Shirley Jaffe, Brussels

American artist Shirley Jaffe’s works are all about colour. Colours are what determine her compositions and generate form, stimulating the viewer’s gaze and pleading for experiencing art just by looking at it. Her geometrical, flat paintings are clearly inspired by abstract expressionism and the innovative movements in American painting since the mid-forties. Jaffe was part of a group of young American and Canadian artsits that moved to Paris after World War II and became referred to as the Second Generation Abstract Expressionists, including artists as Ellsworth Kelly or James Bishop.

Until 14th January
Galerie Greta Meert, Rue Du Canal 13 Vaartstraat, 1000 Brussels

Design Brasil, Brussels

Even though for a long time design was not considered as a separate discipline but rather integrated in other related fields as art, industry or architecture, Brazil’s design history goes back to the 19th century. With the creation of the country’s first design agency in 1958 and the foundation of an Industrial Design School in Rio de Janeiro a few years later, design became more established. This exhibition especially puts forward products from the famous Brazilian designers Fernando & Humberto Campana who, inspired by their country’s street life and carnival culture, created objects made of found pieces as wood waste in combination with advanced technologies. At the same time Design Brasil gives a comprehensive overview of a large number of Brazilian designers whose works are characterised by vibrant colours and a certain playfulness.

Until 5th February
Design Vlaanderen, Rue de la Chancellerie 19 Kanselarijstraat, 1000 Brussels

Ferdinand Schirren, Brussels

Even though always a bit in the shadow of the most prominent Belgian Fauvist, Rik Wouters, Ferdinand Schirren was a pioneer of his time who in the beginning of the 20th century greatly contributed to the emergence of what we now refer to as “Brabant Fauvism”. With this exhibition the Royal Museum of Fine Arts continues to put forward some of Belgium’s lesser-known artists who clearly deserve more spotlight. Schirren’s paintings, that mostly display rather simple subjects taken from everyday life or landscapes, are defined by glowing, vibrant colours and a precise composition whilst rejecting symbolism. Reminiscing French Fauvists such as Matisse, Schirren’s focus on colours became the overriding theme in his oeuvre.

Until March 2012
Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Rue Royal 3 Regentschapsstraat, 1000 Brussels

Baxter Dury, Brussels

Six years after his last album, English singer-songwriter Baxter Dury is back with his latest record ‘Happy Soup’, an intimate collection of laid-back, warm and intriguing songs. At times melancholic and dreamy, at others optimistic and uplifting, Baxter Dury has become quite good at something he originally never wanted to do: Be a musician and follow into the footsteps of his famous father (Blockheads punk-era hero Ian Dury). With the ten tracks on ‘Happy Soup’ that Baxter cryptically describes as ‘seaside psychedelia’, the artist proves once again that he does not have to be afraid of his father’s long shadow.

Listen to the single ‘Claire’:

14th January
Botanique, Rue Royale 236 Koningsstraat, 1210 Brussels

Best Vinyl Art 2011, Brussels

Over the years album artwork has become much more than just a marketing or promotion tool: Designing record covers is considered as an art by many nowadays. It is within this context that Brussels’ Jonas Gallery exhibits a selection of the 50 best album sleeves of 2011 with Das Pop being the only Belgian flag-waver. Also on display are the newest LP covers of The Horrors, Metronomy or Bon Iver, for example. Considering the rise of digital downloads and the decline of buying, it remains to be seen how important the CD format will be in the future.

Until 28th January
Jonas Gallery, Rue de Flandre 35 Vlaamsesteenweg, 1000 Brussels

Peter Lindbergh, Antwerp

With his melancholic photographs of international supermodels Linda Evangelista, Kate Moss or even Tatjana Patitz marked by their effortless character and emotional depth, German fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh brought the new faces to worldwide attention. A master of black and white photography, he contributed more than any in shaping the fashion scene of the last 25 years. Combining a selection of Lindbergh’s world famous images with his more recent work as well as a series he shot for Vogue in Berlin in 2009, this comprehensive exhibition is a must for photography and fashion fans alike.

Until 29th January
FotoMuseum, Waalsekaai 47, 2000 Antwerp

Johan Grimonprez, Ghent

Mixing reality and fiction, Belgian artist and filmmaker Johan Grimonprez, a child of the first TV generation, explores and documents the ever-growing influence television, cinema, advertising and the news have on our perception of the world and the imminent risk of manipulation. His video works, which play with delusion and deception whilst expos- ing the importance of the moving image in our lives, are based on recycled images taken from news broadcasts, documentary material, Hollywood movies, animated films and commercials as well as from archival items. In his award-winning video collage Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y for instance, Grimonprez explores the worldwide history of high-jackings. And it is exactly this kind of uncanny relevance that draws you in. Think of him as a Michael Moore but with an even bigger grin.

Until 29th January
S.M.A.K., Citadelpark, 9000 Ghent