Archive for the art Category

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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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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