Woodkid at Botanique and Braeckman at Bozar. This weekend in Belgium.

Sterling Ruby, Brussels


American artist Sterling Ruby, who lives and works in Los Angeles, has a wide artistic practice that includes ceramics, painting, collage and video. Brussels’ Charles Riva Collection is now showcasing a selection of his latest collages, spray paintings, prints, bronze, fabric and urethane sculptures, underlining Ruby’s critique of minimalism and highlighting the major theme of his work: the relationship between the individual and society. “He has the attitude of a grunge rocker with a head full of Marx, Nietzsche and Freud,” says The New York Times.

Until 19th October
Charles Riva Collection, Rue de la Concordestraat 21 – 1050 Brussels

Peter Peri, Brussels

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Brussels’ Almine Rech Gallery is hosting a solo exhibition of London-based artist Peter Peri called ‘Last Family’, uniting a selection of the artist’s drawings, paintings and sculptures. Peri, who is known for his recurring references to modernism (his grandfather was a constructivist) and the incorporation of existential psychology and psychological research into his work, produces pieces that are full of dark undertones. “A blank clarity that just tips into self-dissolution” is how Peri sees powerful art.

Until 25th May
Almine Rech Gallery, Rue de l’Abbaye 20 Abdijstraat – 1050 Brussels

Dirk Braeckman and Marc Trivier, Brussels


Belgian photographer Dirk Braeckman’s Bozar/Antoine Watteau intervention is continuing until 12 May, for which the local legend was asked to find a way of depicting the artworks that could not be brought to the expo. (Some of his works are also currently on show in the new space of Antwerp’s Zeno X Gallery.) Now the man himself is paying a visit to Bozar together with fellow photographer Marc Trivier to talk about their influences, and they’ll be touching on everything from literature to music and cinema. A great opportunity to learn more about the practices of two of Belgium’s most celebrated photographers.

3rd May
Bozar Centre of Fine Arts, Rue Ravensteinstraat 23 – 1000 Brussels

Les Nuits Botanique, Brussels

Botanique’s annual ‘Les Nuits’ music festival kicked off earlier this week with an eclectic programme of stablished bands and newcomers. One of this weekend’s highlights is French musician Woodkid, whose single I love you is currently surfing the radio waves and who’ll be performing with the Mons Orchestra. Also on the menu is Miss Kittin, How To Dress Well and Cold War Kids who, in 2007, were hailed by NME as “the best new band in America today.”

Until 12th May
Botanique, Rue Royale 236 Koningsstraat – 1000 Brussels

The Knife, Brussels

Swedish electronic duo The Knife rose to fame with the album Deep Cuts in 2003 and their DIY version of Jose Gonzalez’ Heartbeats. The siblings are now coming to Brussels to present their latest long-awaited record, Shaking the Habitual, their first release since 2006. Pitchfork describes it as their “most political, ambitious, accomplished album, but in a strange way it also feels like its most personal.”

5th May
Ancienne Belgique, Avenue Anspach 10 Anspachlaan – 1000 Brussels

Ida Barbarigo, Antwerp


‘Unity in the Depth’ presents a selection of both older and newer works by Italian painter Ida Barbarigo who, at the age of 90, has just taken up her artistic practice again. Known for her penchant for painting the unseen and void and influenced by early Renaissance painters and the art of early civilisations, she is now focussing on expressing the energy of nature in its depth. “I am fascinated by the strange way that a line can break away from the landscape. That point of rupture between a visible thing and something you cannot see. And it is the air that passes through it,” says the artist.

Until 30th June
Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Oude Koornmarkt 16 – 2000 Antwerp

Koen Theys, Ghent

SMAK is hosting the first ever major retrospective of the work of Belgian video art pioneer Koen Theys. ‘Home-made victories’ presents a wide selection of his creations, which often criticise contemporary society, art and culture in a humorous way, not unlike like Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley and Tony Oursler. Besides videos, which explore things like the mass ornamentation of water ballets or Chinese mass choreography, there’s also a presentations of Theys’ his monumental photo collages from the ’90s.

Until 18th August
SMAK, Citadelpark – 9000 Ghent

Artist’s Book Fair, Waregem


Behold, fans of the printed word: reading on computers and phones is all well and good, but print is still where it’s at. To prove it, this weekend Be-Part, a platform for contemporary art  located in Waregem, will be hosting the second edition of the Artist’s Book Fair. Curated by Théophile’s Papers, the fair will unite Belgian and international publishers including Shelter Press, Art Paper Editions and Gagarin.

5th May
Be-Part, Westerlaan 17 – 8790 Waregem