Time has flown by. I didn’t have any inspiration and lacked complete focus to write something for the blog for a few months . I’ve been distancing myself from social media and trying to set foot outside and read some more. No romans this time but several books and texts about art.
Besides reading I am trying to stay focussed on my own artistic practice. It’s going slowly but I’ll get there. I’ve got several projects running which all need attention, so nothing ever really gets finished quickly. It gives me more time to analyse what I just did and question myself constantly.
The reason for this blogpost is a little note on my fridge that’s been hanging there for a while. It’s a little list of exhibitions that I still have to visit (and some that I did visit in the mean time). So why not share this for everyone to see, so maybe it motivates me even more to set foot in the museums. (I made a selection of all the exhibitions that are currently on display in Belgium.)
James Lee Byars in MHKA (Antwerp) – on display until 20 January 2019
I already visited this exhibition and I think I liked it .. I’d never heard of James Lee Byars before this exhibition, that’s why I did some research before stepping foot in the museum. The thing that I liked is Byars as an artist. He is mostly know for his performances. These weren’t that well documented because of the spontaneity of the actions, but they managed to show four videos of his performances. Of the performances the only thing that remained were the objects. So evidently they put these on display. This is why I am still on the fence of really liking the exhibition. You can see where I am going with this right? They put an object of a long flown by performance on display, placed on a pedestal with only written/spoken witnesses about the actual action. It made me long for the real thing that I could only imagine.
Eventually I became an admirer of Byars his work. Besides this exhibition in Antwerp, there’s a possibility to view a few performances in the Brussels museum Argos. Here’s the link to the website.
René Heyvaert in M-museum (Leuven) – on display until 10 February 2019
There are currently two exhibitions in M-museum, one of which is about the work of René Heyvaert. I wasn’t familiar with his work, but I’ve heard some positive things about this artist and I’ve visited a small exhibition of Heyvaert in the gallery Clearing in Brussels. (This exhibition runs until 2 February 2019. The photo above is taking in Brussels.)
Vasco Araújo in M-museum (Leuven) – on display until 17 March 2019
Another artist that I don’t know, but one that seems very interesting. Vasco Araújo works with archaeological aspects so I am curious to see how this presents itself in the exhibition and his work.
Guy Mees in MuZee (Ostend) – on display until 10 March 2019
Guy Mees was a Belgian artist whose practice is very diverse. This exhibition shows different works from different periods of Mees his practice. I know Mees for his colourful cutouts but my interest is peaked some more when I read some things about his other work. Besides these cutouts Mees also focussed on performances and sculptures. I am very excited to visit this exhibition.
The Ladies of the Baroque in Museum voor Schone Kunsten (Gent) – on display until 20 January 2019
This exhibition is a little bit different than the other ones in this list. It has a more art historian feel to it, purely focussed on the role of women painters in Italy from 1550 to 1680. It’s always fun and interesting to see an exhibition dedicated to the long overseen female artists from decades ago. I expect to see very theatrical and paintings completely taken over by a story.
Raoul De Keyser in SMAK (Gent) – on display until 27 January 2019
Raoul De Keyser was a Belgian painter. When you see the work of De Keyser it’s clear that the seperation between abstract and figurative is so small. Besides this he fills his images with poetry.
The name Raoul De Keyser is one that popped up in texts and platforms since I have been immersed in the arts but I’ve never seen any grand exhibitions with so many pieces of him in one museum. I’ve seen some sneak peeks of the exhibition and De Keyser played with different techniques to display the paintings. I am curious, very curious.
Koenraad Dedobbeleer in WIELS (Brussels) – on display until 6 January 2019
I had the privilige to visit this exhibition with a guided tour of the artist himself. My teacher of the atelier knows him personally so she worked her magic and arranged a guided tour with the group. I really enjoyed this (even though I was very ill). Dedobbeleer works with ready mades and it can all seem a bit to conceptual and vague, but we got a few stories behind different pieces and it showed his thinking. The little book provided by the museum tells all of these stories so you can discover it for yourself.
This exhibition closes very soon, so hurry up if you still want to see it!
René Daniels in WIELS (Brussels) – on display until 6 january 2019
René Daniels, a Dutch painter, “occupies a prominent place in the history of contemporary art from the latter half of the 20th century“, according to the museumtext. I can not contradict or agree with this because Daniels isn’t in my knowledge pile in my head. Sadly, his career was suddenly interrupted by a stroke in 1987 (after a decade of succes). In 2006 he started painting again, whilst living in Eindhoven.
Honestly, the work of Daniels isn’t one that I would walk towards if I’d seen it hanging in a museum somewhere, but I am glad that we had the chance to get a guided tour from the curator, Devrim Bayar. She explained almost every piece and gave us an insight of the practice of Daniels and made me appreciate him more. I wouldn’t say that I am completely sold, because not every piece catches my attention but there were some that did. The main thing that I like is the ideas behind the work.
Daniels uses some elements throughout his oeuvre, it’s interesting to spot these when walking through the two floors of the WIELS filled with his paintings and sketchbooks. This is an aspect that I very much enjoyed.
As I mentioned he had a stroke and this has affected him, affected his art. He isn’t able to paint large paintings anymore, the paintings that he made afterwards are more downsized and darker.
F O L L O W E M I T T R A O N