One not to miss: Berlinde De Bruyckere’s first Belgian ‘retrospective’ in 12 years (SMAK, Gent)

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‘Her art touches everybody. Not just those that are part of the art scene. That’s an incredible strength for an artist to have’. Not my words, but those of Philippe Van Cauteren, director of SMAK, G(h)ent. For the first time in 12 years Belgium will have the occasion to see a vast body of work by Belgian artist Berlinde De Bruyckere. Not really a retrospective, as Sculptures & Drawings (extended till Feb 22, 2015) comprises only recent work (2000-2014) and is built around center-piece Cripplewood-Kreupelhout, conceived for the Belgian pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2013. (It actually looks much better here). De Bruyckere has been wise enough to not put too many works in this overview, thus avoiding that the exhibition becomes too heavy. Do take time to look at her drawings, and look at the floor too, as it has been painted in a darker colour suiting her work better. Sculptures & Drawings 2000-2014 will travel to Den Haag (Gemeentemuseum, Feb 28-May 31 2015, without Cripplewood), and Bregenz (Kunsthaus, April 18-July 5 2015). De Bruyckere promises a different set-up for every venue, choosing other works of art. A beautiful monograph is published on the occasion of this exhibition, giving an excellent overview of her work. If you want to know more about her work, you’ll find my extensive interview with Berlinde De Bruyckere here.

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