Archive for the painting 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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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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Last chance to see Belgium’s most famous forehead… in more than hundred versions (‘A Belgian Politician’ – MarionDeCannière, Antwerp)

Posted in art, contemporary art, painting, sculpture on March 24, 2015 by Utopia Parkway

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A Luc Tuymans painting toasted on a slice of bread? Check. You just have to love A Belgian Politician, just because it so utterly Belgian, so surrealistic. Following the internationally talked-about ruling of a Belgian court, condemning Luc Tuymans for using the photo of a Belgian politician (Jean-Marie Dedecker) taken by a Belgian press photographer (Katrijn Van Giel), 180 Belgian artists were asked to create a work of art based on Van Giels picture. Some 120 actually contributed to the exhibition at MarionDeCannière (Antwerp, through March 29). The works are not for sale, and the organisers, visual artists Tom Liekens and Lieven Segers, stress that their exhibition is not meant to attack Van Giel, but is first and foremost a way to defend artistic freedom. Clever idea: Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad sent Van Giel to the exhibition to take pictures of it. And Dedecker’s forehead is by now undoubtedly Belgium’s most famous one.

That was then, this is now: 1st Antwerp Art Weekend (50 exhibitions) starts tomorrow

Posted in art, contemporary art, painting, sculpture on January 28, 2015 by Utopia Parkway

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Why not start the year where we ended it: in Antwerp. The last exhibition I visited in 2014 was, once again, proof of how Antwerp tries to reclaim some of the “territory” it lost to Brussels, now mostly regarded as Belgium’s contemporary art capital. Un Voyage Autour De Ma Chambre (pictures) was an exhibition in December, set up by that slightly alternative artistic centre/workroom Het Bos (ex: Scheld’apen) in collaboration with art collective Cakehouse, with work by artists such as Guillaume Bijl (he set up an exact copy of a travel shop), Vaast Colson and even Luc Tuymans. And now I’m really curious to see what Antwerp’s first Art Weekend, starting tomorrow, will have to offer: 4 days, more than 50 exhibitions, 40 locations. A new art magazine will be launched (Oogst), Extra City Kunsthal presents a 4-day happening The Image Generator, art school HISK sets up a pop-up exhibition Little Hisk, and many galleries will exceptionally be open on Sunday. All info here, exhibition overview here. Utopia Parkway might be Brussels-based, but: go Antwerp go!

Art in a car showroom? ‘Ritornando’, a pop-up exhibition by Albert Baronian in Ghent

Posted in art, contemporary art, painting, sculpture with tags on December 16, 2014 by Utopia Parkway

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Art in a car showroom? Why not. Ritornando (through December 21) is a peculiar pop-up exhibition set up by Albert Baronian (Brussels) in Ghent, at CIAC, a well-known (modernist) car repair shop from 1964 that will soon be transformed into an apartment complex. It features work by 17 artists from Belgium (Thomas Bogaert, Philippe Vandenberg, Helmut Stallaerts) and abroad (Tony Oursler, Gilbert & George). They all have a link with the city of Ghent, either because they live there, had an exhibition there, or because their work is featured in the S.M.A.K. collection. Ritornando? An Italian word referring to a return to a place, but also to wandering around places where you’ve been before, with a touch of nostalgia. Albert Baronian was invited to set up an exhibition in Ghent in 1977, he had a gallery in the city with Yvon Lambert, and S.M.A.K. was the first ever museum to buy works from the gallerist. (CIAC, Einde Were 1, Gent; Wed-Sun, 11 am-6 pm, free entrance)

There’s a blue Mercedes in your patio: The Still House Group has taken over MDD (Deurle)

Posted in art, painting, sculpture with tags on November 24, 2014 by Utopia Parkway

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The Still House Group has landed. And in case of that blue Mercedes you can take that quite literally. Contrary to what was planned MDD (Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle) will not be closed after all this autumn and winter (it isn’t going ahead with those renovations yet). Instead it has invited the New York-based artist organisation (represented in Belgium by Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels) to take over the entire exhibition space, for Service Entrance (through March 1, 2015). The eight Still House artists present work of their own in the main hall. In the smaller rooms they present a program of several, changing exhibitions. They invite artists that have worked as residents at their studio in Brooklyn (Peter Sutherland and Augustus Thompson, through January 4), they have built a miniature gift shop (also through Jan 4) and Zachary Susskind will present three different exhibitions set up in collaboration with Art Without Bars and ten prisoners. And how did that Mercedes get into that patio, you wonder? With a crane, taking it over the roof of MDD into that open square onto those rice bags. You’ll find a couple of snapshots of the exhibition after the jump. You’ll find Zachary Susskind at Rodolphe Janssen as well (Nov 27-Dec 20).

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The art of sharing: last days for ‘Use Me’ and ‘Genuine Conceptualism’ at Herbert Foundation (Gent)

Posted in art, painting, sculpture on October 24, 2014 by Utopia Parkway

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Belgian art collectors. There are many of them, and their collections can be pretty impressive. That’s no longer a secret. Proof of that, these days at Tripostal, Lille, where 18 collectors present 140 of their treasures, anonymously (Passions Secrètes, through Jan. 4). Some of them want to share their collection with the general public on a more permanent basis, such as Walter Vanhaerents in Brussels, and Anton Herbert in Ghent. I quickly want to draw your attention to the latter, as these are the last (Satur)days you can visit a really strong double exhibition at his Herbert Foundation: one centered around conceptual art (Genuine Conceptualism), and the other a more classic collection presentation (Use Me), comprising some forty works, by Wim Delvoye, Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger, Jan Vercruysse and Paul McCarthy. You can visit the Foundation tomorrow and November 8 (individual visits; 11 am-4 pm; closed Nov. 1), and Friday October 31 and November 7 (2 pm; guided tour). All info here. On the last day, Nov. 8, admission is free and there are guided tours at 11 am and 2 pm. (images: courtesy Herbert Foundation)

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