Justin de Verteuil

Sweet Odour

09 March 2308 April 23

ADZ Gallery is pleased to present the gallery‘s first presentation of Justin de Verteuil. Titled 'Sweet Odour', the exhibition explores the complexities of interpersonal relationships and the tension in seeking intimacy while partially concealing one’s private feelings and emotions. The title draws attention to the darker impulses ubiquitously present in all of us, revealed in the smell of sweat, an odour which admits one’s true inclinations and fears. de Verteuil arrives at his images through an organic interplay of biographical and literary sources, guided by intuition and consideration of painterly composition. 

Born in 1990 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Justin de Verteuil began his education with an informal tutorship under Edward Bowen in 2012 in Trinidad before attending the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 2014 as a guest student in the class of Peter Doig. His time at the academy was divided between the class of Siegfried Anzinger from 2015-2020 and Katherina Wulff between 2020-2023. Justin was awarded as Meisterschüler in 2019 by Siegfried Anzinger.

Like withered herons at a fishless pond
– For Justin de Verteuil

Written by Olli Kolibabka

The crescent moon behind threadbare
clouds, a thin column of smoke above last
nights‘ embers, a whisper in the dry
brushes, wet sand between the toes: the
sun has not yet risen, and the crows are
asleep in the willow. Limbs numbed by
the cold of dawn, digging a hole for the
morning shit before dog-persons march
the shore, commencing the daily grind.
Thus I see a rough canvas with its knots
and bumps. My decency is: I let the
others sleep and sit apart in the lee of
tangled roots uncovered by the tides.
Like the pink of the first morning
transcends to the orange of the first day
from grey nothingness, like through the
rivers silence barely a murmur of the
autobahn flutes, and the crow, who
inhabits this place is not touched by the
first light: I saw her before, in human
form, as one who sees ghosts and former
lifes — these faculties are not
extraordinary by any means, as someone
versed in these matters told me, and we
have neither forgotten nor dispelled
them, but ignore the one hundred small
things that accumulate and get snarled
and shape a life for all to see as well as its
ending. Once in a while someone is able
to pick up these hairs, the voids of
conversation, the embarrassments and
all-consuming jealousy vanquished.
Patience: a bit later, you wake up, and
there is coffee, and my silence is the first