So that’s how beautiful a flag can be… Last chance to see Stijn Cole’s summer show at Château de Chimay

Posted in art, contemporary art, drawing, painting, sculpture on July 26, 2017 by Utopia Parkway

A flag? Just a flag. Is that art? Exactly the question I’m asking every week, for a short piece in the weekend supplement of the newspaper I work for, zooming in on a work of art. In one of the last episodes before the summer break I focused on this flag, by Stijn Cole, after I’d seen a picture of it. So when I finally stood in front of the actual flag, I knew what the Belgian visual artist had done to create it. The concept behind it. But being there, in the front-lawn of the castle of that small Belgian town of Chimay, looking at it, changed everything. The grey and blue of the flag against the blue and white of the sky. Suddenly, that rather rationalistic concept of a flag containing all the colors of one particular sunrise, became a touching, poetic work of art.

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Futuristic altarpieces or eccentric spaceships? Clearing presents Bruno Gironcoli at impressive new gallery space in Brussels

Posted in art, contemporary art, sculpture on June 13, 2017 by Utopia Parkway

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Planning to visit that wonderful Absent Museum exhibition at Wiels some weekend soon? Then do so on a Saturday instead of a Sunday, so you can drop by at their new “neighbour” as well, the newest contestant in the unofficial “who’s having the most impressive gallery space in Brussels” competition. Indeed: after five years Clearing gallery has traded its uptown townhouse for a 19th century warehouse (a former shutter factory) on the Avenue Van Volxemlaan. Their first exhibition, with sculptures by Bruno Gironcoli, (through July 15) was one of ArtReview’s Ten shows to see.

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Last two days to visit the extraordinary Pol Bury survey exhibition at Bozar (Brussels)

Posted in art, contemporary art on June 3, 2017 by Utopia Parkway

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Nothing planned yet, this weekend? Then I strongly advise you to quickly go to Bozar, as today and tomorrow are the last days of their extraordinary Pol Bury survey exhibition (the first to be held in Belgium in 20 years). Pol Bury? I must confess that I wasn’t that familiar with the work of this Belgian artist (1922-2005) as well, except that I knew he had created some funny grey metal fountains, some of which were on display at the Museum Van Buuren, in 2009. But walking through the many rooms with Bury’s work, I got more and more fascinated, finding his sculptures in wood to be particularly enticing. I couldn’t help smiling, hearing the subtle sounds they were making – crackling, scraunching – seeing the barely noticeable movements of the small wooden tubes or balls. Bury was influenced by René Magritte and Alexander Calder and is regarded as one of the important artists working in kinetic art, but is now often overlooked. Tomorrow at 3PM there will be a performance directed by Miet Warlop in the exhibition. Yes, I know you would rather want to see that Yves Klein survey, but believe me, it’s Pol Bury you need to see first.

Look at Mother Nature on the run: John Knight takes his wood panels to CC Strombeek

Posted in art, conceptual art, contemporary art with tags on May 20, 2017 by Utopia Parkway

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It’s closing tomorrow, so it’s probably too late to go and see for yourself. All the more reason for sharing some pictures of Bohemian Grove, as it was certainly one of the more peculiar contemporary art exhibitions in Brussels, recently. And another one reminding me it’s always worth checking out what’s going on at CC Strombeek.

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Metal giants, ceramic gods and other strange creatures: Antony Gormley, Johan Creten and Folkert de Jong in Brussels

Posted in art, contemporary art, sculpture on March 29, 2017 by Utopia Parkway

Just some pieces of metal, I know, but I can’t help finding them very moving, those two, lying there. Just as the other guy, seemingly disappearing into thin air. Or that Mr. Big, a tiny bit too tall for the hallway he finds himself in. You think you know all the tricks Antony Gormley has up his sleeve, but I can’t help it: being in the presence of his works of art always touches me. It’s one of at least three interesting sculpture shows in galleries in Brussels, right now.

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Slowly going to the heart of the matter: Morton Feldman’s ‘Piano and String Quartet’ by Ictus & Fumiyo Ikeda

Posted in contemporary classical music, contemporary dance, dance, music with tags , , , , on February 18, 2017 by Utopia Parkway

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Once in a while a photographer takes a picture, and when he looks at that picture, he notices the presence of some ghostly figure. Someone who wasn’t in the room at all when the photo was taken. That’s what I had to think of, watching the Belgian contemporary music ensemble Ictus perform Morton Feldman‘s Piano And String Quartet (Kaaitheater, Brussels). On stage with them: Rosas veteran Fumiyo Ikeda. Was it that peculiar piece of music, or her dancing? It seemed as if she was there while not being there at all.

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It’s like… He talks a bit and she dances a bit: ‘Shown And Told’ (Meg Stuart & Tim Etchells)

Posted in contemporary dance, dance, performance with tags , , , , on January 28, 2017 by Utopia Parkway

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“I dance because I wanted to be a magician but I’m not good with stuff”, Meg Stuart tells the audience, somewhere along Show And Told, her collaboration with Tim Etchells. If the piece proves one thing, it’s how good the American choreographer and the British (performance) artist actually are with stuff. Be it other stuff. Movement stuff. Language stuff.

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