Blackout, Braids and Brussels Art Days

After a long summer break, the gallery season is kicking off this weekend with a bang. It’s time again for the Brussels Art Days, the perfect chance for gallery-hopping thanks to more than 30 shows and long opening hours. Here’s our selection of exhibitions that we think are worth checking out in the capital, and more.

1. Aline Bouvy at NICC


Antwerp’s NICC, an artist-run organisation whose stated aim is to strengthen artists’ voice in contemporary society, is opening a branch in the capital this weekend. Be there for the inauguration festivities, including the vernissage for Belgian artist Aline Bouvy’s solo show “It tastes like shit, it is shit, want a toothbrush”, a talk between artist, teacher and activist Tim Rollins and celebrated young art star Danh Vo as, well as the original Parking Space project, an initiative presenting artworks in parking spaces.

Opening 6 September, 19h00
NICC, rue Lambert Crickxstraat 1 – 1070 Brussels

2. Kendell Geers at Rodolphe Janssen Gallery


South African artist Kendell Geers, famous for both his art but also for urinating into Duchamp’s Fountain at the 1993 Venice Biennial, is now showing a selection of colourful and dynamic drawings, paintings and installations at Brussels’ Rodolphe Janssen gallery. “In painting I have found the purest expression of the ineffable, the physical embodiment of the intangible, the unfolding of my consciousness, a channelling no less,” says the artist. As an added bonus, you’re invited to take advantage of the gallery’s frit-kot tradition and get your hands on some delicious Belgian chips.

Opening 6 September 14h00-21h00
Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Rue de Livourne 35 Livornostraat – 1050 Brussels

3. Arte Povera at Albert Baronian

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Arte Povera was an art movement from the ’60s that rejected new technologies and pop art and that used cheap materials like stones and newspapers, and it’s the subject of a fascinating current group exhibition at Albert Baronian gallery. Bringing together 11 of the most prominent artists of the movement, the expo unites the work of Mario Merz, Giovanni Anselmo and Luciano Fabro. The show also marks the gallery’s 40th anniversary, by paying tribute to a group that has played an important role in the development of the gallery. “Even today – in an age when the art market tends to focus on the history of art, and when many artists have become manufacturers of objects – I still consider Arte Povera to be the most important movement of the second half of the 20th century in Europe,” says founder Albert Baronian.

Opening 6 September
Albert Baronian, Rue Isidore Verheydenstraat 2 – 1050 Brussels

4. Peter Scott at Rectangle


An 1-square-metre billboard overlooking Brussels’ rooftops is Rectangle’s unlikely exhibition space and an original concept that made it onto our list of favourite places for emerging art. Every two months a new image is mounted, and this weekend it’s the turn of artist, writer, curator and gallery director Peter Scott with ‘Here Comes Your Neighborhood’ , an exploration of urban life and the relationship between identity and place.

Opening 5 September, 18h00
Rectangle, Rue Emile Féronstraat 189 – 1060 Brussels

5. Danh Vo at Xavier Hufkens

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“The new space can be for younger artists although it’s not specially designed or programmed for younger artists. To have a second space is to give the gallery more flexibility,” says gallery founder Xavier Hufkens about the gallery’s new branch. Opened in April and inaugurated by Belgian, New York-based up-and-comer Harold Ancart, Danh Vo’s works make up the second exhibition in the new space just down the street from the main gallery. The New York Times praises his “self-effacing, shape-shifting art and his tendency to function as much as a curator or archaeologist as an artist.” At Xavier Hufkens you can now discover some of the Vietnam-born, Berlin-based artist’s newest sculptures.

Opening 5 September, 17h00
Xavier Hufkens, Rue Saint-Georges 107 St. Jorisstraat – 1050 Brussels

6. Jens Haaning at D+T Project Gallery


Danish artist Jens Haaning’s art addresses contemporary issues in an unconventional way; in 2005 he installed a row of black capital letters spelling out the word ‘DANMARK’ on a gallery wall. ”Like much of Haaning’s work, ‘DANMARK’ can be labelled ‘political’, but not in the sense that it involves a direct statement, opinion or critique,” wrote Frieze Magazine. At Brussels’ D+T Project Gallery you can now discover some of his more recent creations in  “Belgique & Other Works”.

Opening 6 September 14h00-21h00
D+T Project, Rue Bosquetstraat 4 – 1060 Brussels

7. Petrit Halilaj at Wiels


Petrit Halilaj was the first ever artist to represent Kosovo at the Venice Biennale, a country that participated for the first time this year. Wiels is now dedicating a solo show to the up-and-coming twenty-something, the biggest exhibition of his career to date. His art is highly autobiographical, and incorporates childhood memories as well as his family history, exploring notions of ‘home’, ‘nation’ and ‘cultural identity. “We can value these works for the cramped corners they force us into, the very discomforts they provoke,” writes Frieze Magazine.

Opening 7 September
Wiels, Avenue Van Volxemlaan 354 – 1190 Brussels

8. Sam Korman and Israel Lund at Middlemarch


Middlemarch allows you experience art in a completely different setting: if you’re not comfortable in the typical white cube gallery, here’s an alternative option: Virginie Devillez and Jean-Baptiste Bernadet invite you into their apartment to experience works  by American artists Sam Korman and Israel Lund as part of their ongoing collaboration, Material Issues.

Opening 5 September, 17h00
Middlemarch, Chaussée de Waterloo 550 Waterloose Steenweg- 1050 Brussels

9. Adam Helms at Almine Rech

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With Pathos Formula, Almine Rech Gallery presents the very first solo exhibition of the work of American artist Adam Helms in Belgium. Based in New York, he produces artworks that cross genres from drawings and printmaking to sculpture. Based on and inspired by found postcards, decades-old issues of LIFE magazine, film stills and the Internet, Helm’s pieces explore things like the symbols of marginalised social groups and radical organisations.

Opening 6 September 14h00-20h00
Almine Rech Gallery, Rue de l’Abbaye 20 Abdijstraat – 1050 Brussels

10. Simon Mathers at MOTinternational

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Brussels Art days welcomes a solo show by London painter, Simon Mathers. Since graduating from the prestigious Royal College of Art, Mathers has worked on developing his signature experimental techniques in which he explores abstraction to produce subliminally concise paintings.

Opening 6 September, 18h00
MOT International, Rue Vandenbrandenstraat 1 – 1000 Brussels

11. KOPIOITU at Komplot

Opening 7 September
Komplot, Avenue Van Volxemlaan 295 – 1190 Brussels

12. Brent Wadden at Sorry We’re Closed

Opening 6 September
Sorry We’re Closed, Rue de la Régence 65A Regentschapsstraat- 1000 Brussels

13. Israel Lund at Elaine Levy Projects

Opening 6 September, 14h00
Elaine Levy Project, Rue Fourmoisstraat 9 – 1050 Bruxelles

14. Lab Sin at De La Charge

6 and 8 September
De La Charge, Rue Théodore Verhaegenstraat 152 – 1060 Bruxelles

15. Gianni Motti at Delire Gallery

Opening 5 September, 17h00-21h00
Delire Gallery, Rue de Praetere 47D – 1050 Brussels

16. Aaron Aujila at Clearing

Opening 6 September 18h00-21h00
C L E A R I N G, Avenue Louise 292 Louizalaan – 1000 Brussels

There’s no end to the exhibitions in Brussels this weekend. Nonetheless, it’s well worth a trip to Antwerp, Bruges or Ghent. Here are five reasons why:

17. Michael Borremans at Zeno X Gallery


When we interviewed Michael Borremans for our latest print issue, he told us how 2012 had been a new production low for him. “I only kept two paintings in the end, but one of them is a masterpiece,” he said. Antwerp’s Zeno X Gallery is now hosting a solo show of the celebrated Belgian painter’s newest creations, under the title The people from the future are not to be trusted. That masterpiece might just be one of them, so make sure you take a look.

Until 12 October
Zeno X Gallery,  Godtsstraat 15 – 2140 Antwerp

18. Rinus Van De Velde at Tim Van Laere


Charcoal virtuoso and current Belgian media darling Rinus Van de Velde’s popularity knows no limits. To find out why, check out the rising star’s current solo expo at Antwerp’s Tim Van Laere Gallery, another impressive display of the artist’s mesmerising work. As always, reality and fiction are closely intertwined and imaginative figures, as well as the artist himself, are depicted in the large-scale artworks.

Opening 5 September, 18h00
Tim Van Laere Gallery, Verlatstraat 23-25 – 2000 Antwerp

19. Devin Yalkin at Stieglitz 19, Antwerp


Young up-and-coming artist Devin Yalkin, who was born and raised in New York, has been building a reputation with his grainy, somber and initimate black-and-white images. Having started out as a street photographer, his photographs still have this raw feel, and never fail to be expressive and emotional. A rising talent to watch out for.

Opening 7 September, 16h30
Stieglitz 19, Klapdorp 2 – 2000 Antwerp

20. Jef Boes at 44 Gallery, Bruges

American Identities

Photographer Jef Boes’ series American Identities, currently being exhibited at Bruges’ 44 Gallery, offers an unusual look at US contemporary society, pinpointing the tension between the mythical American dream and the harsh reality of daily life. Boes’  intriguing and powerful images are the visual account of a road trip through Iowa on the lookout for the stereotypical American. Based in Ghent, Boes was nominated  for the Nikon press awards in 2011.

Opening 8 September, 16h00
44 Gallery, Genthof 44 – 8000 Bruges

21. It’s the poetry, stupid at Campo Santo Chapel, Ghent

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Uniting the works of some of our favourite young Belgian photographers – including The Word Magazine-insider Sarah Eechaut, Vincen Beeckman, Julie Scheurweghs (read our interview with her here), Vincent Delbrouck (here’s our chat with him) and many others, this exhibition is a must for all photography fans. This is the seventh edition of a collaboration between Artwall and Someday, two art initiatives that aim to support young artists by seting up events in a new venue every time.

Opening 6 September, 18h00-22h00
Campo Santo Chapel, St. Amandsbert – 9040 Ghent

Non-arty types need not despair: here’s three things to do if galleries are not your hangout of choice.

22. Blackout at Boondael Chapel, Brussels

When Catclub takes a break, Blackout steps into the breach for sweaty old school and Italo-disco soundtracked parties. This time the hetero-friendly soiree is taking place in Boondael Chapel in Ixelles, and the decks will be manned by Yola Fatoush and Substanz, as well as the usual suspect, Lady Jane.

7 September
Boondael Chapel, Avenue d’Italielaan 12 – 1050 Brussels

23. Braids at Botanique, Brussels

Braids, a Canadian posse of art rockers, have made the move to Montreal in recent years to develop what NME calls the “restrained beauty” of their grown-up, emotional sound.They’re coming to Brussels’ Botanique for one night only, supported by Belgian Francois Boulanger’s Ssaliva.

6 September, 19h30
Botanique, Rue Royale 236 Koningsstraat – 1000 Brussels

24. Retro Acid at Vooruit, Ghent

Ghent’s techno flag-flyers Kozzmozz are revisiting the acid sound, with resident Spacid starting the night with true acid house classics before handing over to Chicago techno hero Mike Dearborn. Also featuring Rebuild, Sensory Overload and DJ Ignite.

7 September, 23h00
Vooruit, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 23 – 9000 Ghent