A zen thing to do this summer: check out Bernd Lohaus’ chunks of wood at MAC’s (Hornu)

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What is art? It’s a question that will undoubtedly spring to mind, when visiting MAC’s, this summer. Some big chunks of wood, in the grass? Looking at art that makes you think. That’s one good reason to make that trip to the site of Grand-Hornu (near Mons). Another reason is that the Bernd Lohaus survey (through October 6) works really well in the vast rooms of the museum, and in the big garden around that old industrial mining site. With not too many people around, it’s a really zen thing to do. But anyway: Bernd Lohaus, born in Düsseldorf, influenced by Joseph Beuys, invited by Jan Hoet for his Documenta IX (1992) in Kassel. I like this sentence, used for an exhibition at his daughter Stella‘s former gallery in Antwerp: ‘You can describe Lohaus’ work as a series of decisive incisions, which terminate a time of looking and pondering.’ Or this quote by his widow Anny De Decker: ‘When Bernd left for his atelier, he used to say: I go and talk to my wood.’ Lohaus, who died in 2010, was also the man behind the influential Wide White Space gallery in Antwerp (1966-1976), awarded with the Art Cologne Prize last year. A beautiful, radical and brave exhibition.

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