King of Pop and Works on Paper. This weekend in Belgium.

Julian Lorber, Brussels

“Externalities” is a show of the latest works by American artist Julian Lorber. Inspired by urban environments and architectural forms, Lorber creates sensual, textured paintings that focus on colour while playing around with light effects, referencing things like the industrial process of car painting. Using irony and a metaphor, his art is driven by urban concerns: how can creativity and sustainability find their place in today’s world?

Opening 7th February
Galerie Lot 10, Rue Lanfraystraat 15 – 1050 Brussels

Found footage, Brussels

This weekend sees the launch of photography project ‘Found footage’, a collaboration between Bence BakkerMax Pinckers (featured in our grey album), Jeroen LambertynMichiel Burger and Sam Weerdmeester. “The online-based platform that invites people to exhibit hidden, forgotten or lost material that has been denied an audience”, they explain. The event is part of Beursschouwburg’s Private Investigations show (that we recently reviewed) and includes an installation as well as lectures by Bruno Ceschel, the founder of Self Publish, Be Happy and Brad Feuerhelm, photography collector and director of Ordinary Light.

7th February, 20h30
Beursschouwburg, Rue Auguste Ortsstraat 20-28 – 1000 Brussels

Thomas Bayerle, Brussels

Over the years, German artist Thomas Bayrle, who has also taught at the renowned Städelschule in Frankfurt, has created a unique visual language with his paintings, films, books, collages and sculptures. His is a substantial body of work that references Conceptual, Pop and Op art and explores themes such as consumerism, religion, political propaganda and sexuality. The Huffington Post compares him to artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Sigmar Polke. Wiels is now presenting a major retrospective of Bayrle’s work, from the early beginnings to the engine installations featured at last year’s Documenta 13. A fascinating career worthy of inspection.

Opening 8th February, 19h00
Wiels, Avenue Van Volxemlaan 354 – 1190 Brussels

Dennis Scholl + Till Rabus, Brussels

Aeroplastics is bringing together the drawings of Dennis Scholl and the paintings of Till Rabus for one fascinating exhibition. Scholl creates complex and haunting pieces that represent visual puzzles without narrative, full of organic landscapes and references to art history. Rabus’ works can be just as disturbing, like his Voodoo series, where the artist assembles flowers, shells and children’s toys arranged unsettlingly like an altar.

Until 16th March
Aeroplastics, Rue Blanchestraat 32 – 1060 Brussels

Sins and Miracles, Brussels

Inspired by an album of the same name by Mexican singer Lila Downs, this exhibition focusses on traditional votif paintings, small artworks that praised religious figures for their miracles. Juxtaposed with original historic pieces dating back to the mid-19th century, the viewer is confronted with contemporary creations that reinterpret old traditions, sometimes in a rather provocative way.

Until 24th March
Bozar Centre of Fine Arts, Rue Ravensteinstraat 23 – 1000 Brussels

Michael Jackson, Brussels

Brussels’ Mediatheque is dedicating an evening to one of the biggest pop icons of our time and, according to the Rolling Stone, one of the best 25 singers in music history. in And while we’ve all rocked out to tunes like Thriller and Billie Jean on the dancefloor, little attention has ever been paid to the meaning of the lyrics, which often got overshadowed by spectacular choreography and video production. Emina Alickovic, an expert in Afro-American music and literature, looks behind the glitzy façade and, using his song lyrics, tries to find out more about the personality of the iconic pop prince.

8th February, 18h30
Mediathèque, Passage 44, Boulevard du Jardin Botanique 44 Kruidtuinlaan – 1000 Brussels

Optimundus, Antwerp

The exhibition ‘Optimundus’ is a collaborative body of work from Belgian artists Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys, the most extensive presentation of their works to date. At the center of their practice stands the concept of an alternative reality which they explore with videos, drawings, performances, photographs, installations and sculptures. They also touch upon issues such as dealing with life through the logic of our inner worlds, and differentiating between the real world and our personal parallel worlds. “There are different theories. One of them states that the parallel world is a mirror of the real world and every attack from the parallel world would therefore be a form of self-destruction”, according to one of the featured videos.

Opening 7th February, 20h30
M HKA, Leuvenstraat 32 – 2000 Antwerp
Yaakov Israel, Antwerp

Israel-born photographer Yaakov Israel has a knack for landscapes and social portraiture and is inspired by American photographers like Stephen Shore and Joel Sternfeld. His powerful, captivating images examine his home country and its diverse identities, and this exhibition features ‘The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey’, a series which features people in their environments and abandoned spaces. Israel’s images concentrate on desolate water parks and dead end streets, revealing and concealing a story at the same time.

Opening 9th February
Gallery 51, Zirkstraat 20 – 2000 Antwerp

Works on Paper, Antwerp

This fascinating group exhibition unites artworks from celebrated Belgian photographer Dirk Braeckman, Chinese artist Yun-Fei Ji, New York-based artist Kim Jones and Antwerp’s Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven. Braeckman’s photos explore all shades of grey as well as skin textures, textiles, furniture and walls, juxtaposed with pieces made according to traditional Eastern art-making while at the same time criticising China’s current political state. “My works are meditations on the mountains and waters as the image of our own moral failures”, he recently told The Guardian. Jones’ works on paper refer to his performances as his alter ego Mudman who first appeared on the streets of L.A. in the 70s, while Kerckhoven’s drawings deal with the mystery of the cosmos. A truly eclectic mix that’s not to be missed.

Until 9th March
Zeno X Gallery, Leopold De Waelplaats 16 – 2000 Antwerp

Matthieu Litt, Luik/Liège

Liège’s Galerie Satellite has made it its mission to promote young, contemporary photographers, particularly those who hail from Brussels and Wallonia. One of them is Liège-based photographer Matthieu Litt whose delicate portraits and landscapes and their timelessness, set in the most banal of situations, manage to unearth a surprising beauty. A talent to watch out for.

Until 14th April
Galerie Satellite, Rue du Mouton Blanc, 20 – 4000 Liège/Luik