What shows not to miss during Brussels Gallery Weekend?!
Summer is over, and the Brussels Gallery Weekend heralds the start of the new cultural season. It promises to be a busy weekend, with over 30 galleries in the official Gallery Weekend selection, and plenty more exhibitions opening at galleries, non-profits and art centres spread throughout the city. To help you pick and navigate through the overload of exhibitions, we listed some gallery shows we’re looking forward to.
Paul McCarthy: White Snow & Coach Stage Stage Coach, Spinoffs at Xavier Hufkens
This is the first major showing of work by the legendary Paul McCarthy since his 2007 S.M.A.K. show. For this exhibition, the artist takes over both of Xavier Hufkens’ gallery spaces with drawings and sculptures that reflect two of the seminal themes within his oeuvre: Walt Disney and the American Western.
In this show, McCarthy continues his long-standing critique of contemporary American mythology by subverting popular icons and narratives into works that arouse our latent fears, obsessions and neuroses while exposing the darkness at the heart of mainstream culture.
6 & 107 rue St-Georges
Taryn Simon: Paperwork and the Will of Capital at Almine Rech Gallery
With Paperwork and the Will of Capital, Almine Rech gallery brings works of a series that debuted at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. Based upon historical photographs of the signings of political accords, Simon observed that the attending diplomats were consistently flanked by floral arrangements, arranged to symbolize the importance of the signatories and the institutions they represented. The artist subsequently worked with a botanist to identify and recreate the flowerpieces from the signings, which were then photographed and custom framed in mahogany to emulate the style of boardroom furniture. The corresponding floral specimens were subsequently dried, pressed, and sewn into sheets of archival herbarium paper, which Simon displays alongside the photographs. This show poetically invites viewers to reflect upon the instability of political decision-making and the precarious nature of survival.
20 rue de l’Abbaye
Michael Van den Abeele: p p p punctual at Levy.Delval
Levy.Delval is presenting a new series of paintings by Michael Van den Abeele. These totem like paintings are composed of different parts of stretched denim – work on with bleach. The use of bleach locates the image within the fabric and not on top, stressing the object-character of the pieces. The different motives featured in this new series are composed of two or more variations on the Herman Grid illusion and the Scintillating Grid. This causes the viewer to ‘see’ ghost-like grey or white blobs on the intersections of each grid, so that the surface of each composition provokes a constant shift of focus.
These works will be joined by an animated text and a series of smaller drawings.
9B rue Fourmoisstraat
Marcel Broodthaers: Ne dites pas que je ne l’ai pas dit … at Albert Baronian
Albert Baronian will be showing a selection of works by Marcel Broodthaers. Central to the show is the 1974 installation Ne dites pas que je ne l’ai pas dit – Le Perroquet, involving palm trees, a live African gray parrot and a looped recording of Broodthaers reciting one of his poems. This work is probably the most compact exmaple of the installations Broodthaers created during his final years – called the Décors – that presented artworks as aspects of scenography, poetically undermining modernist autonomy and evoking the constraints of the retrospective as exhibition type. Ne dites pas … is accopanied by the 26 artist’s editions Broodhaers created between 1964 and 1975, as well as the 20 artist’s books he published between 1957 and 1975.
2 Rue Isidore Verheyden
Guy Mees at Micheline Szwajcer & Bureau des Réalités
At two locations across the city, Galerie Micheline Szwajcer and Bureau des Réalités are presenting a solo project dedicated to Guy Mees featuring works, documents, photographs and videos dating back to the early 60’s.
The exhibitions constitutes an attempt to trace the path and follow the gaze of an artist who gave the name Lost Space to his two largest ensembles; the lace works realized between 1960 and 1966 and the reliefs cut out of colored paper and pinned to the wall, which he began in 1983. The archive and selected works presented in the exhibitions shed light on the program and poetics of Guy Mees’ unique œuvre and allow us to better grasp the unfolding of his work: from the first black charcoal canvas in which he started blurring the lines between painting and sculpture, through his structuralist work and his specific conceptual approach parodying all hierarchical systems, to the last colored paper cutouts.
This joint exhibition project curated by Lilou Vidal is supposedly the last show before legendary gallerist Micheline Szwajcer closes her doors.
67 Rue de la Régence
327 Chaussée de Neerstalle
Paulo Monteiro: The Inside of Distance at Office Baroque
Office Baroque is bringing the first solo exhibition in Europe of Brazilian artist Paulo Monteiro. He belongs to a generation of Brazilian painters that emerged in the 80s, and who celebrated the return to the canvas. Monteiro seeks to create works that demand attention through quiet means and humble scale – making use of paint, bronze, wood and clay. The continual renewal and reinvention of lines has been a constant subject throughout his practice, resulting in work that is at once painting and sculpture, challenging preconceived notions of both practices. In the show, Monteiro will be questioning differences and similarities between inside and outside, bringing together his abstract paintings, wall objects and sculptures in spatial arrangement throughout the gallery.
5 Place du Jardin aux Fleurs
Didier Vermeiren at Galerie Greta Meert
Spread over the two gallery floors, Didier Vermeiren will be presenting 17 sculptures and 12 photographs – most of them exhibited for the very first time. Vermeiren’s entire oeuvre has developed a perpetual back and forth between past and present, between interpretation of the history of sculpture and a contemporary exploration of its essence. From the late 1970s on, the artist has addressed the fundamental question of the pedestal, with the ‘pedestal sculptures’ that made him famous. Vermeiren has rethought the purpose of the pedestal, turning it into an autonomous volume in space: the pedestal is a base or a foundation, but it can also be deployed for itself and starting from itself, destining the whole oeuvre.
13 Rue du Canal
There is plenty more we’d like to you to go and see! Super Dakota is celebrating its third anniversary with Masha – a group show bringing 20th Century classics as Laurence Weiner, John Cage and Yvonne Rainer together with young artists such as Lydia Gifford and Ariane Schick; Sorry We’re Closed is showing work of the fabulous painter Derek Aylward in combination with Stefan Rinck’s animal-like sandstone sculptures; and at Dépendance Merlin Carpenter is presenting his Blogs of the Near Future.
During the Brussels Gallery Weekend, Art Brussels offers a free four-day shuttle bus to help you easily navigate through the city. Check the map here.