Contemporary art: the unmissable exhibitions of the summer!

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(c) Sam Jinks, Kneeling woman, 2015. Courtesy of the artist, Sullivan+Strumpf, Sudney - Institut fur Kulturaustausch, Tubingen
Published at 13/07/2021
By Mylène

This summer we're dreaming of adventure, colour and lots of fun. So between making the most of the city's terraces reopening and soaking up some sun, why not take in one of Brussels' museums? They're reopening their doors and spicing up the summer! A touch of hyperrealism, a hint of pop design, some iconic works by Pierre et Gilles, Pierre Alechinsky or Roger Raveel... here are the summer's must-see art events!


Pierre et Gilles, La Madone au cœur blessé – Lio (détail), 1991 – Pinault Collection

The Icons exhibition at the Boghossian Foundation - Villa Empain reveals all about an emblematic and sacred art genre. The exhibition tells how art and spirituality have been inextricably linked since antiquity, producing continuous innovation. In addition to the restrained sobriety of Russian and European icons, the exhibition also features contemporary artists such as Pierre et Gilles, Wim Delvoye and Annette Messager, who revisit, subvert and distort the tradition with great skill!  

Until 24 October at the Boghossian Foundation – Villa Empain 

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(c) Sam Jinks, Kneeling woman, 2015. Courtesy of the artist, Sullivan+Strumpf, Sudney - Institut fur Kulturaustausch, Tubingen

The iconic Hyperrealism Sculpture. Ceci n'est pas un corps exhibition has travelled the world and now it's coming to Brussels! In addition to realism, this exhibition celebrates the body in all its forms and brings together some of the most striking works in contemporary art history. Skin textures, tones and folds, hair... the sculptures use illusion to deceive us. The exhibition includes works by the pioneers of this movement born in the United States (Duane Hanson, George Segal) and the new generations (including Belgian artist Berlinde de Bruyckere). Ron Mueck's iconic 5-metre long giant new-born forces us to asks ourselves what it means to exist in this world. A must-see!

25 June to 7 November at Tour & Taxis

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Jacqueline de Jong, The pain is beautifull, 1971. Private collection. Photo: Gert-Jan van Rooij

Dutch artist Jacqueline de Jong, a key figure in the post-war avant-garde, is being honoured at Wiels. Since the 1960s, the painter has established herself as a key figure of the art of the protest years, displaying an unstoppable energy. Expressionist, figurative and naive at the same time, her work plays with the monstrous and the enigmatic. With spontaneity and an excessive style, The Ultimate Kiss bears witness to sexual liberation and unfettered eroticism.  

Until 15 August at Wiels   

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© photos : Design Museum Brussels – Liophotography

Wacky, colourful or minimalist, made of wood, plastic or even metal, the Design Museum Brussels honours chairs in all their forms! From benches to sofas and stools, 100 emblematic pieces are on display, including Gerrit Rietveld's famous Red Blue chair and the Thonet, the first chair to be mass-produced back in the late 19th century. Whether it's the pop colours of the Blow inflatable armchair or the curves of the LC4 chaise longue, designed by Charlotte Perriand and Le Corbusier, these artworks have us longing for an endless afternoon of idleness…

Until 29 August at Design Museum B russels 

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Pierre Alechinsky: Carta Canta © Pierre Alechinsky

The sensual curves of Pierre Alechinsky's works are being showcased at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. Carta Canta presents a selection of works on paper by the artist who was one of the founding members of the COBrA movement. Colourful, supple, fluid and sensitive, his calligraphies, watercolours and etchings at times flirt with abstraction or even surrealism, and transport us to another world. In every room, Carta Canta draws links between the artist and the collection of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, from Ensor to Magritte.

Until 1 August at Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

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Roger Raveel. Une rétrospective Roger Raveel, Homme avec fil de fer au jardin, 1952-1953, Collection de la Communauté flamande/Musée Roger Raveel

Roger Raveel is bringing a bit of sunshine to our summer! The vibrant works of one of the most important Belgian painters of the second half of the twentieth century are being honoured at Bozar. To mark the centenary of his birth, several themed exhibits explore his unique world. Both figurative and abstract, his brightly coloured canvases create a dialogue between full and empty spaces, while his lithographs cast a new light on everyday life, on the thin line between dreaming and hallucination.

Until 21 July at Bozar

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