27 JAN - 4 FEB | 2018 TOUR & TAXIS | BRUSSELS
This exhibition is the first of its kind : a retrospective showcase bringing together everyday objects and graphics designed in the USSR over the past century. The exhibition features iconic pieces reflecting Soviet lifestyle, examples of graphic and industrial design, technical drawings and prototypes made by Soviet designers. The objects come from the Moscow Design Museum and private collections.
In honour of the 50th anniversary of the death of René Magritte, the Atomium is paying homage to this internationally renowned icon of Belgian Surrealism by bringing a selection of his most prominent and acclaimed works to life. Each one, given new dimensions, enables the visitor to experience and interpret the surreal world of Belgium’s greatest artist in new ways.
Taking its cue from John Berger’s seminal 1972 text on visual culture, Ways of Seeing explores the diverse formalist strategies artists employ to re-configure our perception of the world. Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, the exhibition invites the viewer to investigate the way artists endow seemingly familiar forms and concepts with new appearances and meanings. The exhibition features over 25 artists, and consists of 70 works, spanning a variety of media from painting, sculpture and photography to sound, film and installation. Ways of Seeing facilitates a return towards a vision of artists as makers of things which remind us that the connection between what we see and what we know is never settled, and that seeing is, at its core, a political act.
Etched from the time of James Cook into our collective western consciousness, Oceania is inseparable from our fascinaton with great journeys and the unknown. This is the main theme of Oceania – Travels Through the Immensity. The exhibition crosses the ocean, following in the wake of eighteenth-century explorers in search of Oceanian art, studying its cultural context, ethnography and archeology. Over 200 objects from New Zealand, Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia, Hawaii and Easter Island are on display, in addition to maps, models of ships and other artefacts. The museum’s special guest is the contemporary artist Jean Paul Forest.
Private Choices lifts the veil on contemporary art collections and their initiators : art lovers. The latter play an increasingly important role in the constantly growing art world and, in this era of disproportionate commercialisation sparked by the globalisation of the art market, these passionate people lavishly invest time and money in contemporary creation. This project sheds light on 11 Brussels collections which incorporate works by Belgian and international artists (both confirmed and emerging) in an attempt to identify the uniqueness of each one. Through a selection process carried out hand in hand with collectors, the exhibition uncovers facets of the collector’s vision of art and life.
The first retrospective since the 1990s of the urban projects created by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, this is a unique opportunity to gain a comprehensive insight into the creative process of an exceptional – and unclassifiable – pair of artists. Their urban artworks were created by temporarily appropriating buildings, monuments or public places and endowing them with symbolic value. To present a range of these projects, the exhibition unites a selection of about eighty original works, some of which resulted in completed works, some not, ranging from Wall of Oil Barrels, Rue Visconti, Paris, 1961-62 up to the important urban project The Gates that Christo and Jeanne-Claude realized for the city of New York in 2005.
The first of its kind in Belgium, this retrospective exhibition dedicated to the famous French photographer Robert Doisneau is not to be missed. The Museum of Ixelles and the Robert Doisneau Studio have collaborated to offer the visitor the chance to rediscover everyday life in all its candour, malice and beauty through a selection of Doisneau’s most famous vintage photographs as well as less known images. A committed artist and visceral humanist, the photographer inhabits a singular universe, offering a poetic and topical viewpoint on the world that has lost none of its relevance.
Since his death in 1967, Magritte has never ceased to be alive. This exhibition underlines his continuing relevance by focusing on the dialogue that Marcel Broodthaers started with Magritte’s work in 1964. The influence of the ‘word-paintings’ (1927-1929) was decisive both in Belgium and the United States, and contributed to the emergence of Conceptualism. The exhibition also brings together artists who, since the 1980s, have entered into dialogue with Magritte’s ‘vache’ period, with highly productive results. The denigration of painting by painting was an exuberant gesture that marked and still marks much of contemporary creation. Magritte’s work therefore still constitutes a crucial reference for any artist who reflects on the production of an image : on the representation or transposition of something real as a likeness. Artists exhibited include : Andy Wharhol, Gavin Turk, George Condo, Sean Landers and David Altmejd, inter alia.
WIELS presents the first solo exhibition ever dedicated to Sophie Podolski, the aim being to lift her compelling work out of oblivion. Born in Brussels to a Ukrainian father and American mother, she became involved with a community of artists that organized themselves around the Montfaucon Research Centre between 1969 and 1974. During this five-year period, before her death by suicide at the age of twenty-one, she produced a prodigious yet compact body of writings and drawings, and one book entitled Le Pays où tout est permis. Podolski’s work evokes a time marked by sexual liberation, anti-psychiatry, and post-war ghosts. An autodidact and diagnosed schizophrenic, she obsessively drew and wrote in a diaristic and stream-of-consciousness narrative style. Curator : Caroline Dumalin.
SAÂDANE AFIF: PAROLES
The exhibition Paroles, curated by Zoë Gray, presents an overview of the engaging practice of Saâdane Afif (b.1970 in France, lives in Berlin). In addition to showing existing works, it features a music studio in which people are invited to take part in jam sessions throughout the exhibition. The only constraint is that they use Afif’s lyrics, written since 2004 by various artists and writers as interpretations of his multifaceted work.
This exhibition explores the theme Ecce Homo in a broad sense within contemporary art in Belgium, by looking at how artists approach the human condition today. The following six contemporary artists are on display, temporarily integrated into the permanent collection: Francis Alÿs, Dirk Braeckman, Ricardo Brey, Sophie Kuijken, Sofie Muller and Luc Tuymans.
FOMU presents the first solo exhibition of the Chinese visual artist and political activist Ai Weiwei in Belgium. Ai Weiwei’s radical visual critique of human rights violations, abuse of power, and the unchecked state control of the Chinese government has made him into one of the world’s most important contemporary artists. Although he is often characterized as a Chinese dissident, he primarily sees his activism against the Chinese government as a defense of the universal values of free speech and freedom of expression. Photography plays a crucial role in his work. The exhibition includes both seminal political statements such as Study of Perspective (1995-2011) and his daily stream of selfies and snapshots on social media. Designed by the artist himself, the exhibition presents a thought-provoking overview of Ai Weiwei’s photographic work dating from the 1990s until today
This show explores Olivier Theyskens’ creative evolution over twenty years in the fashion industry. One of the most fascinating Belgian designers, he is famous for his craftsmanship and for the evocative nature of his creations, all so different, yet all imbued with the spirit of couture. The dark romanticism of his early designs brought him international fame, and his reputation only increased with the new vision he brought to Rochas, his mastery of textiles and cut at Nina Ricci, his American adventure with Theyskens’ Theory and the re-launch of his own brand Olivier Theyskens.
Since his international debut at DOCUMENTA X in 1997, the South African artist William Kentridge has achieved worldwide renown. Most famous for his ten animated films entitled Drawings for Projection (1989-2011), Kentridge’s astonishingly diverse corpus includes masterful drawings, prints, tapestries, sculptures, lectures, and opera productions. This exhibition presents a unique selection of Kentridge’s work specially curated for the Sint-Janshospitaal in Bruges —one of Europe’s oldest surviving hospital buildings at 800 years old. Organized around the theme of trauma and healing, the show centres on Kentridge’s 2015 video installation More Sweetly Play the Dance, a contemporary interpretation of the medieval Dance of Death. By instigating a dialogue between the artworks and the remarkable hospital setting, the exhibition presents art as a powerful means of ‘working through’ layers of history
This exhibition presents the work of the Belgian photographer Marc Trivier from the 1980s to the present day. Recognizable at first glance, his images are all presented in the same way: in a 6 x 6 or 6 x 9 frame with visible negative edges. His aim: to show the truth and nothing but the truth. Hundreds of prints will be shown, including portraits, landscapes and sequences.
RESTORATION OF THE GHENT ALTARPIECE
The restoration of the medieval Ghent Altarpiece, a masterpiece created by the Van Eyck brothers, began at MSK Ghent in October 2012, executed by the Royal Institute for Art Patrimony (KIK) in the heart of the museum. The restorers are currently working on the lower registry, which incorporates the main central panel featuring ‘The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb’. Visitors can follow the process from behind a glass partition.
FROM BOSCH TO TUYMANS. CASTING NEW LIGHT ON THE PERMANENT COLLECTION
Ten years after its renovation, the MSK reinstalled its permanent collection. New thematic rooms were added to the chronological trail, a considerable number of new acquisitions were put on display for the first time and a series of contemporary artists added their own interpretations to the historic collection. In the wake of this event the museum is organising collaborative projects involving visiting artists, including workshops and lectures which offer visitors new ways to get to know Ghent’s remarkable collection
HELLO, ROBOT – DESIGN BETWEEN HUMAN AND MACHINE
Whether as a character in a movie, a toy or a military drone, everyone has seen a robot once. The smartphone has changed our everyday lives completely, and many other machines are getting smarter and more autonomous. From science fiction to everyday reality robots have found a place in our lives. But how is the relationship between humans and machines changing? That’s what Hello, robot examines via interactive installations, design prototypes, video documentaries and wearable tech.
MAARTEN VAN SEVEREN & CO. DESIGNERS, ARTISTS & MAKERS
Our new contemporary design initiative reflects what design meant for Maarten Van Severen (1956-2005), the most influential Belgian designer of his era. We cross generations and nationalities to unite his designs with those of other designers, architects and artists whose work inspired him or whose creations reflect his vision.
S.M.A.K. is delighted to present the first museum exhibition of work by Gerhard Richter in Belgium since 1976. Richter is widely regarded as one of the most important artists living and working today, and is considered to have re-invented painting in the post-War era. This exhibition, organized to coincide with his 85th birthday and created in cooperation with the Kunstmuseum Bonn, comprises about 25 early works, including his rarely seen curtain and window paintings which provide an entry point to his artistic vocabulary. These works are accompanied by five more recent paintings and sculptures, enabling the visitor to discover the underlying threads that bind both periods.
Light is not always a striking feature of our skies, but perhaps because of this, lighting is a field in which Belgian designers and manufacturers excel. Since the early 1980s, the expansion of companies like Schréder and the creation of brands such as Light, Modular, Kréon, Wever&Ducré, Delta Light and Dark have opened up new opportunities for industrial designers. In the space of a few decades, Belgian lighting design has built up an international reputation. Drawing on their technical knowledge, creators including Nathalie Dewez, Jos Devriendt, Alain Berteau, Sylvain Willenz and Frederik Delbart have directed their skills to the creation of intimate, personal lighting that is striking for its simplicity and purity of form.
Edgard Tytgat (1879–1957) stopped at nothing in his paintings which centre on the retelling of myths, folk legends and fairytales. Like the filmmakers of his time, he presented a world full of imagination, absurdity and humour. M is bringing Tytgat’s fantastic stories back to life, showing a large body of work from private collections for the first time.
CROSSING BORDERS. MEDIEVAL SCULPTURE FROM THE NETHERLANDS
Netherlandish sculpture reached its zenith in the Middle Ages, when Brussels, Antwerp, and Mechelen were the leading centres of production. This rich element of the area's cultural history is nonetheless not very well known. The research exhibition ‘Crossing Borders. Medieval Sculpture from the Netherlands’ aims to set this right by bringing one of the largest German collections of medieval sculptures to Leuven. This impressive selection of early and late medieval sculptures dating from the 11th to the 17th century will be presented alongside selected works from the M Collection.
David LaChapelle is an American photographer and director who is internationally renowned in the world of fashion, advertising and fine art photography for his surrealism, humour and eroticism. After years of reaching out to a broad audience with works that often showcase celebrities, he is now creating more conceptual pieces which express his concern for ecological and ethical issues. Over 100 photos will be on display, including some large format works, as well as music videos he has directed for well-known pop and rock singers.
The Raft. Art is (not) Lonely is the sequel to The Sea – Salut d’honneur Jan Hoet (2015). It is an exhibition in dialogue with Ostend, the seaside city with both a history and a scent. Shown in different locations selected by the curators Jan Fabre and Joanna de Vos, the exhibition begins in Mu.ZEE with an in-depth exploration of The Raft of the Medusa (1818) by Théodore Géricault and Jan Fabre’s utopian The Raft. Art is (not) Lonely (1986). Separated in time by 170 years, and created in completely different circumstances, the works are nonetheless linked through their depiction of the destiny of the artist, a theme which also serves as a metaphor for the human condition.
Wearing a wig, cutting paper to capture your silhouette, visiting the exotic animals in town, reading, exploring, collecting, stirring up revolution – these are just some of the ways people spent their time during the Enlightenment. The exhibition captures the curiosity of the eighteenth century in its multiple guises, through the figures of the traveller, the bon-vivant and the aesthete.
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