Things to do in Belgium this week: art from Chicago in Brussels, Belgian fashion in Antwerp, Brussels Gallery Night, art fairs galore, and more. See you there!
Opening: The Works: Artists in and from Chicago at CAB
Tuesday, 21 April, 18-21h00 Brussels
As the editor of this publication has lived a year in Chicago, we do have a very soft spot for the city and were delighted to find out about CAB’s initiative to dedicate a whole group show to a selection of artists from the most American of American cities. Writer Carl Sandburg has described it as the “city of big shoulders” – a fitting setting then for “The Works”, which examines notions of labor and effort through the artistic practices of nine different Chicago-based artists, revealing a unique, hands-on approach championing the junctions of art and life. Among them is for instance the internationally celebrated Theaster Gates, known for his commitment to revitalizing poor neighbourhoods with his artistic practice. An absolute must-see!
Shopping: Belmodo Fashion Days
Until 26 April Antwerp
If designer clothes make your heart beat faster but your budget is limited, then this week’s Belmodo Fashion Days are just the right thing for you. Until Sunday you can get your hands on unique samples and great pieces from previous collections at lowered prices. The event is spread throughout the center of Antwerp, so put on some comfy sneakers for a shopping marathon taking you to the stock sales of Dries Van Noten, La Fille D’O, Ann Demeulemeester, Tim Van Steenbergen, Annemie Verbeke, Christian Wijnants, Haider Ackermann, and more! See the full programme here.
Brussels Gallery Night
Thursday, 23 April, 18-21h00 Brussels
With Art Brussels kicking off this Friday art aficionados from all over the globe are rolling into town this week, and before everyone is busy selling and buying at the fair, they get the chance to discover Brussels’ galleries in their usual splendor during the Brussels Gallery Night. Free shuttle services rotate between the participating galleries, whose programmes you can all find here. And to make the gallery hopping a little bit easier for you, we’ve selected a few highlights:
“Temporary Boundary” at Galerie Paris-Beijing
The group show opening this Thursday presents a survey on videos and photographs by Chinese artists censored by the authorities of their home country. Among the exhibited artists are the great Ai Weiwei, one of the leading figure of dissidence in China, as well as young, upcoming photographer Ren Hang, mainly known for his provocatice images of desexualized nakedness.
“Drilling for Light” at Michel Rein
Michel Rein Gallery invites you to the solo show of Belgian contemporary artist Sophie Whettnall, whose work has already been shown at the renowned Venice Biennale. She’s especially known for her sculptures, videos and installations which examine landscape-related themes and the forces that surround us in an original and sensual way.
“Bodies Turn To Ash” at MOT International
This fascinating solo show kicking off this Thursday presents a selection of works by London-based artist Clunie Reid, known for punky re-appropriations of glossy media images criticizing consumer culture.
Food meets design: Friday lunch at Marina Bautier
Friday, 24 April, 12h45 Brussels
Belgian designer Marina Bautier not only has her own furniture label and shop, but also runs a lovely lunch project, which takes place every last Friday of the month in Maison MA’s premises. The menu is always inspired by the season and you need to book a spot at the big communal table here.
Alternative art fair: Poppositions at Canal Wharf
From 24 to 26 April Brussels
A bit before the official opening of Art Brussels, alternative art fair Poppositions already opens its doors to curious art buffs for a bit of a different experience, experimenting with the art fair format. “Do you have ‘barbaric taste’?” shows works acquired by major Brussels-based collectors who have supported Poppositions since its very beginnings. The selection was made by a number of young curators and highlights that cultural value can be found where the monetary value is reasonable. There’s also a space dedicated to the growing discipline of micro-publishing, a bar, food trucks, and various performances and talks about the future of art, artists and collecting. Have a look at the full programme here.
Coffee bar launch: Hinterland Grand Opening
Friday, 24 April, 17-22h00 Brussels
While Ghent and Antwerp already have their fair share of great coffee places, Brussels has been lagging behind a little bit. This week another new spot opens its doors to fill the gap going by the name of Hinterland. Its tagline “urban refuge” gives you an idea of its eco-friendly concept, focusing on home-made, local, fresh and sustainable things. At the opening bash this Friday you can discover their organic soft drinks, wine beers, cocktails and food as well as a photo expo by Jocelyn Catterson to the sounds of Brussels-based DJ Andrea Mancini.
Fair: Art Brussels 2015 at Brussels Expo
From 25 to 27 April Brussels
191 galleries from all over the globe are currently preparing their booths in the enormous Brussels Expo building for the 33rd edition of Art Brussels, undoubtedly the city’s art event of the year. It offers an exciting mix of newcomers and established galleries and artists, and has never been as international as this year. We especially love the introduction of the newly added DISCOVERY section, which shines a light on up-and-coming artists not yet known to a wider public in Western Europe. Another fresh new feature is the so-called “Artists’ music” stage, a project thought up together with Brussels’ Beursschouwburg, which puts forward musical performances by contemporary artists and their bands. If you need a dose of culture, we have duo tickets to give away for 7 lucky readers. More about how to win here.
Night out: Catclub Supermarket Art Edition
Saturday, 25 April, 23h00 Brussels
Art Brussels is not Art Brussels without its proper after party, this year once again hosted by the infamous Catclub. This weekend’s so-called “Supermarket Art Edition” (do we hear a slight criticism here?) takes place at a very special location, the old GB58 supermarket in the heart of Brussels, and gives all art lovers the chance to mingle in a more relaxed setting. Behind the decks you’ll find Big Strick from Detroit, Brussels’ Kong, and Catclub resident Fais Le Beau, and the interior will be spiced up by a number of artistic interventions.
Night out: TSOB at Club La Vilaine
Satuday, 25 April, 23h00 Brussels
Inspired by the fantastic movie “The Sound of Belgium” exploring the rich but untold story of Belgian dance music, recently launched Brussels’ club La Vilaine hosts a series of TSOB nights taking you on a trip down memory lane and educating you about Belgian music history while you dance the night away, to New Beat, Bonzaj, and more.
Concert: Of Montreal at Botanique
Sunday, 26 April, 20h00 Brussels
Kavin Barnes’ creativity knows no borders. The genius behind the outlandish American indie outfit Of Montreal is now releasing album #13, proving once more that they haven’t run out of ideas just yet. “Aureate Gloom” was released in early March and has been called “a meticulous, modern facelift to ‘70s glam rock”, scored a 7.0 on Pitchfork, and offers, as always, a great, psychedelic ride into the tortured mind of its leader.
Cover photo Miles Fischler