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Your Summer Itinerary

A cultural guide to the Summer, from TheMerode team.

Who ever said galleries were for a rainy day? Between relaxing moments on the beach and late nights with friends, we encourage you to stay culturally stimulated this summer with a guide to the best art shows in Europe. Selected by TheMerode’s art curator Emmanuelle Indekeu the list reflects the aim for the art on the walls of TheMerode: broad, daring, and displaying some of the most exciting artists in the world, past and present. 

City trip to Bruges:

25th June 2022 to 25th September, 2022

In this new exhibition, Nigerian artist Otobong Nkanga – who lives and works in Antwerp – combines various art forms, such as installations, sculptures, drawings, tapestries and poems, to examine the social and topographical relationship with our everyday environment, and the notion of land as a place of non-membership.

On the way to the coast:

21st May 2021 to 18th September, 2022

“Barzakh” means “limbo” in Arabic, but also refers to the state between life and death, a realm in which a spirit waits but also a physical place that offers relief.  In “Barzakh”, upcoming Algerian artist Lydia Ourahmane moved the entire contents of her rented flat in Algiers to Europe after the 2020 lockdown, questioning the meaning of the word “house” and asking whether it is a building, our familiar possessions, memories of the places we have lived, or all of these things and more?

A Summer in the South of France:

4th of July to 25th September, 2022

If you haven’t experienced the Rencontres d’Arles yet, this year, forty exhibitions are installed in exceptional heritage sites across the city, including the work of Susan Meiselas, Frida Orupabo and Barbara Iweins and so many more. 

6th April to 11th September, 2022

The CAB Foundation in Saint-Paul-de-Vence presents a solo exhibition by the famed Belgian artist Ann Veronica Janssens who has been creating intallations and projections over four decades. The must-see exhibition is part of a double exhibition project at the Collection Lambert, Avignon, and the CAB Foundation in Saint-Paul-de-Vence (see below). 

2nd July to 9th October, 2022

Dan Flavin: Epiphanies

In 1974, Yvon Lambert organised an exhibition devoted to Dan Flavin in his gallery on rue de l’Echaudé (Paris), in collaboration with the artist. This event was a natural part of a cycle of exhibitions dedicated to the new American and European avant-gardes, placing Yvon Lambert at the forefront of the defence of the artists of his time. From Lawrence Weiner to Sol LeWitt, Marcel Broodthaers, Douglas Huebler and Robert Ryman, the most innovative artists of the 1960s and 1970s worked with the Parisian art dealer.

Jean Charles Blais: Idylls

While visiting Collection Lambert, why not see this show by the famous French Postwar and Contemporary artist Jean Charles Blais? Figures and forms create suspended narratives where the bodies and their shadows are pressed together, embraced or languid, invent scenarios that invade the rooms of the 18th century mansion like ghosts of our past or future lives.

Dana-Fiona Armour: MC1R Project

Dana-Fiona Armour takes over the rooms of the Rendez-vous programme, Sous-sol, dedicated to plastic research and emerging practices. The German artist operates from a world in which forms invite themselves as mutagenic agents, provoking a feeling of disquieting strangeness in us.

Chilling in the city:

14th of August from 2 pm until 2:45 pm

For your downtime in Brussels, join a conversation with Tatiana Kochubinska (UA), independent curator, writer, researcher and lecturer on Ukrainian contemporary art, who focuses on issues of responsibility, Soviet history and its relation to today’s society, looking back on personal memories of the cross-border 1990s. 

14th of August from 3 pm until 3:45 pm

Antoinette Jattiot is a writer and curator based in Brussels, with a background in art history. Her projects revolve around still and moving images, conceptual methodologies, language, memory and ecology,  porosity of forms and practices at the intersection of art and research. 

31st of July from 3 pm until 4:30 pm

This summer, meet Christian Dotremont, co-founder of the CoBrA movement, creator of logograms, painter and poet, who would have turned 100 this year. From his little attic studio to the immaculate pages of the Lapland landscape, this guided tour will take you on a journey of steps and brushes, following his many experiments. A poetic and initiatory journey in which “writing has its say”. In a second phase of the tour, discover Jacques-Louis David’s masterpiece, which will soon hold (almost) no secrets for you! 

Until the 28th of July, 2022

For several decades, starting in the early 1950s, Vivian Maier worked as a nanny in New York and Chicago and used her camera to meticulously document the world around her. She rarely, if ever, made prints from her negatives, so her work was seen by almost no one during her lifetime. In 2007, over 120,000 negatives were discovered, forming a never-before-exhibited collection that can now be explored. Step into her world of street photography and predilection for self-portraits at Bozar.

At the Belgian coast:

30th of July to 7th of August

If you’re at the coastal outpost of Mendes Wood DM, at ​​Dorpsstraat 16 4525 AH Retranchement The Netherlands, take in the latest group show with Hamish Pearch, Miranda Fengyuan Zhang and Neil Beloufa: All Season Sanctuary. 

6th August to 11th September 2022

Explore Frank Stella’s work from the 1980s, a critical period in the artist’s output, during which he created two series of works: The Waves and Illustrations after Russian avant-garde artist  El Lissitzky’s Had Gadya.

2nd of July to 31st of July 07, 2022

Baronian Gallery also hosts its inaugural private sales exhibition at the gallery in Knokke. This selection will include works by Arman, Farah Atassi, Max Ernst, Gilbert & George, Imi Knoebel, Antoni Tàpies, Andy Warhol and Gilberto Zorio. The ideal opportunity for collectors to discover extraordinary works of art. 

4th June to 1st  August, 2022

De Brock (Strandstraat 11, Knokke) presents ‘Come Together’, the second solo exhibition by New York artist Landon Metz at the gallery, featuring his latest series of dichromatic diptychs and drawing on the language of minimalism, colour field painting and abstraction, and heavily influenced by his rural upbringing in Arizona, and the painting practices of color-field pioneers such as Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, and Kenneth Noland. 

A stopover in Paris:

Until 26 September 2022

“A Second of Eternity” is a journey inspired by the question and experience of time, through a group of works from the Pinault collection by Larry Bell, Marcel Broodthaers, Miriam Cahn, Nina Canell, Liz Deschenes, Ryan Gander, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Roni Horn, Pierre Huyghe, Gustave le Gray, Sherrie Levine, Philippe Parreno, Anri Sala, Tino Sehgal, Rudolf Stingel, Sturtevant, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Carrie Mae Weems. 

11th May to 4th September, 2022

Free to enter, this retrospective exhibition presents three decades of work by Jochen Lempert – a biologist by training and a specialist in dragonflies, it was not until 1989, at the age of 31, that he began his career as a photographer after a successful period in the experimental film collective Schmelzdahin [Dissolve]. This scientific heritage remains the basis of his artistic practice, which is marked by images of nature, where the animal and the plant sit side by side.

15th April to 4th September, 2022  

Reclaiming the Earth is a rallying cry.  Bringing together ecology, feminism, socialism and indigenous politics means abandoning the Eurocentric vision to adopt a truly global view, fourteen artists – from different generations and cultural backgrounds – examine the links between the body and the earth, our relationship to the soil and all that it nourishes, the disappearance of certain species, and the transmission of indigenous stories and knowledge.

See Venice and then die:

23rd of April to 27th November, 2022

The 59th International Art Exhibition runs throughout the Summer. Stop by to see work by Golden Lion winners Sonia Boyce ​​and Simone Leigh, and Belgian artists such as ​​Francis Alÿs. The magnificent group show – The Milk of Dreams – is the vision of curator Cecilia Alemani, currently director and chief curator of High Line Art in New York City, and was the curator of the Italian Pavilion at the 2017 Arte Biennale.

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Passa Porta Bookshop selection

Discover this month’s selection :

In French

“Le musée des contradictions” by Antoine Wauters 12 voices rise to talk about social and ecological injustice in twelve speeches imbued with contradictions in this new genre-expanding book by the Belgian author.

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In English

“Young Mungo” by Douglas Stuart – The much anticipated second book by Man Booker Prize winner Douglas Stuart has just arrived on bookshop shelves and has been as critically acclaimed as Shuggie Bain, his first book. Young Mungo is a gay love story set in Glasgow. 

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In Dutch

“De Draaischijf” by Tom Lanoye – Belgian novelist Tom Lanoye returns with “The Turntable”. A story about how three intimately connected lives are crushed through art and collaboration, cowardice and ruthless ambition.

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Passa Porta Bookshop selection

Discover this month’s selection :

In French

First of all our french book, “Entre les lignes / Tussen de lijnien” (Europalia Arts Festival), which is a collection of six short stories each published in French and in Dutch. It is an exciting edition because it brings together six Belgian writers (three French and three Dutch) and thus offers a panorama of the best of our current literature! The authors have agreed to submit (in their own way) to the style exercise of the railway station novel. Reading pleasure (and discovery) guaranteed!

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In English

The book “To Paradise” by Hanya Yanagihara. An important book for us this month, because the author (also the author of the acclaimed novel A Little Life) has accepted the invitation of Passa Porta and will come to present her book in Flagey on 09/03 !

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In Dutch

Finally, an autobiographical essay (already a bestseller) on the questions of privilege and norms in our European society by Joris Luyendijk – Dutch non-fiction author, anthropologist, news correspondent, and TV interviewer.

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In Conversation with Leen van Hulst

From forms to prints: The exclusive selection for TheMerode 

A series of prints made from historical printmaking techniques are displayed across the walls of TheMerode. For this project, we collaborated with Illustrator and Artist Leen van Hulst, who is also an expert in Chalcography at the Royal Library of Belgium. Chalcography is the intricate engraving technique on copper or wood used to design prints and illustrations. 

“We want to preserve this legacy for the public, but we also use these forms to make new prints.”

The Royal Library collects all Belgian publications and holds an archive of over 8 million documents. Leen van Hulst made a close selection of the best printmaking forms and developed them into a series of special prints for TheMerode. Not only do we make history, we also revive it.

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In Conversation with Eddy Dankers

A timeless design and glimpse back into the past

Even the colors of our walls reflect the philosophy of TheMerode. Eddy Dankers, a renowned artisan painter and longtime collaborator of interior designer Axel Vervoordt, talks about his passion for the artisanal and the human element of painting.

“Hues that bring in light and earthy tones that create a connection with the outdoor feeling.”

Dankers has been praised for his work and creativity to transform the character and atmosphere of a place. In this exclusive interview, discover how Dankers brings into light the authenticity and innovativeness of TheMerode. 

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In Conversation with Anne Totelin

A hôtel particulier with an evolving history 

In the heart of Brussels, TheMerode takes up residence within a historical and cultural building. Since its origins in the 17th Century, the palace has adopted multiple names and façades. To ensure the building’s restoration to its former glory, TheMerode worked closely with Anne Totelin, Cultural Heritage Officer.

“As a team, we decided what interventions were needed to recover the property’s full character.” 

Together, we worked to preserve the building’s authenticity while rethinking its functionality in a modern world. In this exclusive interview, Totelin talks about her influence during the renovations and how her expertise has helped us create a new space while embracing its history.

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