Archive – (They Say This Is The) Place, Antwerp, 2001

From 15 September to 2 December 2001, during equally disturbing times as we are experiencing right now, I organized the group exhibition (They Say This Is The) Place – A positioning in two locations in Antwerp: the Koningin Fabiolazaal (Queen Fabiola Hall) and the nearby, newly renovated Sint Jansplein (Saint Johns Square). The first part of the title referred to a work by Peter Hulsmans, while the subtitle (‘plaatsbepaling’ in Dutch) and the concept played with all kinds of connotations of ‘place’ which in Dutch can also refer to a square (plaats,… Read More

Archive – Zjos Meyvis in Parbleu and new exhibition at BREED

Now almost 29 years ago Belgian artist Zjos Meyvis put an enormous tree in the exhibition space of Parbleu. On that occasion I wrote the following text: Zjos Meyvis (Kruibeke, 1950) prefers to work with natural materials, in and with nature. The constant here is to bind and especially to connect. It becomes a ritual in itself: repeating connections over and over again. It is the natural execution of an age-old principle, as a counterbalance to “a time in which connections are made with satellites and fibre optic cables”. His sculptures are… Read More

Archive – Loving Care – Pierre Mertens at Blikfabriek 2020

The exhibition Loving Care showed 12 large format (2 x 11.5m) paintings portraying children with untreated hydrocephalus. With this series Pierre Mertens as an artist-activist, wants to draw attention to a global health problem that affects about 1 million children every year. The quality of the paintings both lies in their boldness as the delicateness with which Mertens treats his subjects, paying special attention to the depiction of fabrics and other details to underline the loving care that these children get and deserve. The exhibition, curated by Pierre Mertens and Edith Doove,… Read More

Archive – Jean De Groote in Parbleu

In November 1990, almost at the beginning of his career, Jean De Groote exhibited at Parbleu his project “Chair in Time II – No Observer – No Object”. The first part had been shown in the Triennial for Contemporary Art ‘Van Stof tot Asse’, organised by Jan De Smedt. Just as in the first part a chair played a central part, but it could have been any other object. It was a way to explore spatiality and representation. As I wrote at the time: Observation keeps fascinating De Groote. Observation is not… Read More

Archive – The first exhibition – Paul Bartels at Zebra

My adventure as a curator began when I decided in 1987 to move to Antwerp while finishing my studies in art history in Leiden. I found a fairly derelict downstairs 19th century apartment in the Het Zuid-area, then very much upcoming with the recent opening of the Muhka (Museum of Contemporary Arts). The best galleries like Micheline Szwajcer and Zeno X were around the corner. With my bursary and later part-time job in the pizzeria across the street I could make ends just about meet. Once a week I would go to… Read More

Archive – Kris Van Dessel at Parbleu

Early in 1992, Belgian artist Kris Van Dessel presented his so-called Isolation Project in Parbleu. 28 years later it resonates eerily with our current times. I asked how the project connects with his current work in which he amongst others curates sound works online in BO>><<. Van Dessel wrote a text which you can read on the dedicated page for his exhibition here. Photos Stefan Dewickere

Archive – “Il faut cultiver notre jardin…”, Johan Rottiers and company at Parbleu

  In autum 1992 we organised an in my view still very topical installation by the Belgian artist Johan Rottiers in collaboration with the garden architects Koen Janssens and Patrick ‘t Hooft as well as artist Georges Uittenhout. Together they considered the gallery space as a possible garden for the artist and a starting point to ask questions about the role of the artist and art in society, the role of artistic activity for the artist, the meaning of producing art, the meaning of exhibiting in a (non-commercial) space as Parbleu, the… Read More

Archive – Cor Knops at Parbleu

The Dutch painter Cor Knops exhibited in Parbleu from 13 February to 7 March 1992. Large scale geometrically abstract paintings were combined with smaller studies. You can find the dedicated page to his exhibition here Please note: I am trying to find photos made during this and other exhibitions I curated as most of my own material is lost – please contact me if you have anything that I could add to the archive. Thank you.

Archive – Nicoline van Stapele at Parbleu

In spring 1992 I invited the Dutch artist Nicoline van Stapele, living in Gent, to show in Parbleu, Antwerp. Her show partly coincided with a show at the Galery ‘VUB in Brussels so we made a combined invite. Asked if she could say something about the show 28 years later the artist sent the following text: The works shown here are made in black sheets of rubber that are attached to the wall with nails, as you would do with a coat on a rack. As if you would want to get… Read More

Archive – Marc Schepers at Parbleu

In the summer of 1991 I invited Marc Schepers, artist and owner with Leen Derks of Ruimte Morguen, to exhibit at my former exhibition space Parbleu in Antwerp. It’s seemingly only by chance that his exhibition is the first in this series on my attempt to construct/restructure the extensive archive of my exhibitions over the last 33 years. The subject and images of the exhibition have however an eerie resonance with the current times through their reflection on the type of the hermit and the empty space of the gallery in which… Read More