Fabre has emerged internationally as one of the most innovative visual artists, theater artists and authors of his generation. With L’Ange de la Métamorphose in 2008, he was the first living artist to be invited to exhibit at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Amongst his most important and recent solo exhibitions are: Hortus/Corpus at Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo in the Netherlands (2011) and The Years of the Hour Blue at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna (2011). The MAXXI Museum in Rome and the M HKA in Antwerp have hosted the first retrospective on Fabre’s activities as a performance artist, Stigmata, Actions and Performances 1976-2013. The PinchukArtCenter in Kiev presented a two part exhibition recently, entitled Tribute to Hiëronymus Bosch in Congo (2011-2013) and Tribute to Belgian Congo (2010-2013). At the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, are shown The Gaze Within (The Hour Blue) (2011-2013) – a permanent installation created by Jan Fabre for the Royal Staircase of the museum – as well as the classical display of Chapters I-XVIII. Waxes & Bronzes (2010), two of whose have been donated to the Uffizi Museum in Florence. Furthermore, on November 18 the Cathedral of Our Lady – Antwerp welcomes Jan Fabre’s bronze sculpture The man who bears the cross (2015). It’s the first time in more than 100 years a work of art is acquired for the Patrimony of the Diocese and it will be installed in direct relation with The Descent of the Cross by Peter Paul Rubens (1611-1614).


Gli anni dell’Ora Blu – 14 October to 10 November

Magazzino, via dei Prefetti 17. Opening times: tuesday – saturday 11-20. Closed Sunday and. For further information and images: 066875951 oppure


Mount Olympus – To Glorify the Cult of Tragedy

Italian premiere: 17 October – 18 October 2015

Running time: 24 hours | Starting 17 October h 19 – Ends 18 October h 19

Teatro Argentina, Largo di Torre Argentina. For information and tickets: or