Exhibition

Upcoming: Rik Wouters & the Private Utopia

Rik Wouters ©KMSKA | Photo by Ronald Stoops | Graphic design by Paul Boudens

Rik Wouters ©KMSKA | Photo by Ronald Stoops | Graphic design by Paul Boudens

The theme of enchanting homeliness by painter Rik Wouters, as well as the intimate feeling of sanctity between him and his wife Nel, forms the premise of this exhibition.

In our region, Wouters was the only artist to combine Post-Impressionist painting techniques with simple domestic scenes. His expressive brush strokes and the unfinished style of his canvases give a dynamic to his work that, combined with the emphasis on lighting and colour, result in an enchanting and optimistic quality.

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Rik Wouters, Tullips, 1912, oil on canvas © KMSKA – Lukasart in Flanders VZW, Photo: Hugo Maertens / Dirk Van Saene, SS 2005, Photo: Stany Dederen

In this exhibition, the contemporary movement in which people are again seeking domestic intimacy and contact with nature, the ‘slow’ movement and the renewed attention for traditional techniques, like ceramics, weaving and dyeing, are linked with the utopian philosophy from Henry David Thoreau’s book Walden.

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Rik Wouters, Self Portrait With Black Eye Patch, 1915, oil on canvas © KMSKA – Lukasart in Flanders VZW, Photo: Hugo Maertens / Jan-jan Van Essche, No Man Is An Island, SS2016, © Photo: Pietro Celestina & Maud Van Haegenborgh

Various Belgian fashion designers — including Dirk Van Saene, Bruno Pieters, Christian Wijnants, Walter Van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Veronique Branquinho, Martin Margiela and Jan-Jan Van Essche — give their individual interpretations to these thoughts: some by choosing specific fabrics and techniques, and others through their idiosyncratic position in fashion, in which they do not give praise to the hectic pace of the fashion world.

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Rik Wouters, Kale, not dated, oil on canvas © KMSKB , Photo: J. Geleyns, RO Scan / Bernhard Willhelm, SS 2001, © Photo: Carmen Freudenthal & Elle Verhagen

This exhibition is a partnership between MoMu and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of painter Rik Wouters in 2016. The exhibition brings together work by Rik Wouters from the KMSKA collection and pieces by contemporary artists and fashion designers.