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Brussels’ galleries are slowly reopening their doors! Focus on Brussels and Belgian artists

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Since 11 May, contemporary art lovers, amateurs and the curious are once again able to browse the walls of Brussels galleries and experience the city's artistic dynamism!

For these long-awaited reopenings, agenda offers you a look at the local contemporary scene through several solo or collective exhibitions that honour Brussels and Belgian artists. Installations, paintings, graphic arts, kinetic art... the exhibitions reflect the artistic diversity of the capital of Europe!

Disclaimer: In order to welcome visitors in the best possible health conditions, galleries have put in place reinforced safety standards. In addition to strict visitor restrictions and respect for social distancing, most galleries are accessible only if you book in advance. In addition, the wearing of masks is strongly recommended, and the gallery openings are suspended for the time being. Before visiting a gallery, we encourage you to contact it in order to find out more about the conditions of access and the standards applied.

LMNO Gallery, “Dessiner l’invisible” Pep Vidal & Lise Duclaux (12 May - 15 August) 

Year after year, Lise Duclaux, a French artist living in Brussels, has used living things as her raw material. Fascinated by plants, she goes so far as to organise guided walks on the flora that secretly unfolds in the streets, parks and corners of the capital. Since 12 May, her graphic work has been on display at the LMNO Gallery as part of the "Showing the Invisible" exhibition.

From the seed to the root, through wild herbs and urban flowers, Lise Duclaux's drawings explore the natural world with great detail. When she captures the meandering root system of a dandelion or the delicate interlacing of leaves, she invites us to observe plants that we sometimes forget to look at because they seem so innocuous. On paper, she reveals the hidden beauty of nature in black and white, sometimes enhanced by a few touches of colour. Her universe, perfectly echoes that of the Spanish artist Pep Vidal, whose graphical and poetic work deals with the life of a cloud, from its birth to its disappearance. Both let you see the invisible.

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Hopstreet Gallery, Elke Andreas Boon: In convenience we trust ( 14 May - 6 June)

(c) We Document Art – Courtesy the artist & Hopstreet Gallery

Elke Andreas Boon, a plastic artist from Ghent, jumps from one medium to another. She moves from photographic portraiture to drawing, video, installations and sculpture, but always retains a healthy dose of impertinence. Her current exhibition at the Hoopstreet Gallery pays tribute to the diversity of her work while preserving her sense of humour.

Sometimes caustic and often absurd, her sense of humour drives her to freeze time by driving nails into a clock to prevent the unstoppable movement of its hands and pushes her to see the face of Jesus in a ping-pong ball. But her works also express the poetry of a sublime everyday life, as when she enhances with gold paint a series of antique glasses and porcelain cups. Alternating between lightness and gravity, softness and harshness, "In convenience we trust" takes us by the hand and transports us out of our comfort zone.

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Galerie Meessen de Clercq, “Don’t Be Frightened, Mr Gould Is Here” (19 May – 30 June)

Benoît Platéus, Carrab la, 2020, Courtesy of the artist and Meessen De Clercq, Brussels.

Winner of the 2003 Jeune Peinture Belge, Benoît Platéus lives and works in Brussels. In 2019, the WIELS devoted a first major retrospective to him, revealing the different facets of his protean aesthetic. Until 30 June, Galerie Meessen de Clercq will be showcasing his work in its collective exhibition "Don't Be Frightened, Mr Gould Is Here", which focuses on the notion of interpretation in art.

Among the works of Claudio Parmiggiani and Evariste Richer, the Belgian artist presents a series of oil paintings inspired by the engravings of Pierre Bonnard. It is a recent body of work that revisits one of his favourite themes: the transformation and reinterpretation of images. Through a whole series of processes, "Platéus enlarges, moves, decomposes and tilts the original representation into another register". Like so many colourful variations, his works border on abstraction, which allows each individual the possibility of reinterpreting what they sees in them.

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The Xavier Hufkens Gallery, “Michel François” (19 May – 20 June) 

Courtesy: Michel François et Xavier Hufkens, Brussels, (c) Allard Bovenberg, Amsterdam

Until 20 June, the Xavier Hufkens Gallery is devoting its walls to Brussels artist Michel François. Known for his protean work combining photos, videos, sculptures and installations, the artist, who represented Belgium at the Venice Biennale in 1999, was the last to exhibit at the Saint Georges Gallery before the building underwent a major renovation.

For the occasion, the eponymous exhibition displays a series of wall sculptures and installations in which the different states of matter are given pride of place: the transparency of coloured glass, the brilliance of aluminium and silver tubes, and the raw material of cement communicate with each other. Among them is a series of particularly delicate three-dimensional works in which metal, like a ribbon, forms an interlacing pattern punctuated by magnets. The volumes balance each other with an unparalleled sense of geometry and simplicity. Further on, an installation on the ground traces a beautiful perspective that opens onto the gallery's gardens and subtly creates a dialogue between interior and exterior architecture.

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The Patinoire Royale – Galerie Valérie Bach, “Ce Mouvement qui déplace les lignes” (26 May – 09 August 2020)  

© La Patinoire Royale - galerie Valérie Bach. photo : Tanguy Aumont - Airstudio

 To reinject some movement into our newly slowed down daily lives, the Patinoire Royale is offering, from 26 May, an exhibition dedicated to kinetic art and its many formal variations. Bringing together several generations of artists, it takes our gaze from animated reliefs in mobile compositions and from Pol Bury (1922-2005) to the young trio of Belgian creators, LAb[au].

Based in Brussels, and active since 1997, LAb[au] associates art, modern technologies and experimentation. By toying with forms, algorithms and mathematical language, their work interrogates the notions of chance, finitude and relativity. Like a living mosaic, with changing colours, their “Origamis” series plays with the tessellations of the triangle which combine to create infinite patterns. Thanks to small invisible motors, the shapes, lines and colours move, in a permanent quest for metamorphosis. These creations with variable geometry are constantly reinventing themselves!

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