The strength of the avant-garde


By Paul Dujardin, CEO, and Sophie Lauwers, Head of Exhibitions of the Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR-Brussels).

In 2016 BOZAR is discovering the meaning and heritage of avant-garde through 6 different exhibitions. In The Power of the Avant-garde leading artists of our day, including Luc Tuymans, William Forsythe and Jeff Wall, engage in dialogue with the ‘historical’ avant-garde around the time of World War I. Art in Europe 1945-68. Facing the Future shows how artists on both sides of the Iron Curtain came to similar artistic renewals, with among other things Zero, the new realism and the political utopia of 1968. Nor were the avant-garde movements of the post-World War II era limited to the European continent. The Gutai movement that emerged in Kyoto in 1954 made a link with the Zero Society in Düsseldorf. Displayed parallel to A Feverish Era in Japanese Art, sculptures by Pablo Picasso changed our view of sculpture definitively.

Avant-garde artists not only brought about a formal revolution but were also socially engaged. In her lecture, Sophie Lauwers sketches out the links between the two great periods of historical avant-garde. She looks principally at two exhibits that open in February 2016: Theo Van Doesburg. A new expression of life, art and technology and Daniel Buren. A Fresco. With their splashes of colour, Van Doesburg and Buren – each in a different age – lifted the barrier between art and life, the museum and public space.

Languages: NL / FR