Archive for the sculpture 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).

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.

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)

The shape of things to come? ‘Red Dawn’ presents work by ten HISK-laureates (Ghent)

Posted in art, sculpture on December 10, 2014 by Utopia Parkway

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Everything has already been done, but not by me. You just have to admire art students, for trying to find their own voice, even when it seems that it’s impossible to come up with anything new, in an art world that so often seems to be dominated by dollars and art fair frenzy. That’s why I always try to drop by at the HISK-exhibitions in Gent, set up by this Higher Institute For Fine Arts, offering a postacademic course in audiovisual and visual arts, providing 24 young artists a studio of their own for two years. Since 1997 207 laureates have graduated. Red Dawn, this year’s exhibition, was curated by Gertrud Sandqvist, and presents work by ten young artists (three from Belgium), through December 15 (Thursday-Monday, 12-6 PM). The catalogue contains a video interview with each artist.

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