It looks like Brussels’s art scene is going to be very busy during this second half of November, so I decided to be “strong” and only pick 5 exhibitions I would not miss myself instead of sharing with you an endless list of suggestions. I personally prefer “curated” guides when it comes to culture, I don’t need to be aware of everything that’s on. I like to think that I chose to read/follow blogs and media with whom I share similar (or close enough) tastes to trust their judgment and give a try to their recommendations.
Before I start my list of must see shows, I wanted to mention the exhibition “From Broodthaers to Braeckman – Photography in the Visual Arts in Belgium” which is currently on view at the M HKA (Contemporary Art Museum) in Antwerp and focuses on how photography entered the field of visual art in Belgium. The exhibition is based on the doctoral research of Liesbeth Decan: Conceptual, Surrealist, Pictorial: Photo-based Art in Belgium (1960s-early 1990s), and present the works of major artists such as Marcel Broodthaers, Jacques Charlier and Jef Geys. I’ve heard only positive feedbacks about the show, and I will definitely visit it next month.
Léon Wuidar “Paintings from the 80s” at Rodolphe Janssen
Painter, illustrator, engraver, Léon Wuidar is an artist that you simply can’t put in a box as he never followed any trend. Born in Liège in the late 30’s, Wuidar is a master of geometric abstraction.His work is very meticulous, precise, and close from architecture (he collaborated with a lot of architects who integrated his work into their design).If you don’t know Léon Wuidar yet, you must stop by Rodolphe Janssen Gallery to discover him.
When : Opening Nov. 17// Address : 35 Rue de Livourne , 1050 Brussels
Richard Phillips at Almine Rech Gallery
“For his first solo exhibition with the gallery, American artist Richard Phillips presents a new body of paintings based on Fascist era Roman sculptures and the artwork of Cy Twombly. ” Even though a lot of people believe that Phillips’s work is overrated, I found his large-scale photorealistic painting quiet interesting, and his very American approach to art and aesthetic don’t push me away. It looks like his new series, that will be presented at Almine Rech Gallery, is different from his usual fashion magazine/soft porn artistic look. Also I’m a big Cy Twombly fan, so I’m by definition very curious about this exhibition.
When : Opening Nov.17 // Address :20 Rue de l’Abbaye 1050 Brussels
Alighiero Boetti at Jablonka Maruani Mercier Gallery
If you are following my blog for a while, you already know that I have an unconditional love for this Italian artist. Boetti was a key member of the Arte Povera art movement, which was a group of young Italian artists who were approaching art in a new way (at the time) using very simple poor material such as textile. Boetti used a lot of industrial materials and technics through his career, even though it’s not always obvious at first sight his work was engaged and political. His most famous body of work is made of his embroidered pieces mixing words, poems, letters, and maps. JMM Gallery gives you the opportunity to discover or rediscover this amazing artist through some of his tapestries as well as unique drawings and collages, don’t miss it.
When : Opening Nov.17 // Address :430 Avenue Louise, 1000 Brussels
John Zurier “The Last Summer Light” at Office Baroque
“Zurier paints abstract, seemingly monochrome canvases with colours that range from muted earth tones to vibrant hues. Interested in capturing the various effects of his environment and translating that into paint, Zurier utilizes a range of materials, brushwork, and surface treatments to create a subtle balance between color modulation and spatial depth.” I didn’t know the artist until a couple months ago, so I was delighted to see that Office Baroque Gallery was presenting his work in Brussels. Very close from Abstract Expressionism, Zurier’s paintings are minimalist but yet evanescent maybe due to the fact that they are nearly monochromatic. A must go if you like me you are interested in contemporary abstraction.
When : Opening Nov.18 // Address :5 Place du Jardin aux Fleurs, 1000 Brussels
Joana Vasconcelos “De fil(s) en aiguille(s)” at La Patinoire Royale
“For the 4th exhibition since its opening, La Patinoire Royale gets into the heart of the baroque and extroverted world of the sculptor Joana Vasconcelos. This huge retrospective, the first never organized in Belgium, brings face to face the gigantism of the space to the work of this protean artist.” I experienced (yes it’s a real experience) for the first time the work of the Portuguese/French artist about three years ago at the Tel Aviv Museum. You need a vast and special venue to host the impressive and “bigger than life” work of Vasconcelos, and in my opinion the Patinoire Royale is the perfect place to welcome this artist whose work needs to interact with its surroundings. I can’t wait for that exhibition celebrating textile art.
When : Opening Nov.22 // Address :15 rue Veydt,1060 Brussels