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What's on in Belgium: Parmiggiani, Basquiat, and artists at home

A busy month for Brussels

It is twenty years since Claudio Parmiggiani’s first one-man show in Belgium, organised by gallery owner Albert Baronian. From 12 May, Sabine Wachters will be exhibiting ten or so of Parmiggiani’s most typical sculptures. At the same time, the gallery’s other space at Knokke will be showing twenty of his small-scale drawings: pastels on map paper and india ink on musical scores. Of the sculptures exhibited in Brussels, the most important—and the biggest—is “Bâteau zoologique”, which the artist has personally retouched and installed on site to obtain a particular emphasis. Other earlier works include “Psyche”, an untitled sculpture dating from 1987, and his untitled gilded wings of 1988.

Still in Brussels, until 23 May the Eric van de Weghe gallery, which has close ties with Sonnabend and Miller of New York and Waddington’s in London, is putting on a major retrospective devoted to the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat. The sixteen canvases from the period 1981-1987 include “Old cars” (1981); “Collaboration” (1985), produced jointly with Andy Warhol; and “Eroica” (1987). Basquiat is to be followed, from 26 May to 13 June, by an exhibition hot from the Robert Miller gallery in New York: “Photographs 1980-1990” by David Salle. Though, at first sight, he appears to portray a “crude and dogmatic sexuality”, Salle’s images in fact display “genuine tenderness and extraordinary formal innovation”. I am quoting from Henry Geldzahler’s introduction to the catalogue.

Finally, for three weekends beginning on 8 May, the artists’ quarter of Saint Gilles is hosting a third series of “Parcours d’Artistes”—an opportunity for experts and general public alike to visit artists “at home” in their studios and view some of their works. This event is held every two years. In 1988, it attracted over 15,000 visitors; in 1990, more than 200 artists took part. This time, it will involve one hundred workshops, twenty-five galleries (including Pascal Polar, Lucien Bilinelli and Sabine Wachters), three cultural centres, the academies of music and fine art, and the Horte museum. The chosen theme is the confluence of form and sound, music and the plastic arts.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Artists “at home” over three weekends'