What’s (still) on: Exhibitions a safe bet this week


As the threat of the coronavirus causes hundreds of events to be cancelled and venues to close their doors, museums appear to be weathering the storm. We advise you to check websites, however, before heading out the door UPDATE: FOLLOWING MEASURES ANNOUNCED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, ALL MUSEUMS WILL BE CLOSED UNTIL 3 APRIL

Kleureyck: Van Eyck’s Colours in Design

As you are surely aware, Ghent had dedicated 2020 to the 15th-century Flemish master Jan Van Eyck. This is to celebrate the ongoing restoration of “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb’, or the Ghent Altarpiece, and it has inspired many museums to get creative in their exploration of Van Eyck’s influence on painting, design, architecture and beyond.

This exhibition in the city’s Design Museum takes Van Eyck’s use of colour as a stepping stone to explore designers who have a certain affinity for colour. Van Eyck revolutionised the use of colour in painting by creating new kinds of oil paint. His mixtures allowed him to use pigments, textures and glazes no one else had, putting him in a class of his own.

Designers must also be innovative and creative, and they were put to the test by being given the assignment to create pieces or installations based on Van Eyck’s “Mystic Lamb” masterpiece. (The title of the exhibition, by the way, is a clever take on the Dutch word for ‘colourful’: kleurrijk) 13 March to 6 September, Design Museum Ghent, Jan Breydelstraat 5

Mondo Cane

While Bozar is cancelling a number of stage performances, its exhibitions will remain open for now. One of them is this import from the Belgian pavilion at last year’s Venice Biennale. Human figures go through the motions of carrying out their jobs. A baker, a town crier, a potter, a weaver – their repetitive motions suggest inertia and apathy. And frankly, they are a little creepy. Rightfully so, say Mondo Cane creators Jos de Gruyter and Harald Billed as a “Contemporary Museum of Folk Art”, the installation represents an “old patriarchal ‘safe’ society, with rules that are no longer valid”. Until 24 May, Bozar, Ravensteinstraat 23


Dooltocht: A Desperate Quest to Find a Base for Hope
 is a mouthful of a title, but then this retrospective of the work of Antwerp artist Els Dietvorst is indeed elaborate. It brings together her large and complex ouvre, from social actions to documentaries to sculpture to drawings to installation work. Forced to sum her up, M HKA museum says that “her work focuses on the many forms of social communication and interpersonal relationships and conflicts”.

Photos, from top: Les Monseigneurs x Verilin/courtesy Design Museum; courtesy Bozar; ©Linckx/M HKA