Decor @ Villa Empain

Decor
Boghossian Foundation – Villa Empain

Villa Empain

Away from the center of Brussels you can find this magnificent building, located on the grand avenue Franklin Roosevelt in Ixelles. Villa Empain was designed by the architect Michel Polak and was built in 1930. Even though it always looks sumptuous, these last months it looks even more stunning. The Boghossian Foundation currently presents an exhibition about the decorative in modern and contemporary art. For this occasion the French artist Daniel Buren decorated the windows with his familiar patterns in the primary colors green, red, yellow and blue. It creates a playground of colors, not only on the outside but also inside the building, as you will see further on.

The exhibition, called Decor, opened up for the public in September 2016. Due to the unexpected success they announced the extension until 2 April 2017. It will also be open during Museum Night Fever this month.

If you haven’t seen it yet I hope this blog post can convince you to pay a visit before it closes.

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Dialogue with light

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‘Twisted Strings’ by Walter Leblanc, 1960

Zero

This exhibition in the Museum of Ixelles mainly focuses on the art work of two Belgian artists: Jef Verheyen & Walter Leblanc. To understand what their work is about, we need to know something about the Zero art movement that they were involved in.

During this art movement (1958 – 1968) a group of European artists wanted to reinvent painting from scratch. The name Zero does not refer to a total absence of meaning. It was more like a return to nature or a return to the beginning, inspired by Minimal art. The artists played with the concept of light and shadow. The colors were very basic and monochrome.  Influenced by Arte Povera and Kinetic Art, the artists used everyday materials to create a sense of movement.

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Too many art fairs in Brussels?

Hello! This weekend there were no more than 5 art fairs in Brussels! We had Art Brussels, Off Course Brussels, Independent Brussels, Poppostion Off Fair and YIA. All in the same weekend, unbelievable! I managed to visit 3 of them and I want to show you my favorite works of art spotted on these fairs. Hope you like it!

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Andres Serrano ‘Meet the artist’

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Hello! A few years ago I saw a documentary about the use of crucifixes in art. They talked about a work of art called ‘Piss Christ‘ from the American artist Andres Serrano. A lot of people were very angry because they thought Piss Christ was an insult to Christianity, so the picture was vandalized. I didn’t really know what to think of it, but it was certainly an image that stayed in my head. When I saw a poster of a new exhibition in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, I knew I had to see it! A retrospective about the work of Andres Serrano opened this week and it seems to attract a lot of people. I participated in a ‘Meet the artist’ event with a group of people. We had a guided tour by the artist himself, and I must say he’s a very nice person! Are you ready to meet him?

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Akram Haissoufi : Après les murs

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Hello! I was thinking of going to the BRAFA art fair this weekend, but when I saw the entrance fee on their website, I thought it was better to go for plan B. I asked myself ‘how can I see great art in Brussels for free?’ You would be surprised of the possibilities! I decided to go see the exhibition of Akram Haissoufi at Espace Magh, rue du Poinçon 17 (close to Central station). 

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I assume Akram Haissoufi is a relatively unknown artist, because there is not much information about him online. All I can tell you so far is that he’s a visual artist and film maker from Morocco. The expo ‘Après les murs’ tells the story of people who leave their country to get a better life in another country. It’s about crossing borders and bumping into walls (both real and metaphorical). Being able to leave your country is a human right written in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It’s not easy to get across the borders and people are often labeled as ‘illegal‘. The artist also refers to the fact that the new country is probably very different from what they had imagined.  He represents their mental journey during this process. Today thousands of refugees are crossing boarders in search for a better life, so with that in mind I took a look at the paintings.

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Vanhaerents Art Collection – part I

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What a discovery! I’m really happy to tell you about the Vanhaerents Art Collection. I visited the exhibition ‘Man in the Mirror‘ during the Heritage Days in September 2015. There is so much I would like to tell you about this expo that it’s not even possible to put in one blogpost.  So here is part I.  

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Wang Du @ Albert Baronian Gallery

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Albert Baronian, a Brussels gallery, is currently presenting an exhibition from the Chinese artist WANG DU, called ‘REALITE ALTEREE’.  I saw an artwork of Wang Du earlier this year in Mons during a group expo called La Chine Ardente (see my review here). If you are planning to visit Mons, you should go take a look, it’s really worth it!

But back to the gallery in Brussels now. Wang Du’s work is a critical reflection on the influence of media on our daily life and the power it has to manipulate our minds. He makes sculptures of images he finds in newspapers and magazines.  The images are often about really common events that doesn’t seem important. Because some of his sculptures are really big, these banal things become something special, almost like monuments. His work is often provocative. He got his interest in mass manipulation from his home country China, where he has been in prison for several months because of his critical art. Nowadays he lives in Paris en he also focusses on the relationship between human beings and objects.

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