Archive for the sculpture 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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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).

Torn clothes and shattered hopes: ‘Nicht Schlafen’ by Alain Platel & Les Ballets C de la B

Posted in contemporary dance, dance, sculpture, theatre with tags , , on November 12, 2016 by Utopia Parkway


The piece reached its low point somewhere near the end, when one of the dancers pulled his briefs down and started fucking the dead horse that had been lying there all the time, legs wide open. It was not a scene depicting utter hopelessness or despair, it was a scene that stood for the lack of directorial vision I had been feeling for quite a while, watching Nicht Schlafen; at that point a piece that seemed not to know where to go anymore. Just do something, and it will be okay. Even fucking a horse.

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Tiny blue heads and voluptuous red bodies: Louise Bourgeois at Xavier Hufkens (Brussels)

Posted in art, contemporary art, sculpture on October 17, 2015 by Utopia Parkway

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‘I organize a sculpture the way we organize a treatment for the sick. You’d better know what you’re doing.’ Visiting Les têtes bleues et les femmes rouges at Xavier Hufkens (Brussels; through October 31) made me take Louise Bourgeois‘ book Writings and interviews 1923-1997 out of my bookcase at home, and read a couple of pages. It’s that kind of show. One that stays with you. With some really beautiful works, installed in a subtle way. I just love how the blue (Tête I) and red (Pregnant Woman and The Family) meet, for instance, in the last room. But anyway. The exhibition brings together some late works (2004-2009) by this extraordinary artist (1911-2010): fabric and stainless steel sculptures (Les têtes bleues) and gouaches (Les femmes rouges). She began making the fabric heads when she was in her eighties; the blue representing melancholia, suffering and acedia. Her red gouaches, of course, show her preoccupation with sexuality, pregnancy, motherhood and the cycles of life. The kind of works you’d otherwise go to a museum for. So: not to miss. (all images: courtesy Xavier Hufkens, Brussels)

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.

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