With Brussels Gallery Weekend (3-6 Sep), the new contemporary art season is finally taking off after a long period of silence. The plethora of shows can feel quite overwhelming, so we decided to make a shortlist of our favorites.
Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel
The British-French duo Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel, one-half of which is based in Brussels, is presenting new artworks in two different venues. Animals and Sculptures consists of sculptures of oak furniture and bas-reliefs, shown at C L E A R I N G in Forest. Nudes, with different pieces in pink marble, takes place in the stunning garden of the Art Deco Gesamtkunstwerk Musée Van Buuren in Uccle. Both exhibitions illustrate the way the artists re-appropriate classical sculptural techniques in their own, twisted way.
Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel: Animals and Sculpture, until 17 October at C L E A R I N G, Van Volxemlaan 311, Brussels. www.c-l-e-a-r-i-n-g.com
Nudes, until 28 March at Musée Van Buuren, Leo Erreralaan 41, Brussels. www.museumvanbuuren.be
Annaïk Lou Pitteloud at SB34 - The Pool
Of all the non-profits/artist studios in Brussels, SB34 - The Pool is our favourite, though we must admit that its marvellous tiki bar plays a big role in that. In the so-called The Pool, a kind of concrete pit functioning as a small exhibition venue, the Swiss artist Annaïk Lou Pitteloud, who commutes between Bern and Brussels, is presenting a small exhibition. Pitteloud was inspired by the specific architecture of this white bunker and translates a pun of Ad Reinhardt to a caricatural sculpture. She continues to play with scale and size by showing a scale model of the exhibition, functioning here as a ‘mise en abyme’.
Annaïk Lou Pitteloud: Long Distance, until 6 September at SB34 - The Pool, Rue Saint-Bernard 34, Brussels. www.sb34.org
Ian Wilson at Jan Mot
“It’s that I would want to be an artist and that I prefer to present myself through speech. I prefer to talk about art.” These are Ian Wilson’s words when asked what his idea of art was in a 1970 interview with the Italian critic Tommaso Trini. The conceptual artist sadly passed away earlier this year at the age of 80. Together with colleagues like Morris, Kosuth and Wiener, he strongly advocated the dematerialization of the art object in the late 1960s. Wilson - quite literally - stuck to his words, setting up live events he would call “Discussions”, eschewing all forms of audiovisual documentation. Curious to see how that looks like in a gallery context? Head to Jan Mot and find out.
Ian Wilson: Perfect, until 10 October at Jan Mot, Petit Sablon 10, Brussels. www.janmot.com
Tessa Perutz at Baronian Xippas
The American artist Tessa Perutz has been living in Brussels for only two years, yet she has clearly made her mark in the local art scene. Having participated in exhibitions at Stems Gallery, Marie-Laure Fleisch Gallery and Ballon Rouge Collective, she is having her first solo at Baronian Xippas. Perutz is known for poppy, colourful, stylised paintings, drawings and textile works of abundant natural scenes that assemble various influences ranging from Matisse and Gauguin to Etel Adnan. Her new work introduces another art historical motif: the human figure, which she renders in a manner that attempts to return the male gaze.
Tessa Perutz: Château de Sable, until 24 October at Baronian Xippas, Rue de la Concorde 33, Brussels. www.baronianxippas.com
Transcoding at Société
The group shows at this former electricity factory rarely escape our attention. Their conceptual rigidity may not directly appeal to everyone, but they demonstrate the consistent dedication of LAb[au] artists Els Vermang and Manuel Abendroth, both of whom founded Société. The current exhibition draws inspiration from the process of digitally converting audio and video files, commonly known as transcoding. As media theoretical as this research-based approach may seem, it arguably has a much wider cultural resonance. What is lost and what is gained in translation? Expect to see works by Cory Arcangel, Alec De Busschère, Le Corbusier & Iannis Xenakis, Karin Sander, Venetian Snares and Hannah Weiner, among many others.
Transcoding, until 1 November at Société, Rue Vanderstichelen 106, Brussels. www.societe-d-electricite.com
Vessels - on body fluids at Island
In these times of hygiene regulations and fear of physical contact with others, a group show about body fluids seems like a rather relevant proposal that Alix Janta- Polczynski made for the non-profit ISLAND in Etterbeek. Combining work of fixtures from the Brussels art scene like Aline Bouvy and Emeline Depas with that of foreign artists like London-based Lindsey Mendick or Athens-based Anastasia Pavlou, we are expecting a slimy, sticky, stinky show.
Vessels - On body fluids until 3 October at Island, Rue Général Leman 69, Brussels. www.islandisland.be
The Agprognostic Temple
Contemporary art as secular religion and the artworld as profane cult are the kinds of stories we’ve all heard before. But desecularising art in order to shroud it in quasi-sacred mystery sounds like a rather bold move. Dome Wood and Sam Steverlynck have taken up the challenge and have done so quite well. Probing the delicate balance between playful humor and deadpan sincerity, The Agprognostic Temple presents a varied ensemble of artworks in a sculptural setting with an enigmatic black cube placed at the center, featuring contributions by Philippe Koeune, Fia Cielen, Shana Moulton and Ricardo Brey, among others.
Scripted Truths, until 27 September at The Agprognostic Temple, Boulevard d’Anvers 49, Brussels. www.agprognostictemple.com