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20130416060409-thomasfischer_imagepress3 Choose Your Own Adventure: Art Brussels 2013   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
at Art Brussels April 18th, 2013 - April 21st, 2013
Posted 4/16/13

Planning a trip to art fairs – plural because, let’s face it, where one art fair goes, others are sure to follow – is an exercise in strategic thinking. Tactical decisions balance hopes, dreams, and opportunity costs, and every choice you make could lead you to find, or miss, the best deal, most worthwhile elbow-greasing, sickest party, most enlightening roundtable, or tastiest canapé. The simultaneity of fairs and events within a short time generates a perfect choose-your-own-adventure situation.... [more]

20130416063610-grimm_imagepress1 The Brussels Scene: Conviviality and Good Vibes   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 4/16/13

Brussels. Sounds like mussels. And maybe a comparison between the two isn't completely out of this world. An oddly shaped, introverted entity, which has no particularly distinct features; looks pale, grey, and weirdly aggressive from the outside but provides a lot of protein to those who persist and dig in. In a recent article in The New York Times (Art Market | Big in Belgium, 3/20/13), Jim Lewis interviewed Art Brussels' new artistic director Katerina Gregos. She described Brussels as a city in a perpetual state of becom... [more]

20130327121410-video_still_2 A world less pleasant   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys at MuHKA Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp February 8th, 2013 - May 19th, 2013
Posted 3/27/13

I didn’t plan to write about this exhibition – I intended to write about another show at the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen (M HKA), Moments on Moments, which features video works by prominent female performance artists. But as soon as I entered the exhibition space on the top floor of M HKA, I knew something was wrong. Chaotically curated, the works were displayed too close to one another, the screens were too small, sounds overlapped, and one of the televisions hadn't even bee... [more]

20130122171030-1 Harry Gruyaert, Roots in Color   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Harry Gruyaert at Botanique December 13th, 2012 - February 3rd, 2013
Posted 1/22/13

Harry Gruyaert is probably best remembered for his photographic reportage of the 1972 Munich Olympics, shot entirely from within the confines of his hotel room. This was intended as part of a wider series TV Shots, for which he produced snapshots of distorted television screens by tampering with the TV antennae in various European guest rooms. The result: a sizeable collection of irreverently colored stills, which come close to the images of what I can only imagine zapping on acid might yield.... [more]

20121212053215-o CONCEPTUAL(L)?   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Joëlle Tuerlinckx at WIELS September 22nd, 2012 - January 6th, 2013
Posted 12/12/12

Each year, Weils puts on a major exhibition of a Belgian artist whose current stature earns him or her the chance to engage in an ambitious solo project employing several rooms on multiple floors of the Brussels art space. Curators emphasize that while this comes in the guise of a kind of ‘mid-career’ retrospective, the objective is not to retrace an artist’s oeuvre chronologically, or thematically. Rather, the aim is to offer artists space and carte blanche, to push further the boundaries of t... [more]

20121111120004-horn-347-1984 Journey through pencil, pigment, and form   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Roni Horn at Xavier Hufkens October 25th, 2012 - November 24th, 2012
Posted 11/12/12

On my latest visit to Brussels, I was greeted by sudden fits of torrential rain intercepted by brief episodes of victorious sunshine. I should never have left my embarrassingly tattered umbrella at home. Emerging from the streets and into art galleries looking like a pitiful sodden wreck was far more mortifying. As it happened, reaching Xavier Hufkens at the onset of yet another unexpected deluge struck a somewhat providential note. The muffled sound of rain pattering on the roof played harmonious back up... [more]

20120915073408-dsc_8743 A Reader of Materials and a Writer of Forms   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Michael Dean, Aleana Egan, Maria Taniguchi, Emily Wardill at MOT INTERNATIONAL, Brussels September 8th, 2012 - November 3rd, 2012
Posted 9/15/12

A Reader of Materials and a Writer of Forms curated by Lucy MacDonald at MOT International in Brussels is a clever little riddle of a show. You arrive on the scene to find yourself a detective, tasked with deciphering clues and unpacking a story told from the viewpoints of four diverse narrators. Subjective thoughts, words, and ideas are entombed in objects and materials and only your keen knowledge of literary and aesthetic forensics can release them. Yokes, molds, and hollow spaces wait to be fi... [more]

20120806134741-daniel_buren Best of Beaufort04: picks from art on the Belgian coast   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
at Beaufort04 March 31st, 2012 - September 30th, 2012
Posted 8/6/12

“Do you want to look at art in an old mineshaft or on the beach?” This was the question I posed to my boyfriend regarding a long weekend we planned to take in Belgium. Manifesta, whose 2012 incarnation is housed in an abandoned coal mine in Genk, never had a chance. Thus we ended up on the Belgian coast, host to Beaufort04, a sculpture triennial whose strange promotional copy claims it “puts Europe on the map in the Flemish coastal landscape.” Cartographical mystification aside, the show is approachab... [more]

Special Edition: Art Brussels   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 4/23/12

ARTSLANT'S SPECIAL EDITION ART BRUSSELS 2012 Kati Heck, Entführung der Mutter mit Hase, oil, charcoal and toilet paper on canvas, courtesy Tim Van Laere Gallery. Eating Mussels in Brussels Sometimes Doing Something Poetic Can Become Touristy and Sometimes Doing Something Touristy Can Become Poetic, by Andrea Alessi Francis Alÿs once did a walk from the Museum of Science and Industry to the Nordic Museum in Stockholm, mapping the journey with the unraveling thread of his blue sweater. The Belgian native is known for his “walks”, performative peram... [more]

20120417194022-adomanovic_khbasel_2012-04-02_mg_0482_highres Looking East: Berlin-based artist picks for Art Brussels 2012   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
at Art Brussels April 19th, 2012 - April 22nd, 2012
Posted 4/17/12

Art fairs — the feeding frenzy of the art world. We go to stare and be stared at, but mostly to find out who is “stare-worthy”. Fairs remind us that we are in the business known as art and that the booths next to us are curiously keeping tabs on our traffic flow and sales (we know you’re peeking!). For Art Brussels 2012, the Belgian fair is turning thirty and with this milestone comes a change in direction. Always a forward thinker — paying particularly close attention to emerging contemporary a... [more]

20120415145515-roses Exploring the Sideways   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Cy Twombly at Bozar - Palais des beaux-arts de Bruxelles February 1st, 2012 - April 29th, 2012
Posted 4/15/12

I remember visiting a big retrospective in Milan, which featured lots of paintings and imagery by David Lynch. Clearly the usual haunted-sofa kind of vibe you would expect from such a show was there, but the raw stillness of those images was in sharp contrast with the artist's films. In the end, to me the highlight of the show was a series of rather amateurish photoshop distortions of old pictures, which – I remember – sort of clicked in my head with Inland Empire's digital aesthetics, definitely... [more]

20120319215406-rtr Over-Trockeled by Collage   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Rosemarie Trockel at WIELS February 18th, 2012 - May 27th, 2012
Posted 3/19/12

The first impression when entering the Rosemarie Trockel show at Wiels is rather unwelcoming. The opening room is almost entirely occupied by long brown panels that block the view to the next space. Instead of being religiously placed all around the pristine white walls of the ample exhibition space, the artworks – a series of collages the artist has been producing since 2004 – stand in sharp contrast with the horizontal panels on which they are arranged, almost recalling an announcement board. Such... [more]

20110509071552-tuymansperfect Luc Tuymans   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Luc Tuymans at Bozar - Palais des beaux-arts de Bruxelles February 18th, 2011 - May 9th, 2011
Posted 5/9/11

On the way home from a research trip to Germany, I got off the Thalys in Brussels to visit the Luc Tuymans exhibition in its final days of its two-year world circuit. I have always been dismissive of Tuymans, convinced that he does nothing that hasn't been done before by better, more reputed artists. I had concluded the work was derivative – before I had even seen it in any substantial form. How wrong I was! Although Tuymans' brush barely appears to have touched the canvas, this is painting that deman... [more]

20110503005823-btoguosdshame3b Barthélémy Toguo at Art Brussels   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 5/3/11

Climbing Down, the centerpiece of Barthélémy Toguo’s exhibition at Art Brussels, is a set of bunks, stacked several meters high with criss-crossing ladders and adorned with large shopping bags. The installation gives a simultaneous sense of nostalgia and claustrophobia. While the beds recall childhood “bunking in” with classmates and siblings, they also evoke places one would perhaps not want to remember: forced transports, the army, prison. But the style of the bags strung around the bunks hone... [more]

20110225162437-00420110226 Maarten Vanden Eynde   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
at Art Brussels April 28th, 2011 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Posted 4/25/11

It rarely occurs to people that most of the present day’s significant archaeological artifacts were, in their own day, garbage. The majority of important archaeological sites giving us clues to former civilizations were burial grounds for discarded bodies or ancient trash dumps. It perhaps occurs to even less people that goods manufactured today only to end up in landfills will be the artifacts of the next centuries. How can one help but wonder if, in the year 2211, a broken IKEA teacup scattered meters beneath th... [more]

Exhibition1 Manners from Hongzhou   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Wang Xiao Feng, Li Ming, Tong Yan Ru Nan, Li Qing, Shao Yi, Wu Jun Yong, Zhang Liao Yuan at ifa gallery July 27th, 2010 - July 27th, 2010
Posted 4/12/10

        The latest group exhibition at Ifa Gallery purports to explore the work of young Chinese artists as de facto social outsiders and critics of “etiquette,” here a rather nebulous concept that seems to actually present itself as a weak form of interpersonal politics. But even if it dare not speak its name, this theme sits rather nicely with the physical space of the gallery, located in a three-storey colonial-era residence that offers a winding maze of balconies and dimly lit corridors for... [more]

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