Two in One. Mix and Match.This month I’ve decided to combined my Brussels and my London art guides. I grant you, not very Brexit spirited (I still wonder how UK’s art market will be impacted when Britain will leave the European single market), but convenient and not completely off topic as well.
Even though London and Brussels’s art scenes are very different, they could be perceived as quiet complementary in my opinion. When the first one is soon to be facing restrictions to free movement of people and goods and is always pushing further away its artists from London (insane cost of living for anyone starting an artist career in the city with no wealthy parents or trust found to back up their ambitions) , the second one seems to be growing always stronger with its impressive amount of art collectors, and a cost of living relatively affordable for anyone seeking an art studio in the capital.
February is surprisingly busy, so I decided to stick to my new rule (“Less is More”) and only present four openings per city. The idea, once again, is to offer you a curated art guide and not a long list of what’s on. Hope you enjoyed the exhibitions I pick-up for you.
B R U S S E L S
Alex Morrison “Dun Roamin” at LEVY.DELVAL
Alex Morrison is a Vancouver based artist who has been over the past 15 years questioning different subcultures and aesthetics through different medium such as painting or sculpture. His career is not confidential, but Morrison is still not very well-known to a large audience, so this new exhibition at LEVY.DELVAL is the perfect opportunity to discover his work :”The exhibition takes its name from a 1933 Garden City development in the suburbs of London. The phrase combines the Gaelic word “Dun” (which means “castle” or “keep”) with the English word “Roaming” in a rather humorous way. The name suggested to its new inhabitants that they should settle into their new modernist housing development at a moment when such projects were believed to better the conditions of the working class.“
When : Opening on Feb.9 // Address : rue Fourmoisstraat 9, 1050 Brussels
Douglas Eynon “Total Reel” at Rodolphe Janssen
There is not much information about the exhibition yet, but I can already vouch that “Total Reel” at Rodolphe Janssen will be good. Eynon is a British artist living and working in Brussels (I told you that my art guide mash-up was relevant), who uses installation, photography, or painting to question the notion of space: “Domestic environments and habitats that humans create for themselves and the notion of decor plays a large part in the scale or placement of the objects I create. I will often push the basic function or essence of a well known object to try to distort or render it absurd.” Read full text here.
When : Opening on Feb.16// Address : Rue de Livourne, 35, 1050 Brussels
Alex Clarke “This Happened To Me” at Super Dakota
I actually discovered Super Dakota Gallery through Alex Clarke’s first solo exhibition “You and Me, Better Be” back in 2014. Based in London Clarke :” (…) creates groups of paintings, which, through a process of continuous making, editing and re-arranging build upon the idea of the act of making a painting. The result provides a perceptual investigation into traditional notions of depth, representation and portraiture created solely from contemporary use of abstract methodology and collage.” Read full text here. I personally love his abstract paintings, and I’m quiet curious to see his new body of work.
When : Opening on Feb.23// Address : rue Washington, 45 – 1050 Bruxelles
Duncan Campbell at WIELS
I’m a big fan of Irish-born artist Duncan Campbell’s work, and I was delighted to see that Wiels was hosting his first major exhibition in Belgium. Winner of the Turner Prize in 2014 for his contribution to Scotland’s pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Campbell is mostly known for his documentaries: “Campbell uses archival material as a tool to research subjects, biographies and histories and to reflect upon the “truth” or factual evidence of information. By mixing archival footage and new material, he questions and challenges the documentary form.” Absolute most go.
When : Until March 26// Address : Avenue Van Volxemlaan 354, 1190 Brussels
L O N D O N
Plastic Show at Almine Rech
Organised at Almine Rech Gallery by the artist DeWain Valentine, “Plastic Show” is presenting a series of works by five Californian artists (Mary Corse (b.1945), Robert Irwin (b.1928), Craig Kauffman (1932–2010), John McCracken (1934–2011), and DeWain Valentine (b.1936)) who have been investigating the potential of plastic (synthetically produced resins) in art :”Known for their pioneering work with various synthetic resins and synthetic polymers during the 1960s and ‘70s, these artists are today recognized not only for their active roles in the development of plastics as a newly discovered medium in art, but also for their sophisticated techniques and at times even quasi-acrobatic prowess required to shape them into the seamless, translucent, luscious volumes.”
When : Opening on Feb.9// Address : Grosvenor Hill, Broadbent House, W1K 3JH London
Tess Williams “Detail” at The Bomb Factory Art Foundation
Tess Williams is a London based artist who I had the chance to meet last year in her North London studio. She will present a new series of painting at The Bomb Factory gallery from February 9 until February 12 : “Through materiality, process and form, Tess Williams’ work explores what a painting can be beyond its surface. She tests how far she can push her works toward textiles, collage or installation, without them ceasing to exist as ‘paintings’.” Read full text here. Don’t miss it.
When : Opening on Feb.9// Address :Unit 2 Boothby Road N19 4AJ London
David Hockney at Tate Britain
Probably one of the most expected exhibition in the UK this year, Sir David Hockney will return at the Tate Britain for his most comprehensive exhibition yet : “This exhibition gathers together an extensive selection of David Hockney’s most famous works celebrating his achievements in painting, drawing, print, photography and video across six decades.” If like me you are a big fan of the British artist, this is it.
When : Opening on Feb.9// Address : Millbank London SW1P 4RG
Ibrahim Mahama “Fragments” at White Cube
Ibrahim Mahama is an artist from Ghana. Back in 2013, I was blown away by his massive draped jute sacks wall installation at Saatchi Gallery, so it is little saying that I’m very excited by his upcoming exhibition at White Cube :”Mahama is known for large-scale installations incorporating jute sacks, previously used to transport cocoa beans and charcoal, which are stitched together and draped over architectural structures. For this exhibition, his first solo presentation in the UK, Mahama has created a new series of works, including Non-Orientable Nkansa (2016) a monumental sculpture formed from stained wooden fragments.”