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One at the Time

A work made of oil on canvas.
© 2005 Michaël Borremans

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Michaël Borremans
Belgian, born 1963

About this artwork

Michaël Borremans’s mysterious, often discomfiting images of self-absorbed subjects in indeterminate settings are inspired by photographs, film, magazines, and illustrated books. Although the aesthetics of these pictorial sources seep into his work—the coloration, hairstyles, and clothing recall the 1930s and 1940s—Borremans’s paintings ultimately lack a clear narrative. While his characters appear engaged in actions that require meticulous attention, more often than not the paintings offer little indication of what preoccupies them. Borremans explained, “A painting is not just an image: it is an object with a multi-layered character." One at the Time is one of several works in which figures in white lab coats attend to flat surfaces. Rife with psychological overtones and ambiguity, two men and a woman stare at a cloth-covered table on which three white shelves seem to be floating.

Currently Off View

Contemporary Art


Michael Borremans


One at the Time




Made 2003


Oil on canvas


85 × 100 cm (33 1/2 × 39 3/8 in.)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of The Buddy Taub Foundation, Jill and Dennis Roach, Directors

Reference Number



© 2005 Michaël Borremans

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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