The weekend in Belgium 19.04

Roe Ethridge, Brussels

Photographer Roe Ethridge currently lives and works in New York and is famous for a signature mix of commercial images and fine-art photography. Influenced by fellow photo artists like Thomas Ruff and Michael Schmidt, he juxtaposes things like an idyllic Thanksgiving scene with a plastic bag or a polished studio portrait with a grainy still-life from a retail catalogue, and challenges the unsuspecting spectator with the question: what’s staged and what’s spontaneous? Captivating.

Opening 19th April, 18h00-21h00
Exhibition runs until 29th September
Charles Riva Collection, Rue de la Concorde 21 Eendrachtstraat – 1050 Brussels
www.charlesrivacollection.com

Poppositions, Brussels

This weekend, the Art Brussels art fair is all the rage. But skimming the sideboards of Belgium’s art event of the year are a number of related goings-on in the city. One of which is Poppositions, a new off-fair in town organised by Liv Vaisberg, owner of the Belgian Ponyhof Gallery. The fair, located in the railway station of Bruxelles Congrès station, provides a critical alternative.

From 20th to 22nd April
Bruxelles Congrès, Boulevard Pachécolaan 38 – 1000 Brussels
www.poppositions.com

Invader, Brussels

According to a study carried out by Zen Reputation, this French urban artist is one of the most famous on the web. Not that surprising when you consider that he’s adorned the world’s walls with his space invader mosaic in 80 cities, to be exact. Now he’s invading Brussels, installing about 40 of his murals. Perfect timing for Alice Gallery, which opens an exhibition of the mysterious street artist this weekend.

Opens 20th April, 18h00
Exhibition runs until 19th May
Alice Gallery, Rue du pays de Liège 4 Land van Luikstraat – 1000 Brussels
alicebxl.com

Felicia Atkinson, Brussels

French-born, Brussels-based musician and visual artist Felicia Atkinson designed a T-shirt for Belgian fashion brand Rue Blanche – an occasion the brand’s shop in Brussels’ Dansaert area used as an excuse for a launch party and exhibition of the multi-talented artist. Inspired by a trip through California, Atkinson will be exhibiting a series of drawings that sit somewhere at the crossroads of abstraction and figuration, and a window installation especially for Rue Blanche. The theme: things that disappear in the sun. Dreamy and blissful, and reminiscent of those moments when the sunlight makes you look at things with eyes half-closed.

Opening 20th April, 18h00-20h30
Exhibition runs until 30th April
Rue Blanche, Rue Antoine Dansaertstraat 39-41 – 1000 Brussels
www.rueblanche.be

Particles, Brussels

“Would dust be the perfect metaphysical emblem for our times of major destruction?” This is the question that inspired this eclectic group exhibition, with dust later being expanded to mean particles. Thirteen artists on show are all presenting their own personal interpretations of the theme, with installations, paintings and photographs. Artists include Belgian Kris Martin, Paul Ramirez Jonas from the US and Spanish artist Ignasi Aballi.

From 21st April to 26th May
Meeseen De Clercq, Rue de l’Abbaye 2 Abdijstraat -1000 Brussels
www.meessendeclercq.be

Gallery night, Brussels

Art fairs, it is argued, don’t necessarily provide the best backdrop for exhibiting and enjoying art. Good thing, then, that the galleries exhibiting at Art Brussels will also be opening their doors in the city this weekend for a special gallery night. A special map made for the occasion even helps you plan your route efficiently, to pack in as many galleries as possible. A good plan for those who aren’t into to look at art squeezed into little booths.

20th April, 18h00-22h00
All over Brussels, click here for a detailed map.
www.artbrussels.be

Year, Brussels

‘Year’ is an annual magazine published by Komplot and Belgian artist David Evrard in collaboration with designers Pierre Huyghebaert and Überknackig. It describes itself as “a scene, an experimental constellation”, and reports on exhibitions, conferences, books and objects. This Friday sees the launch of the second edition of the mag, and they’re using the occasion for an exhibition of the artists featured, from Andrea Büttner to Leen Voet or Frédéric Platéus.

Opening 20th April, 14h00-22h00
Exhibition runs until 16th June
Komplot, Av. Van Volxemlaan 295 -1190 Brussels
www.kmplt.be

Thomas Kiesewetter, Brussels

Thomas Kiesewetter, a German artist based between New York and Berlin, has made a name for himself in the art world through his abstract metal sculptures. The objects, constructed out of heavy metal sheets that are bent, folded and welded to playful effect, incorporate a certain elegance, reminiscent of architectural shapes that draw from 20th century abstraction, cubism and constructivism. The building process of each statue always starts with a three-dimensional card- board model serving as a mock-up. Shape, however, is not the only key element. Indeed, every sculpture is coated with monochrome paint, merging its individual parts together even further. The exhibition ‘Midnight Sky’ will display a new aspect of Kiesewetter’s work with a series of wall sculptures.

From 21st April to 25th May
Almine Rech Gallery, Rue de l’Abbaye 20 Abdijstraat -1000 Brussels
www.alminerech.com

Mircea Suciu, Brussels

Romanian artist Mircea Suciu’s exhibition ‘Black milk’ displays what he is most known for: his large scale charcoal drawings, somber both in colours and atmosphere. ‘Black milk’ refers to holocaust survivor Paul Celan’s famous poem ‘Death Fugue’ which illustrates the abhorrence and absurdity of human behavior. The theme of the beastly and paradox nature of humanity runs throughout Suciu’s oeuvre, revealing the many quirks of human kind. The characters haunting his paintings are often exposed as ignorant, desperate and hedonistic. Whilst a certain social criticism shines through, pointing to the dangers of believing in political systems or religious figures, Suciu’s work is not all pitch-black – just as in life his art shows that there’s always comedy to be found in tragedy.

From 21st April to 2nd June
Aeroplastics contemporary, Rue Blanchestraat 32 – 1060 Brussels
www.aeroplastics.net

Brussels Design Market

Looking for a Panton chair, a Knoll table or a Bertoia armchair? If that’s what your living room’s missing, then chances are you’ll find it at this weekend’s 13th edition of the Brussels Design Market. Organised in partnership with Art Brussels and Design September this huge flea market is an oversized treasure trove of furniture, ceramics and glassware from the 50s to the 80s, with exhibitors piling in from all over Europe.

From 21st April to 22nd April
Brussels Design Market, Avenue du Port 86c Havenlaan – 1000 Brussels
www.brusselsdesignmarket.be

Mr. Scruff, Brussels

With almost 20 years of disc-spinning under his belt, Mr Scruff (real name Andy Carthy) is a true DJ veteran, not only known for his marathon sets that last up to six hours, but also for an eclectic musical taste that jumps from soul, funk, house and hip-hop to reggae, jazz, dubstep, ska and beyond. This Ninja Tunes-signed artist is also a cartoonist, and he regularly shows off his artwork during his live shows with cute, quirky drawings. Expect a joyful night with a strong dose of humour.

20th April
VK, Rue de l’Ecole 76 Schoolstraat -1080 Brussels
www.vkconcerts.be

Of Montreal+Recorders, Brussels

Photography Patrick Heagney

Kevin Barnes, the genius behind Of Montreal, has always used the band as a personal outlet for his cascading angst. Not much has changed for this latest album ‘Paralytic Stalks’. With a characteristic union of upbeat melodies and dark lyrics, they prove they haven’t run out of ideas just yet. Of Montreal’s boundless creativity is equally apparent on stage and each concert is a psychedelic spectacle infused with visual artiness and outlandish costumes. Support by Belgian up-and-comers Recorders.

21st April
Botanique, Rue Royale 236 Koningsstraat – 1000 Brussels
www.botanique.be

Contemporary Art Sucks, Antwerp

This rebelliously titled exhibition is all attitude, and gathers young artists with more established international names from different disciplines, all with the goal of letting some fresh air into the contemporary art world. Blending in street art with gallery art, more than 50 artists will be on show, with works from all conceivable genres, including Banksy collaborator Pure Evil from London. As organiser Babenko Belgium puts it: ‘It’s about time there was some more punk rock in art!’

Opening 20th April ,18h00-23h00
Exhibition runs until 28th April
Designcenter Winkelhaak, Lange Winkelhaakstraat 26 – 2060 Antwerp
www.winkelhaak.be

Heritage Day, Ghent

This weekend Flanders and Brussels are celebrating Heritage Day, an annual shebang with exhibitions, guided tours and things, the point being to remind us of the region’s cultural heritage. This year’s theme is ‘Heroes’ and especially for the occasion, Ghent’s SMAK museum is setting up mobile photo studio where visitors are invited to liberate their inner hero and immortalise themselves in a photo. After all, there a hero in all of us, apparently.

22nd April
SMAK, Citadelpark – 9000 Ghent
www.smak.be

Jan Kampenaers, Ghent

Jan Kampenaers, Belgian photographer from Heist-op-den-Berg and based in Antwerp, is particularly celebrated for his picturesque landscape photos. This exhibition is an overview of his work over the past few years, a visual study in the contemporary relevance of the notion of 19th century ‘picturesque’. His images are powerful and full of beauty, with motifs ranging from ruins and natural landscapes to rock formations and forests.

Until 10th June
Kiosk Gallery, Louis Pasteurlaan 2 -9000 Ghent
www.kioskgallery.be

Apparat+Nosedrip, Ghent

Berlin producer and maestro of instruments Sascha Ring a.k.a Apparat is swapping the club scene for bigger venues and tracks for proper songs. This tour, replete with full band, does justice to his latest album ‘The Devil’s Walk’, leaving the glitchy dance-floor tunes behind and embracing a new sound located somewhere between melodic post-rock, dream pop and electro beats. Support by Belgian up-and-comer Nosedrip.

22nd April
Vooruit, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 23 – 9000 Ghent
www.vooruit.be