Artists: Nel Aerts, Philip Aguirre y Otegui, Fred Bervoets, Guillaume Bijl, Pierre Bismuth, Michaël Borremans, Kasper Bosmans, Dirk Braeckman, Marcel Broodthaers, Jean Brusselmans, Jan Cox, Sergio De Beukelaer, Thierry De Cordier, Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Robert De keersmaecker, Raoul De Keyser, Wim Delvoye, Peter De Meyer, Lara Dhondt, Niels Donckers, Filip Dujardin, Lili Dujourie, Céline Felga, Michel François, Jane Graverol, Gerard Herman, Fernand Khnopff, Werner Mannaers, Kris Martin, Xavier Mary, Guy Mees, Nadia Naveau, Panamarenko, Pascal Petrus, Emmanuelle Quertain, Fabrice Samyn, Viktor Servranckx, Léon Spilliaert, Walter Swennen, Luc Tuymans, Roeland Tweelinckx, Roger Van Akelijen, Camiel Van Breedam, Michael Van den Abeele, Koen Van den Broek, Benny Van den Meulengracht-Vrancx, Etienne Van Doorslaer, Herman Van Ingelgem, Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Sharon Van Overmeiren, Lisa Vlaemminck

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This autumn’s show at Kunsthal KAdE is guest-curated by Belgian musician Tom Barman. KAdE asked the frontman of rock band dEUS to put together an exhibition about his country’s art. The show is part of a series of events being held in Amersfoort to commemorate the centenary of the influx of Belgian refugees prompted by the outbreak of the First World War. Amersfoort was one of the places in which they were accommodated and the town’s ‘Belgian Monument’ is a lasting reminder of the episode. Among the Belgians who sought refuge in the Netherlands were a number of artists who would later become major figures in the Flemish Expressionist movement. Some of them ended up in Amersfoort. This autumn there will be an exhibition at the Flehite Museum commemorating this part of the town’s history. 

Tom Barman as guest curator

Kunsthal KAdE chose Tom Barman to curate this autumn’s overview of a century of Belgian art because his position as a collector and aficionado enables him to offer an individual insight into the subject that is independent of the usual curatorial agendas. Barman does not claim to impose any particular art-historical narrative and makes no attempt to present a comprehensive overview of the current state of artistic enterprise in Belgium. 

Tom Barman: ‘As a musician and film-maker, I’ve spent the last 20 years fielding questions about what typifies Belgian culture. The answer seems to me to lie in its eclecticism and contrariness. In its humour, too. And its openness. I can see and hear it in the twinkle in René Magritte’s eye, the steely no-nonsense attitude of Jacques Brel, the multilingual turns of phrase of Raymond Goethals, and the versatility of Hugo Claus or Victor Servranckx. Because behind the threadbare cliché of Belgian Surrealism there beats an experimental heart. Always with a sneaky kind of cheek and a readiness to kick up trouble. Even with aesthetics, if necessary. My aim in this exhibition is to give my completely personal angle on this ‘typically untypical’ kind of Belgian-ness. In images, paintings and sound.’  

The selected artists are:

Aerts, Nel (B, 1987) | Aguirre Y Otegui, Philip (B, 1961) | Bervoets, Fred (B, 1942) | Bijl, Guillaume (B, 1946) | Bismuth, Pierre (F, 1963) | Borremans, Michaël (B, 1963) | Bosmans, Kasper (B, 1990) | Braeckman, Dirk (B, 1958) | Broodthaers, Marcel (B, 1924 – 1976) | Brusselmans, Jean (B, 1884 – 1953) | Cox, Jan (B, 1919-1980) | De Beukelaer, Sergio (B, 1971) | De Cordier, Thierry (B, 1954) | Dedobbeleer, Koenraad (B, 1975) | De keersmaecker, Robert (B, 1955)| De Keyser, Raoul (B, 1930-2012) | Delvoye, Wim (B, 1965) | De Meyer, Peter (B, 1981) | Dhondt, Lara (B, 1979) | Donckers, Niels (B, 1969) | Dujardin, Filip (B, 1971) | Dujourie, Lili (B, 1941) |  François, Michel (B, 1956) | Graverol, Jane (B, 1905-1984) | Herman, Gerard (B, 1989) | Khnopff, Fernand (B, 1858-1921) | Mannaers, Werner (B, 1954) | Mara, Pol (B, 1920-1998) | Martin, Kris (B, 1972) | Mary, Xavier (B, 1982) | Mees, Guy (B, 1935-2003) | Panamarenko (B, 1940) | Petrus, Pascal (NL, 1979 )| Quertain, Emmanuelle (B, 1987)| Samyn, Fabrice (B, 1981) | Servranckx, Viktor (B, 1897-1965) | Spilliaert, Léon (B, 1881-1946) | Swennen, Walter (B, 1946) | Tuymans, Luc (B, 1958) | Tweelinckx, Roeland (B, 1970) | Van Akelijen, Roger (B, 1948)| Van Breedam, Camiel (B, 1936) | Van den Abeele, Michael (B, 1974) | Van den Broek, Koen (B, 1973) | Van den Meulengracht-Vrancx, Benny (B, 1989) | Van Doorslaer, Etienne (F, 1925-2013) | Van Ingelgem, Herman (B, 1968) | Van Kerckhoven, Anne-Mie (B, 1951) | Vlaemminck, Lisa (B, 1992)

Biography Tom Barman:

Barman was born in Antwerp on 1 January 1972. He studied at the St Lukas film school in Brussels before launching rock band dEUS in 1989. Since then, he has pursued a musical career of international scope. In addition to fronting dEUS, Barman works on Magnus (a music project that produced albums in 2004 and 2014) and his jazz project TaxiWars. He has created two jazz compilation albums for the Impulse and Blue Note labels ("That's Blue! + Painters Talking" (2006): a selection of jazz tracks using samples from interviews with leading artists like Jasper Johns, Kenneth Noland, Barnett Newman, Willem de Kooning and Robert Rauschenberg). Alongside his career in music, Tom Barman has undertaken film projects, created a number of video clips and directed a feature film entitled ‘Any Way the Wind Blows’ (2003). In 2005 Barman appeared on the VPRO’s Zomergasten television programme. In 2011 he was guest editor on Dutch national newspaper De Volkskrant. In 2013 he created ‘Shot on Location’, a series of VPRO television documentaries on cities that have served as locations for celebrated films.