Europe 2018 - Part Two

Then we flew to The Netherlands for a week outside EINDHOVEN. Another world from Croatia. We began with the Van Abbe, a museum of modern and contemporary art in central Eindhoven on the bank of the Dommel River. Established in 1936, the museum is named after its founder, Henri van Abbe, collector of Modern Art. Here is some of what we saw there:

Haymaking by Kazimir Malevich, 1928-29
Woman with  hat by Henri Matisse, 1905
Augustusrucke, Dresden by Oskar Kokoschka, 1923
Civilian Defense by Dan Petermank, 2007
Listening Figure by Juan Munoz

About an hour south of Eindhoven, and just east of MAASTRICHT, is the Ronald McDonald House in the town of VALKENBURG AAN DE GEUL. This is significant because it was designed by Hundertwasser and completed in 2007, seven years after his passing. Another masterpiece.

No interest in the show at the Bonnefanten museum, so with no other art attraction in Maastricht, we opted to walk around.

Relatie  by Sjra Schoffelen, 1987

Other side trips included one to TILBURG, where we found the Museum de Pont, a former factory space with lots of small rooms with doors, lots of big open space, lots of twists and turns. And contemporary art.

 Sky Mirror (for Hendrik) by Anish Kapoor, 2017

Examples by Ai Weiwei and Howard Hodgkin, gave the collection some international appeal.

Grapes 2010 by Ai Weiwei, 2010.
 Yellow Sky by Howard Hodgkin, 2009-2010
Learning about Russian Music by Howard Hodgkin, 1999

Vincent van Gogh lived in Tilburg from 1863-66, where he went to school and was allegedly taught to paint. The house is marked and there is a special couch outside.

CLICK HERE for a few more pictures from Tilburg

And then there was Eindhoven.  A vibrant city with Art all around.  Well, Art and other things:

Flying Pins by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, 2000

Then we began our time in Belgium, beginning with a stay outside ATH, in Arbre. Walking around Ath, an ancient city surrounded by a square moat, we discovered Triennale de l'Art et du Végétal. This was the fourth edition of a show featuring art installations by eleven artists utilizing mostly natural materials all over the city. Such as:

Semences by Jean-Yves Bonnaudet & Bruno Magda
Arbre votif renverse by Theo Ronse
 New World by Choi Hyesu

Side trips included one to the hippodrome outside MONS, where we saw a lot of jumping.

And a visit to LESSINES, which is not only the birthplace of René Magritte,

There was some sort of Art show going on involving a group of artists called "Less'Art." We visited a few venues and Marie made some purchases.

 by Patrick Delvingt
Bénédicte Meekers
by Magali Rousseau
Donkeymotion Projects by Valentin Kanellopoulos
And then there was this fabulous band playing in the doorway of Centre Culturel René Magritte.

And a little bit more of Lessines:

We were in GHENT on a day filled with festivals, most of which we could not find. But it was Saturday, so there were Bachelorettes and the Belgian team was playing for third place in the World Cup. Here are a few shots:

We visited the Fondation Folon in LA HULPE. Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon installed over five hundred art works in the Ferme du Château de La Hulpe, just twenty minutes outside Brussels. Folon opened the renovated 1833 farmhouse as a museum in 2000, five years before he died.

The Symbol by Folon, 1988
L'Espace by Folon, 1982
Femme-Oiseau by Folon, 1990
Marine by Folon, 1998
L'Homme Qui Plantait des Arbres by Folon, 1982

And we dropped in at the Hergé Museum in OTTIGNEIES-LOOUYAIN-LA-NEUVE. Georges Prosper Remi, known by the pen name Hergé created the universally popular The Adventures of Tintin and the museum is a delight.

We ventured up to BRUGES to see the Triennial (May 5 - Sept 16). The theme: Liquid City. Most pieces, which were largely architectural, were in, on, or next to the canals. We did our best to find them all:

Infinity by Peter van Dressche Atelier4
Brug (The Kissing Bridge) by Jaroslaw Kozakie
Selgascano Pavilion  by Selgascano
Lanchals by John Powers
Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale) by StudioKCA
 The Floating Island by OBBA
Acheron I by Renato Nicolodi
Bloom by Bloom Games, 2012.
Fountain of Life by Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian
Our base of operations moved to a farm compound in a field in POTTES. I should say "former" farm, because although there are donkeys residing there, in addition to the main house, there are now a music studio, a stage for performance, a forge with two anvils, a clay studio with two wheels, and the donkeys are "mini." I could go on and on about Ferme du Ruisseau, but this is an Art blog. I will say that, together with its proximity to the River Scheldt and the bike paths on either side, this was a most extraordinary stay.

We visited the city of TOURNAI the first few days we were there. Less than twenty kilometers south of the farm (half-hour by car, one hour by bicycle), we found this city of about 77,000 fascinating.

Known as Tornacum, in Roman times, it is also called DORNIC by Belgium's Flemish residents. The Scheldt runs right through its center. Their five-spired cathedral is it's most prestigious building. Construction on Notre Dame of Tournai began in 1146, and they're still working on it. I might suggest that the best building is the Musée des Beaux-Arts which was designed by famous Art-Nouveau architect, Victor Horta.

Regardless, there are several other museums, and lots of fun buildings, as well as generous pedestrian areas leading to the riverfront and its gothic gate. And look as hard as we may, a piece of litter was not to be found on any street. Let us begin with the Musée des Beaux-Arts. Since it was 1928 when the museum opened, Horta had shifted his focus from Art-Nouveau and the design represents a transition to Art Deco. The only museum he ever designed, Horta died just a few months later. Here are a few shots from our visit:

Argenteuil by Edouard Manet, 1874
 Jeune femme accoudee (Marie Valette, amie du peintre) by Louis Anquetin, 1890
Oliviers a Montmajour by Vincent Van Gogh, 1888
 La greve du bas butin a Honfleur (Marine) by George Seurat, 1886
Portrait feminin by Armand Rassenfosse
 La dame en gris by Jean Winance
Perimele (Ondine on la nymphe de Capri) by Leonce Legendre, 1864
CLICK HERE are a few more.

Outside we found a statue honoring local painter Paul Gallait and later found one dedicated to Tournai-resident Rogier Van Der Weyden.

Paul Gallait
Vieux Marché aux Poteries - monument à Roger de le Pasture dit "Van der Weyden" by Marcel Wolfers, 1936

We were in Tournai for Belgium National Day (21 July) and celebrated with the locals.

And we got Le Clovis, a local spicy cake named for the first king of the Franks. Le Quenoy was recommended as a good place to get one. The shop was beautifully Nouveau and very near the train station.

Here are some more shots from around Tournai:

Across the river from Pottes, in SPIERE-HELKIJN they celebrate the arts with Kunstzomer in de Leiestreek, four months of arts activities around the area. One venue, that day, was an old pumphouse and facility for the old (1935) swimming pool overlooking the river, that had been recently fixed up for a show of art by Carlos Cauluwier.

Carlos Cauluwier
Next to it was the ruin of the huge public swimming pool where there was an installation.

On the other side of the village is Kunstkerk Bossuit, an arts venue born from an old church. Without the roof or windows. The design of the terrazzo floor recalls the church that was destroyed during the war. The space is used for a variety of events. Black & white photo enlargements by Tom Linsteron were hung on the exposed walls for us to see.

Back at the ferme, Anne-Mie (our hostess) threw a couple of plates in her studio so that Marie could paint on them the following day.

We went to the Belgian shore at MIDDELKERK, where we found a few pieces of sculpture: The is Beeldenparc Beaufort (Beaufort Sculpture Park) which, in 2018, celebrated its sixth edition with sculptures all around the region.

I can hear it by Ivars Drulle
Caterpillar 5bis by Wim Delvoye, 2004
Olnetop by Nick Ervinck
Agent 212 by Mathias De Wolf

And just down the coast in OOSTDUINKERKE watched men trawl for shrimp from the backs of enormous Belgian draft horses, as well as women doing the same but while walking through the surf on their own two feet. There are sculptures:

Cloned Paardenvisser by William Sweetlove

Also at the beach:

We drove to TOURCOING in search of the Muba-Eugene Leroy Museum, which, unfortunately, was closed for three months to set up new show. So we continued on to BETHUNE, over the border in France. A woman there told me that, with the temps nearing 100 degrees, it was the hottest since 1943.  And there wasn't much to see, besides the Art-Deco Grand-Place which was rebuilt in 1923 after it was completely destroyed by German bombing during WWI.  The Belfry was about all that remained.

Similarly, when Saint Vaast's was rebuilt in the twenties, stylish mosaics were included.

We returned to France to explore LILLE and found a free parking space across the street from the Palais des Beaux-Arts. A neat old place, admission was just over four euros for both of us.

Portrait of a Woman by Paolo Caliari, dit Veronese, 1560-1565
The Young Man and the Old Woman by Hendrick Goltzius
Young girl with a Dove by Jean-Baptiste Greuze

One of the first art museums built in France, under Napoleon, the Palais is one of the largest in the country.

Berger Landais by Rosa Bonheur
Vanite by Alfred Agache, 1890
 Les Vaches by Vincent Van Gogh
 Le Silence by Odilon Redon, c 1895-1900
Dans l'atelier, la pose du modele by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Berthe Morisot a l'eventail by Edouard Manet, 1874.
C'est n'etait pas mon temps... by de Patricia Zurini


LaM is the Musée d'art moderne d'art contemporain et d'art brut. It began as the collection of Roger Dutilleul which was then added to by his nephew and heir, leading to the current museum. Outside are a few nice sculptures including two by Calder and one we liked which was done by Picasso. Flanagan contributed a horse on a sidewalk and a pair of rabbits (inside museum).

Guillotine pour huit by Alexander Calder, 1963
Femme aux bras ecartes by Pablo Picasso, 1962
Between Fiction and Fact by Richard Deacon, 1992
Inside were a few true paintings of modern art with too many Picasso, lots of Leger, Braque, and Modig. Fun museum with strange layout that worked (addition designed by Ms. Manuelle Gautrand) included lots of Brut art, a couple of rooms of contemporary, and galleries of art from recycled material.

La Roche-Guyon by Georges Braque, summer 1909
Le Mecanicien by Fernand Leger, 1918
 Femme lippue by Kees van Dongen, 1909
La Danse I & 2 by André Derain, c 1906
Nu assis a la chemise by Amedeo Modigliani, 1917
The Boxers by Barry Flanagan, 1985
Totem women à te zoomorphe by Theo Wiesen, 1972-77
Architecture inachevee by A.C.M.
 Armée des Indes avec  éléphant,c 1976
no title by Marie-Rose Lortet
Site aleatoire avec deux personnages (F77) by Jean Dubuffet, 1982


And, of course, a few pictures from around town:

Porte d'Arras, 14th cent
Selene by Norbert Treca, 1994.
Field Day 2 by Barry Flanagan, 1987
In line for frites.
Ceramique Colliot by Hector Guimard
Porte de Grand
Gare de Lille-Flanders, formerly Gare du Nord of Paris.

We enjoyed an adventure in MELDERT-AALST at the Belgium Paardenprijskamp (translates to Horse Prize Camp). This was a national competition for Belgian draft horses.

On the abutting field, the 49th International Pikkeling Festival began in the afternoon. There were displays of tractors and other farm equipment, demonstrating artists like lace tatter, basket maker, etc., but we found this charming recreation of harvesting grain in the old days.

In KORTIJK, in Flanders, they were playing the City Game, which involved young people of different age groups to interact with artistic installations all around town.  Actually it was pretty confusing, but here are a few shots from around town:

 Invisible Forces - all over town -- by Dane Mitchell

Last shots from Pottes:

Newly born Agnes (pronounced "aanyes") and mother Iris

Time to leave our nest in Pottes and head east to SOMME LEUZE, where we had a very nice apartment.

Our first day trip was to LUXEMBOURG for the street a(rt)nimation festival - "arts de la rue." Not buskers, mostly, but street performers; performance art.

Then to DINANT, birthplace of Adolf Sax, inventor of the Saxophone:

 In CHARLEROI, we went to the Palais de Beaux Arts. Both an art museum and a concert hall, it seems to more of the later than the former. Above the entry to the concert hall is a set/series of small sculptures that may be by Ossip Zadkine.

We did some hiking through the beautiful Belgian countryside while looking for sculptures which were part of Les Sentiers d'Art. Begun two years ago with a route featuring 20 sculptures that adopted natural materials, mostly site-oriented in the western part of the district, this year they added 20 more and are planning 20 more for 2019. I wish we had the stamina to hike the whole route, but we were able to see almost all of them by parking our car nearby and hoofing it to the sculptures' sites.

Durbuy claimed to be the "Smallest City in the World" but I seriously doubt it, as there were so many stone buildings filled with restaurants and shops. There was also the Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain de Durbuy which was small and had only one show featuring two locally-connected artists.

LIEGE is an interesting city. Split by the River Meuse, it is the birthplace of Charlemagne, the Boulette (a large meatball featuring Sirop de Liège), and a superior waffle to the Brussels-style.

La Boverie is a modern art museum located on the southern end of the island in the middle of the Meuse. It began as a modern art museum which merged with the fine art museum which then merged with the local museum, all the while occupying the building at the tip of the island which was originally the fine arts building for the 1905 International Exposition. Lots of Magritte:

In other non-Art related adventures, we spent a day at the 35th Journée des Confréries at the Maredsous Abbaye near DENEE, northwest of Dinant. There were nearly 100 gastronomic brotherhoods each offering its typical specialty based on ancestral recipes and local products. And the Abbaye is no longer an abbey, but home of Maredsous brewery.

We happened upon one of these gatherings years ago in Bidart, just outside Biarritz, France, though it was much smaller. This was much different. Unlike our previous encounter that was exclusively speeches and marching into the church, here we found tent after tent of food and drink being offered by the various confréries - brotherhoods with common interests in some kind of food or drink, such as beer or cheese or escargot.

Returned to Liège for "Fetons le 15 Aout," What began as a celebration honoring Mary's Ascension is mostly about drinking "peket," the local firewater made from juniper berries, like gin.

There were some nice "géants" in the parade - a cross between a giant puppet and a float with men inside. Here are some shots from the day: After eating our Boulette and frites, we had time to find Art Nouveau around town:

Another day we visited NAMUR and, after taking pictures of Bayard and the Four Sons of Aymon by Oliver Strebelle (1957) which overlooks the Meuse and the statue of the Namur Stilt Jousters by Guy Leclercq (1999), we stopped in at the Musée de Félicien Rops (1833-98).

We found two floors and several rooms of Rops paintings, drawings, photos, etc. Seemed pretty well done. Plenty of skeletons and other horrid things. Plenty of near-porn. Even a few landscapes. Old Felicien was a fairly strange guy.

Time to move on, back to Ath. Ath is known as the "City of Géants," as their giants, who filled the streets for La Ducasse. The giants are bigger and offer more artistic quality, we thought.

And so we say "au revoir" to Wallonia and Belgium

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