Brussels Art Walk

 

Souvenirs from the Art Walks:

Date: 16 March 2013 (Sat)
District: Ixelles

Exhibitions visited:
David Altmejd @ Xavier Hufkens Gallery
Mark Hagen @ Gallery Almine Rech
Evariste Richer & Susan Collis @ Meessen De Clercq
Lisette Model @ Keitelman Gallery
Brenna Youngblood @ Nathalie Obadia Gallery
ROA @ Bodson-Emelinckx Gallery
Pierre-Pol Lecouturier @ Sebastien Ricou Gallery
Olaf Holzapfel & Lucas Knipscher @ Albert Baronian Gallery
Zachary Formwalt @ D+T Project Gallery

 

For our first art walk, we met up with our art walkers at 10:45am in a little bakery-cafe Le Break de l’Abbaye. After a short introduction and warming up, we headed to see the gorgeous show of the Canadian artist David Altmejd (*1974) in Xavier Hufkens Gallery.


© David Altmejd, 14 February - 20 March 2013. Xavier Hufkens, Brussels. Exhibition views. Courtesy of the artist and the gallery.

 

Thinking that our art walkers would be pretty shocked in front of these neo-gothic sculptures, we gave a detailed presentation of Altmejd’s work to the walkers followed by five hints to guide them as well to challenge them:

1. How is the theme “Body Builder” reflected in the series of work? What are the other possible interpretations and associations the spectator can evoke?

2. How far does the work move away from our traditional concept of sculpture? Is the homogeneity of materials, of styles, of movements, of colours, of spatial relations, etc., still important? Is this sculpture for you? Do you want to touch it?

3. To what extent does the artist’s background as a biology student affect his artistic imagination? To what extent does such piece of information help us to understand his work?

4. What is beauty? Quoting Altmejd, “A beautiful earring is more beautiful on the ear of a monster”. – What does it mean? Do you agree? Why? If this is beauty, then what is ugliness? Vanity? Narcissism? Fragility?

5. Are they figurative? Or are they abstract? Why?

Finally, we stayed much longer than expected at Altmejd’s show. Our walkers were totally amazed! So glad for us to the openness of our walkers’ spirit! There, we had a very, very long and interesting discussion!

Then we went to Meessen De Clercq where we saw the work of the French artist Evariste Richer (*1969) and British artist Susan Collis (*1956). We took a first step to understand what “Conceptual Art” is, and in particular the work of Italian artist Piero Manzoni (1933 – 1963) in relation to Richer’s work.

In Almine Rech’s Mark Hagen (*1972) show, we were confronted with another kind of contemporary sculpture / installation – modular structures. Hagen's pieces are inspired by daily life and objects, yet a very utopian dream is hidden inside…  How is it? Is there any inherent political critique? We made an effort to figure out a satisfactory answer, and everybody contributed to it!

In Keitelman Gallery, we had the joy to see a marvelous collection of the Austrian-born American photographer Lisette Model (1901 – 1983), who was one of the first generation Street Photographers and teacher to Diane Arbus (1923 – 1971). We attempted a discussion on Street Photography in the context of art history and today’s technology during the lunch break (as our morning session overrun), however, we were too hungry to keep it up!

In the afternoon, we continued the “street” theme in the shows of American artist Brenna Youngblood (*1979) in Nathalie Obadia Gallery and that of Belgian street artist / muralist ROA. We talked about how to bring the “street”, both in its physical and symbolic terms, inside the gallery space. We talked about Pop artists such as Robert Rauschenberg (1925 – 2008), Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960 – 1988), etc., in reference to the work of the young generation of today.

The show of the French artist Pierre-Pol Lecouturier (*1981) in Ricou Gallery was the cherry on our cake! Our walkers were enchanted to engage in the sensorial experience that the artist proposed to us. In the cave of the gallery, when we saw the installation work, Particules. We stopped, enjoyed it and started a long conversation on the challenges of collecting contemporary art, the art market, the role of the collector and the art critic!

 

Pierre-Pol Lecouturier , Particules, 2011- 2013. Glass beads, spot 300W. Various Dimensions. Courtesy of the artist and Ricou Gallery
©Pierre-Pol Lecouturier , Particules, 2011- 2013. Glass beads, spot 300W. Various Dimensions. Courtesy of the artist and Ricou Gallery.

 

In the last two galleries, Albert Baronian and D+T Project Gallery, we had the pleasure to have their directors, Laurence Dujardyn (Albert Baronian Gallery) and Alexandre Daletchine (D+T Project Gallery) to present the work of the artists to us. Our art walkers were particularly interested in the Hay paintings and PVC sculptures of Olaf Holzapfel (*1969). "I wanted to take this one home", one of our art walkers said!

 

Book Online for our next Art Walks :

23 March 2013 (Saturday / 11am > 4pm - Ixelles - in English) --- RSVP Now

06 April 2013 (Saturday / 2pm > 5 pm - Downtown - in English) ---RSVP Now

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