Art, fashion and Black Dice. This weekend in Belgium

Women’s Roundabout, Brussels

With Women’s Roundabout, Brussels’ Artiscope Gallery gives female artists a platform to show off their work. It’s a challenge to the male-dominated networks that exist across all domains (the art world included) and covers all genres, techniques and generations from the 60s onwards. On show are diverse artworks by Laura Grisi, Judy Rifka or Eva Fuka to Reesey Shaw and Anne de Bodt.

From 14th September to 14th December
Artiscope, Boulevard Saint-Michel 35 Sint-Michielslaan – 1040 Brussels

Leopold Rabus and guests, Brussels

Young Swiss star-in-the-making Léopold Rabus has brought his latest collection of paintings and installations to Brussels’ Aeroplastics gallery. “From a true story” is a haunting domain full of weird, otherworldly creatures set to the recurring backdrop of Rabus’ own natural habitat, the Northwestern Swiss landscape with its woodlands, wood huts and vast forests. Sense of humour intact, the artist takes on themes like origin and destiny, loss, the past, and our concept of reality while evoking black romanticism in an oeuvre that brings to mind Jonathan Meese or Paul McCarthy. Apart from this solo show, there’s also a group exhibition on the bill curated by none other than Rabus himself, and which includes pieces by Sébastian Verdon, Pierre Gattoni and Denis Schneider.

Until 27th October
Aeroplastics, Rue Blanchestraat 32 – 1060 Brussels 

Angel Vergara, Brussels

Brussels-based Spaniard Angel Vergara recently represented Belgium at the 54th Venice Biennale and now Almine Rech is putting together a solo show of the artist’s work titled “and yes I said yes I will Yes” (the title is taken from the closing line of James Joyce’s iconic novel ‘Ulysses’, a reference to Vergara’s enthusiastic attitude to painting). Using images taken from different media, particularly the icons of today, he edits, assembles and then paints over them, adding colour and consistency. This exhibition features visuals of stars such as Lady Gaga and Isabelle Huppert.

Until 29th September
Almine Rech Gallery, Rue de l’Abbaye 20 Abdijstraat – 1050 Brussels

Joshua Abelow, Brussels

With his largely autobiographical art, Joshua Abelow, who lives and works in Brooklyn, explores the life and symbols of a painter. Colourful and expressive, his geometrically abstract self-portraits mock a fake persona of himself. But Abelow is much more than just a painter. He also writes poetry and updates his personal artblog almost daily – in a bow to today’s changing visual culture.

Until 10th November
Sorry We’re Closed, Rue de la Régence 65A Regentschapsstraat- 1000 Brussels

Vadim Vosters, Brussels

Berlin’s Heckenhauer Gallery is hosting a solo show of French artist Vadim Vosters in his adopted home city of Brussels. There’ll be a selection of very recent oil-paintings and installations that explore state of mind while awake in a dark room. The exhibition is complemented by a number of haunting drawings by George Grosz, Rudolf Schlichter and Otto Dix, all of whom have a thing for the grotesque.

Until 6th October
Heckenhauer Gallery, Rue De Flandre 59 Vlaamsesteenweg – 1000 Brussels

Seyran Kirmizitoprak & Laurie Charles, Brussels

Komplot is a Brussels-based collective that focuses on nomadic creative practices, trends in specialisation, survival architecture and the infiltration of private, public and institutional space. Their latest initiative is an exhibition that combines two solo shows by young Belgian emerging artists: performance and installation artist Seyran Kirmizitoprak, a Sint-Lukas graduate, and experimental video artist Laurie Charles both deal with narratives, objects and the post-pop generation.

Until 13th October
Komplot, Avenue Van Volxemlaan 295 – 1190 Brussels

Ivan Argote, Brussels

The Paris-based Colombian artist Ivan Argote uses all kinds of mediums, from video and photography to sculpture and painting in his sometimes funny and sometimes shocking work. He questions common perceptions and forces us to change perspectives by fictionalising the everyday, and one of his most famous acts so far has been the rather rebellious spraying over of the artworks of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian.

Until 27th October
D+T Project, Rue Bosquetstraat 4 – 1060 Brussels

BYTE, Brussels

This weekend sees the first edition of the ‘Belgian Young Talent Exhibition’ by art collective Sans 9, an initiative that aims to give lesser known artists a bump up at the beginning of their career, especially for those who haven’t yet forged the necessary connections in Belgium’s art scene. For two weeks visitors can discover new talent and get an idea of what the future of Belgian art will look like. The eclectic and genre-breaking show includes artworks by Thierry Adam, Lucien Gilson, Elise Nguyen, Lilie Oma, Marta Smaldone and many many more.

From 15th to 29th September
Tour et Taxis, Avenue du Port 86 Havenlaan – 1000 Brussels

Black Dice, Brussels

This Brooklyn-based three-piece, who count Sonic Youth among their adoring fans, have been on the go for over 10 years, now peddling a signature mix of experimental art-noise, psychedelia and electronica. With a recently unleashed sixth album entitled “Mr. Impossible” on the same label as fellow innovators-in-arms Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors, they’ve managed to produce a record that’s tricky but accessible, something that also rings true for their live shows.

15th September
Ancienne Belgique, Avenue Anspach 10 Anspachlaan – 1000 Brussels

Japandroids, Brussels

When Brian King and David Prowse couldn’t find a lead singer they decided to split the job between themselves – who needs a lead singer anyway? Not Japandroids, a stormy duo from Canada who are often compared to The Replacements and who showed up on the radar in 2009 with their garage-rocky debut album “Post-Nothing”. Equipped with nothing but a guitar and drums they deliver raw, energetic indie rock. And despite such a small setup, they’re known for the controlled chaos of their wild live shows.

14th September
VK, Rue de L’Ecole 76 Schoolstraat – 1080 Brussels

Madame Grès, Antwerp

‘Sculptural Fashion’ is a retrospective of the 50-year career of Parisian fashion designer Madame Grès, an extensive overview of her sober, timeless and utterly feminine work that encompasses different style periods from Hellenistic to minimalistic and from beachwear to evening dresses. The designer was a pioneer of seamless clothing, often draping or pleating the fabric instead of cutting and sewing it: “I wanted to become a sculptor. For me, working with stone or fabrics is the same thing”, Grès says.

From 12th September to 10th February
Fashion Museum Province of Antwerp, MoMu, Nationalestraat 28 – 2000 Antwerp

Jonathan Meese, Antwerp

Antwerp’s Tim Van Laere Gallery is currently showcasing Jonathan Meese’s very first solo exhibition in Belgium, tongue-twistingly titled DRAGONBABY “Johnny” (Erzmuttersöhnchen on the Rocks).  The versatility, grotesque humour, and powerful paintings of this Tokyo-born artist explore art as dictatorship, a Utopian new world order in which art is the major power. Meese’s artworks that have been hosted by such renowned museums as New York’s Guggenheim. Exuberant and provocative, he deconstructs and mocks taboo words and symbols and strips them of their original meaning. A thought-provoking show.

Until 20th October
Tim Van Laere Gallery, Verlatstraat 23-25 – 2000 Antwerp

Jaques Henri Lartigue, Antwerp

Today Jaques Lartigue’s photographs can be found in places like MoMA or the Met – but it has not always been so. It took thousands of photos and 60 years until the public finally began to appreciate the captivating works of the Frenchman. A meticulous chronicler of his direct surroundings, Lartigue left behind a gigantic body of work including 100,000 snapshots, 135 photo albums and a number of diaries diaries. Born into one of the wealthiest French families at the time, his photos tell a very personal story, something that has earned him the title of the ‘ultimate amateur’. Instead of war, his images are full of the idyllic Bourgoise life of the 20th century: “It is my little secret ruse for preserving joys or my happiness, my immense happiness, all perfumed with inexplicable things”.

Until 20th October
51 Fine Art Photography, Zirkstraat 20 – 2000 Antwerp 

Lawrence Malstaf-Christoph De Boeck-Aernoudt Jacobs, Ghent

This group exhibition features three innovative Belgian artists who all have a thing for multimedia art. Lawrence Malstaf, who once hung himself dangerously between two plastic sheets with only a tube for oxygen, operates somewhere on the border between visual art, performance art and theatre. His fellow countrymen Christoph De Boeck and Aernoudt Jacobs, on the other hand, are into sound, treating it as a visual and tactile medium by separating it from its original context. In an attempt to give sonic energy a tangible presence, whether in the form of vibration or by trying to detach it from its source, the artists wonder aloud whether sound can be experienced, how it relates to its environment and how human beings are affected by it. A selection of challenging, highly intellectual and very modern works that incorporate the newest of newfangled technological developments.

Opening 14th September
Exhibition runs until 31st October
Galerie Fortlaan 17, Fortlaan 17 –  9000 Ghent

Kim Ann Foxman, Ghent

Everyone who’s anyone knows Kim Ann Foxman as a member of dance music makers Hercules and Love Affair. But now the New York-based DJ and producer, who has spent the past years setting dancefloors from Japan to Chicago on fire, is pursuing a solo career. Foxman kicked off with a debut EP called Creature/ What You Need in 2010 and this weekend she’ll be choosing the tunes at Club 69 in Ghent for one night only.

14th September
Club 69,  Oude Beestenmarkt 5 – 9000 Gent