Outdoor Contemporary Art in Flanders
Flanders is and always has been a state of the arts and will continue to be exactly that. Today, new generations of contemporary artists continue to build on an age-old artistic tradition in Flanders, as do international artists who are inspired by the region’s heritage treasures. A number of impressive contemporary art festivals demonstrate this.
Global art history wouldn’t be the same without Flanders. Centuries ago, Flemish Masters such as Jan van Eyck, Pieter Bruegel and Peter Paul Rubens were defining figures in the art world. Since then, countless generations of their successors have followed in their footsteps. With leading names such as Luc Tuymans, Michaël Borremans and Jan Fabre, Flanders continues to play a contributing role in this field. But there’s even more to discover in its world-leading museums and galleries, paying homage to this wealth of talent. The contemporary art festivals live now are sure to add to its art repertoire.
1. Triennial Bruges
Beautiful Bruges is living, breathing proof of age-old heritage and cutting-edge contemporary art co-existing together. Its historic city centre – a unique UNESCO World Heritage Site – is the magnificent backdrop for Triennial Bruges, bringing contemporary art and architecture to the city.
Since 2015, Triennial Bruges has continued to build on a series of triennials that started out in 1968. This feast of the visual arts has become part of the public domain once again. Thirteen artists present their brand-new installations. All of those revolve around the theme of TraumA, an exploration of the fine line between dreams and trauma, paradise and hell. The trail diverts attention from the public space to some hidden dimensions of the city of Bruges and its residents.
During the Triennial you might wander into the maze that Gijs Van Vaerenbergh has createad in the Baron Ruzettepark, or perhaps you’ll find the patterned folklore masks along the water (Nadia Naveau). Elsewhere, in the Sint-Walburgachurch, discover the mechanism of time, seemingly standing still (Hans Op de Beeck). Here, artwork by some of Flanders most celebrated contemporary artists perfectly compliment works by some of the most interesting names in the international contemporary art scene.
Triennial Bruges investigates and explores all matters related to the theme of TraumA in the historic heart of the city, until October 24, 2021.
You can also experience the Bruges Triennial at home, thanks to the virtual experience available through this link: wander through the streets of Bruges and admire the artworks thanks to 360° pictures. Enjoy!
2. Beaufort 21
Flanders possesses a stunning 67 kilometres-long coastline. And the Beaufort Triennial adds to its allure. Every three years, the coast becomes the backdrop of this contemporary arts event. All along the sandy banks, beaches and dunes, exciting works of art pop up, inspired by the sea and by one central theme: the fact that man is subjected to nature’s will. The artworks are inspired by local stories collected from both natural and human history.
Beaufort started out in 2003 and is more than just an event that comes and goes. It aims to leave a permanent artistic impression: the Beaufort Sculpture Park, presents 30 works of art from the previous editions on a permanent basis. After this year’s edition another set of sculptures will be added to its collection.
Beaufort 21, the Triennial of Contemporary Art, will take place for the seventh time until November 7, 2021.
3. Paradise Kortrijk
Kortrijk, along the River Leie, combines history with contemporaneity like no other. The city is rich on history and heritage with the Broel Towers as its symbol, its own Belfry and 13th century UNESCO World Heritage Béguinage. Yet at the same time it has a bubbling, creative personality and a strong reputation of craftsmanship, quality design and entrepreneurship. This earned Kortrijk membership of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
Out of that unique context, Paradise Kortrijk was born. This contemporary arts festival invites national and international contemporary artists to participate and reflect on modern questions by installing artworks in this dynamic city. How do these artists view and interpret the utopian dream of paradise? How would they try to improve our society and our world? What can we, as visitors, learn from their views and insights?
Paradise Kortrijk is a dynamic and free festival of contemporary arts aimed for all to enjoy. Ideal for seasoned art afficionados and/or families, Paradise Kortrijk is taking place until October 24, 2021.
Story created on 28 April 2021