Archive for the art Category

Crack effect of another kind: Mark Manders explores working on a larger scale (‘Dry Clay Head’ at Zeno X, Antwerp)

Posted in art, sculpture on December 15, 2016 by Utopia Parkway

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“You have to walk around a sculpture. A sculpture doesn’t have four sides. There are many ways to look at it.” The more I was inspecting Mark MandersDry Clay Head, the more I felt drawn to it. And I remembered what Berlinde De Bruyckere had told me once, about the complexity of creating a sculpture. Looking at this impressive, peaceful face reminded me also of the fact that watching pictures on a gallery website can never beat the sensation of actually being in front of a work of art. Because although Dry Clay Head doesn’t speak, it will talk to you. You’ll wonder about the clay (it’s bronze) and about the tension created in the work by that plank, slightly bent, and that rope. With works such as Dry Clay Head (through December 17, Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp) the Belgium-based Dutch artist is exploring working on a larger scale. Manders was recently invited by the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis) to create a sculpture for their sculpture park, to be opened June 2017. He is also working on a bronze fountain for Amsterdam’s Rokin, and was asked to create a large sculpture for Central Park in New York (2018).

Where’s that Rauschenberg? The paintings are on the move! “Répétition” at Villa Empain (Brussels)

Posted in art, contemporary art, contemporary dance, performance on August 9, 2016 by Utopia Parkway

Repetition_VillaEmpain_11That first view was rather disconcerting. A guy was walking away carrying a canvas. Other paintings stood on the floor, rather randomly, backs against the wall. Did I arrive too late? Was the exhibition already over? But then the guy came back and introduced himself. “I will be your host today. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate.” Euhm, yes: the paintings? “I’m moving them around”, he said, smilingly. “It’s all part of the exhibition. If you’re unable to locate a specific work of art: just ask.” And off he went. Suddenly I noticed that one of the other visitors had begun to move rather strangely, in the hall of that ever so grand Villa Empain (Brussels). You’re in for a few surprises, if you visit Répétition uninformed (through August 21).

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A picture of a painting that was a picture: “Photorealism – 50 years of hyperrealistic painting” at Musée d’Ixelles (Brussels)

Posted in art, contemporary art, painting on July 31, 2016 by Utopia Parkway

Photorealism_Ixelles1Why would you want to take a picture of a painting that is so perfect you’d swear it is a picture? Funny even, knowing that the painting tries to be the exact copy of a picture. So: a picture of a painting that was a picture. Seeing the cameras and smartphones made me smile, but it made me realize as well: it must be the reason why so many people were visiting Photorealism – 50 years of hyperrealistic painting (Musée d’Ixelles, Brussels, through September 25) on that hot Sunday afternoon. Those photorealism painters trigger the same sense of wonder as magicians do. How the hell do they pull it off?

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Things are not always what you expect them to be: Rinus Van de Velde’s “Donogoo Tonka”

Posted in art, contemporary art with tags , , , , on June 1, 2016 by Utopia Parkway


Much talked about exhibitions. You know how it goes: you’ve read all the articles and the interviews, you’ve seen the images and you wonder: should I really bother to go? Because you’re almost sure you’ve seen everything there is so see. Sort of what my feeling was about Donogoo Tonka, the successful solo exhibition by the adored Belgian visual artist Rinus Van de Velde at S.M.A.K. (through June 5). But then I happened to be in Ghent, and I decided to drop by.

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Welcome to the chapel of colours! Six thoughts on MIMA, as it opens its doors in Brussels

Posted in art, contemporary art, street art on April 16, 2016 by Utopia Parkway

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So: MIMA. Brussels’ new museum devoted to urban art, hoping to attract 30.000 visitors in its first year. Hailed as a beacon of hope for Molenbeek. Six thoughts. One: for years authorities in Brussels have been talking about a museum of modern/contemporary art, and it’s still not there. While four people just decide to start their own museum, aiming for a young audience? You just have to love them for it. Two: Millennium Iconoclast Museum Of Art? Horrible name. MIMA it will be. Three: can urban art be contained in the walls of a museum? Two of the people behind MIMA have been running Alice Gallery for over ten years now and they’ve proven that it can be done. Four: of course, the buzz is great, but can MIMA become a really interesting project in the long-term, artistically? The future will have to tell. Five: can MIMA save Molenbeek? Of course not. That’s too heavy a burden. Six: just that explosion of colours by Maya Hayuk alone is worth the trip (plus the view from the rooftop terrace, of course). So: check it out.

Underwater love, so beautifully liquid: Bára Sigfúsdóttir’s “The Lover”

Posted in art, contemporary dance, dance on April 1, 2016 by Utopia Parkway

Brussels. Belgium. How to deal with everything, these days? Some keep on devouring the news sites or get really active on social media. I tend to go in silent mode. Try to quietly look for solace where I’ve always found it: in art. And so I bought a ticket for the last Belgian performance of Bára Sigfúsdóttir‘s The Lover. A piece I had already seen at its premiere, exactly a year ago, and once again I was slowly seduced by it. A thoughtful choreography, cleverly combined with visual art (work by French photographer Noémie Goudal), set design (88888) and soundscape (Borko).

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One of these things doesn’t belong here. Or: the difference between a handkerchief and a chunk of wood

Posted in art, contemporary art on March 13, 2016 by Utopia Parkway

BerndLohaus_MuHKA3One is a work of art, the other isn’t. It was funny to see the confusion, on that Sunday afternoon, with quite a few people visiting M HKA (Antwerp). Nobody seemed to be sure. So everybody carefully avoided to step on that paper handkerchief looking like a tiny mountain. Parents telling their children to pay attention. I guess that’s what happens when artists such as Kati Heck and Vaast Colson take over an entire museum floor. When you can sit on a swing and sip jenever from a work of art. When artists merrily blur the lines. What is art and what isn’t? Later that week I came across a great picture on Facebook, of former art gallery Jan Mot (Brussels). It has now become a hair shop. A couple of years ago Belgian artist Guillaume Bijl turned an art gallery (Etablissement d’En Face) in exactly the same street into… a hair shop. His transformation was so skilfully done that everybody thought it actually was a hair shop. You’ll find both pictures after the jump. And that work of art next to the handkerchief that somebody had dropped accidentally? By Bernd Lohaus, Untitled (1970). One of the works in The Gap, that must-see show by Luc Tuymans with Belgian abstract art.

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