16 openings to catch during Brussels Gallery Weekend

With the Brussels Gallery Weekend – and everything that gravitates around it – officially announcing the cultural season open, the entire city is set to march to the beat of gallery openings, dinners and parties from Thursday evening to Sunday. With both official and guest galleries as well as tours and talks, the weekend-long festivity formerly known as Brussels Art Days unites the local scene and sets the pace for the month to come. To help you navigate through its dense program, we’ve highlighted 16 openings you should catch over the next few days.

1. Sanam Khatibi at NICC

Iranian-born and Brussels-based artist Sanam Khatibi’s artistic practice envelops a wide range of techniques and materials – from painting to embroidery. At NICC’s vitrine she’ll be showing ‘The Hollow in the Ferns’, a large tapestry based on one of her paintings that contains the archetypal narratives Khatibi has made her own; nature, fantasy and the duality of power and failure, with depictions of playful and impulsive figures. Runs until 10th October.

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2. Marcel Broodthaers – “Le Perroquet. Ne dites pas que je ne l’ai pas dit.” at Albert Baronian

Profoundly poetic, Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers’ oeuvre never fails to mask his enigmatic approach, his masterpiece “Le Perroquet. Ne dites pas que je ne l’ai pas dit.” being no exception. The highly ephemeral piece which depicts a caged parrot surrounded by two palm trees is displayed at Albert Baronian, along with a complete selection of Broodthaers’ printed work. Runs until 5th November.

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3. Melin Carpenter – Blogs of the near future at Dépendance

British painter Merlin Carpenter never shies away from taking a critical stance against the contemporary art world, casting critiques on current-day approaches to cultural attitudes and consumption. His exhibition at Dépendance, titled ‘Blogs of the near future’, once again establishes the artist’s status as an edifying provocateur. Runs until 22nd October.

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4. Taryn Simon – Paperwork and The Will of Capital at Almine Rech

Taryn Simon’s sixth solo exhibition at Brussels gallery Almine Rech merges photography, graphic design and text in a series of 36 large-scale photographs and 12 sculptures titled ‘Paperwork and The Will of Capital’. Behind Simon’s modest and sensitive visual language, her work is in reality an artistic analysis of different historical treaties – and is inspired by the floral displays present at the formal signings of said treaties, which were, as she states, “silent witnesses to the unfolding of world events”. Runs until 12th November.

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5. Stephan Balleux, Léa Belooussovitch, Sebastien Bonin and Hannu Prinz at D+T Projects

D+T Projects launches the fall season with a group exhibition that encompasses the works of Belgium-based artists Stephan Balleux, Léa Belooussovitch, Sebastien Bonin and Berlin-based Hannu Prinz. Through paintings, etches and photographs, each participating artist has his own distinct approach to their subject matter, yet they come together in their ability to break the barriers between the emotive and the rational. Runs until 23rd October.

Stephan BALLEUX, Un Conte de Noël, Oil on canvas, 200x160 cm, 2015

Stephan BALLEUX, Un Conte de Noël, Oil on canvas, 200×160 cm, 2015

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6. Fabrice Samyn – Solipsism at Meessen De Clercq

Fabrice Samyn’s oeuvre is heavily inspired by historical motives – and more specifically by the confrontation of historical art and a modern-day vision. As the title of his solo show at Meessen De Clercq suggest, this new series encompasses the idea of the self being the only perceivable reality. In the exhibition that containts four distinct groups of works symbolising idolatry, the human psyche and divine evocation, the spectator is challenged to radically reflect on his surroundings – and his perceptions. Runs until 15th October.

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7. Pierre Alechinsky, Karel Appel, Fred Bervoets: works from the Stephane Janssen collection at Rodolphe Janssen

It’s been 50 years since Stéphane Janssen opened his first gallery in Brussels, on the city’s famed Avenue Louise. After having represented artists such as Pierre Alechinsky, Karel Appel, Fred Bervoets and Roger-Edgar Gillet, he closed his eponymous space after ten years in 1976 and moved to the United States to focus solely on his private collection. It is with the same passion that Rodolphe Janssen followed in his father’s footsteps and opened his own gallery 15 years later, in 1991. And, to celebrate his own gallery’s 25th birthday as well as his father’s 50th, they’ve joined forces for a celebratory exhibition which will show works on paper from the artists mentioned above. The perfect opportunity, then, to symbolise the importance of the CoBrA movement in Europe and in the US, as well as the pivotal role the elder Janssen played within this movement. Runs until 8th October.

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8. Haseeb Ahmed – Wird at Harlan Levey

Brussels and Zurich-based artist Haseeb Ahmed creates installations and site-specific objects while drawing inspiration from the field of hard science. His solo exhibition at Harlan Levey this season is called ‘Wird’, and is the second instalment in an unfolding trilogy. It follows his initial “Wind Egg” experiment, wherein the artist used wind and a vulture to prove the ancient Greek theory that animals could be fertilised in the same way as plants. As such, Ahmed presents a specially designed wind tunnel in which spectators can see the face of the wind, alongside drawings, sculptures and a film screening. The culmination of the trilogy will take place at Antwerp’s MuHKA in 2018. Runs until 29th October.

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9. Horrible Bise – De gustibus et coloribus, non disputandum at Deborah Bowmann

At project space Deborah Bowmann sculptural trio Horrible Bise was given free reign of the space for their first solo show, resulting in a series that is simultaneously tender, poetic, twisted and even a tad self-depreciative. Runs until 5th November.

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10. Stefan Rinck – Sick White God at Sorry, we’re closed

At Sorry, we’re closed, German artist Stefan Rinck presents animal-like sculptures constructed out of sandstone that are placed next to human-like military figures in an army formation to create an artistic mirror to mankind’s evolution. Using animals as a metaphor, Rinck emulates man’s self-consciousness and the eagerness of humans to achieve absolute power. Runs until 29th October.

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11. Pieterjan Ginckels – Leakers at Hopstreet

Defining Pieterjan Ginckels’ (1982, Tienen) oeuvre is no easy feat. Having constructed a cycling ring with record players and hand dryers out of raw wood, the artist has a penchant for anti-engineering, while using current hypes and trends as a main inspiration source, creating a contradiction between craftsmanship and industrialised production. While his earlier work was mainly influenced by popular culture and rock music, it has lately evolved towards more present-day issues, such as the use of new technologies. At Hopstreet he’ll be presenting Leakers, a series of installations on wheels created out of rough wood. Runs until 23rd October.

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12. Paulo Monteiro – The inside of distance at Office Baroque

Brazilian painter and sculptor Paulo Monteiro’s solo exhibition at downtown gallery Office Baroque  consists of a series of oil paintings and abstract objects created solely out of raw materials, which gives his work a sense of modest simplicity while simultaneously evoking feelings of intimacy and elegance. Runs until 22nd October.

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13. Gregory Crewdson – Cathedral of the pines at Daniel Templon

New York City-based photographer Gregory Crewdson (1962) presents his series Cathedral of the Pines at Daniel Templon. For his third solo show at the Brussels gallery, he shows 31 photographs taken in the village of Becket, Massachusetts. All of the images are meticulously staged in either a domestic or a natural setting, and show motionless figures portrayed in a manner reminiscent of 19th century pictorial tradition. Simultaneously evoking intimacy and mystery, his work plays on the tension that exists between fiction and reality, with each individual image seemingly telling a story. Classic Crewdson. Runs until 29th October.

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14. Peripheral Healing : Antoine Renard, Clémence de La Tour du Pin at Komplot

Berlin-based artists Antoine Renard and Clémence de La Tour du Pin both create sculptures and installations that combine raw and durable materials such as concrete and steel, with ephemeral elements such as fluids and waste, which is a metaphoric reference to today’s tense field between technological emancipation, entertainment and decay within the context of late capitalism. Runs until 8th October.

Antoine Renard, Clemence de La Tour du Pin, Product Inc., Kassel

Antoine Renard, Clemence de La Tour du Pin, Product Inc., Kassel

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15. Paul McCarthy – White Snow & Coach Stage Stage Coach, Spinoffs at Xavier Hufkens

Xavier Hufkens presents Los-Angeles-based artist Paul McCarthy’s first solo exhibition in Brussels, titled ‘White Snow & Coach Stage Stage Coach’, showing drawings and sculptures that capture the major references underpinning his practice, namely Walt Disney and the American Western. Through dystopian and hollow representations of fairytale figures, the artist voices his viewpoints and opinions on mainstream western culture in a show that is unsettling, disillusioned, anarchic and uncompromising. Runs until 22nd October.

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16. Sunday 11th September: Xerox @ Societé

A group exhibition dedicated to the analog world of two dimensional copy art confronted with the three dimensional exhibition space Société. With works that go from transcoded information flows to poetic interactions of scanners, the show, which brings together the works of more than 35 artists, is entirely dedicated to the iconic Xerox copy machine. Runs until 13th November.

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