What’s on: Flemish artist sacrifices the wood for the flowers

Summary

A breathtaking exhibition featuring new work by Arne Quinze tops our agenda picks this week, while Art Brussels takes over the capital and a strip festival beckons from rural Brabant

Arne Quinze: My Secret Garden

Anyone familiar with the crazy criss-cross of patterns in the monumental wooden sculptures produced by Flemish artist Arne Quinze, or indeed his love-it-or-hate-it “Rock Strangers” in Ostend, will be surprised by his new solo show. The artist, who usually works in sharp wood or metal forms and single, solid colours, has created a cacophony of flowers in several large-scale paintings.

Six years in the making, the works are based on 4,000 flowers and other plants he grew himself around his home so he could see the entire process of a biotope coming to life. “I was shocked to learn that since I was born, in 1971, we humans have managed to destroy one-third of the flora and fauna,” he says. “As an artist, I consider it my duty to use my art to call for a better balance between culture and nature.” Until 14 May, Maruani Mercier Gallery, Kustlaan 90, Knokke

Art Brussels

Belgium’s premier art fair looks back on 50 years this month. Aside from having grown exponentially, it has shifted venues, names and formats over the past five decades, solidifying a leading place on the European art market calendar. When it launched in 1968 in Galerie Louise, it was one of Europe’s first art fairs, and it has grown into a monumental event, attracting the curious local spectator as much as the savvy international collector. Don’t miss this anniversary edition, which – aside from the nearly 150 international galleries selling work by hundreds of artists – finds mammoth sculptures welcoming you at the door, a series of talks in English and films by award-winning Belgian artists. 19-22 April, Tour & Taxis, Avenue du Port 86c

Het Vinne Stript

To say that this celebration of Flemish comic strips, cartoons and graphic novels is off the beaten path would be an understatement. It takes place at Het Vinne, a lovely nature reserve in the eastern wilds of Flemish Brabant. The location does not stop hardcore fans of all ages, who flock to the area to take part in interactive installations, meet their favourite strip artists and discover new work. Don’t miss the Kinky & Cosy Experience, a walk-through installation in a shipping container that promises to wipe all information from your brain and fill it with something else entirely. (Could this be a metaphor for the power of strips?) 13-18 April, Het Vinne, Ossenwegstraat 70, Zoutleeuw