Round off summer 2017 with a whole host of exhibitions


From a tribute to René Magritte to Europalia Indonesia

Just like every year, September is the time to get back into the cultural swing of things. It’s the opportunity for the capital’s museums and cultural centres to introduce their new programmes. From a tribute to René Magritte to Europalia Indonesia, several flagship events will mark the season.

During this back-to-school period, Brussels is replete with a variety of exhibitions directed at a wide audience. Here is a sample of them in chronological order.

Mehdi-Georges Lahlou – ‘Behind the Garden’

In September, Le Botanique will host a monographic exhibition by the Young FrancoMoroccan artist Mehdi-Georges Lahlou who divides his time between Paris and Brussels.

Body, space, and memory are at the heart of this trained dancer’s work, and he handles photography, staging, and sculptures with the same skill, exploring religious and traditional themes.

Location: Botanique

Dates: 14/09/2019 – 05/11/2017



Islam is our history, too! (Tempora expo)

From the seventh to the twenty-first century, from the conquest of Spain to the horror of ethnic wars in the East and the dangers of integrating in the West, Islam has made its mark on Europe. By offering a number of activities, the exhibition explores the heritage generated by the interaction of these two important cultures.

Location: Vanderborght Building

Dates: 15/09 > 21/01/2018



Rita McBride: Explorer

Rita McBride uses the language of sculpture while drawing on the vocabulary of architecture and design. In the wake of retrospectives on artists midway through their career at WIELS, this exhibition – called Explorer – presents new productions as well as existing works, some of which still have never been exhibited in Europe. With a humour and use of space all her own, McBride has designed an exhibition that takes into account WIELS’ specific architectural features and modern stage design.

Location: Wiels

Date: 15/09/2017 – 07/01/2018



The new Flemish comics

While these young talents belong to the same generation, their styles could not be more different. However, their artistic diversity does not prevent these young Turks from sharing the same ambition: to conquer the (comics) world. Among others, their names are Judith Vanistendael, Brecht Evens, and Olivier Schrauwen. Translated into several languages, they are praised for their writing and illustrations, in Belgium and elsewhere.

Place: Belgian Comic Strip Centre

Date: 19/09 > 03/06/2018



Spotlight on Magritte

Fifty years after the death of René Magritte, who was a world fam ous icon of Belgian surrealism, the Atomium and the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium are paying him a unique tribute.


Magritte, Atomium meets surrealism

Some of his most striking works come to life. Transformed into scenery, they enable Visitors to get visually acquainted with René Magritte’s surrealist world.

Place: Atomium

Dates: 21/09/2017 – 10/09/2018



Magritte, Broodthaers and contemporary art

This important exhibition demonstrates the painter’s still lively presence in contemporary art. A fresh look at a man who could always draw a crowd.

In the framework of the exhibition


Magritte and contemporary art

An exhibition at the heart of the Musée Magritte Museum tracing Magritte’s influence on contemporary artists.


Marcel Lecomte, the alcoves of surrealism

An exhibition about Marcel Lecomte, a man of letters in the full meaning of the term. Lecomte was part of the first Surrealists circle in Belgium and helped Magritte coming into its own.

Place: The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium & Musée Magritte Museum

Dates: 13/10/2017 – 18/02/2018



Europalia Indonesia

EUROPALIA will host Indonesia for its 2017-2018 festival. Europalia Indonesia will be held from 10 October 2017 through 21 January 2018 and will display Indonesian traditions and that country’s contemporary culture while encouraging interaction and creativity.


Ancestors & Rituals

A captivating introduction to Indonesia, introducing its heritage and questioning the place of traditions and rituals in a modern society. Archaeological and ethnographic treasures will be presented there for the first time and put into context through unique iconographic documents and interviews.

Location: Bozar

Dates: 11/10/2017 – 14/01/2018



Power and other things. Indonesia & art (1835-now)

A chronological account beginning with four key 19th and 20th century artists – including Jan Toorop and Raden Saleh – who have left their mark on Indonesian art history. Contemporary arts will add to the story with new works. They attest to the defining exchanges for Indonesia brought about by trade, culture, religion, ideology, or war.

Location: Bozar

Dates: 18/10/2017-21/01/2018



Private Choices – 11 Brussels Collections

Collectors, from Belgium or abroad, have greatly contributed to the emergence of new museums in Brussels in recent years. At the same time, a number of private collections have been made accessible to the public. This exhibition lets visitors explore private collectors’ passion for contemporary art.

Place: «Centrale for Contemporary Art»

Dates: 12/10/2017 – 18/02/2018



Robert Doisneau

This is the first retrospective devoted to Robert Doisneau in Belgium. The French photographer’s work is part of the collective memory of a multi-generational audience. Bearing witness to the twentieth century, 1930s Paris and the Liberation, he was also an admirer of the great figures of his era like Picasso.

The commissioners of this expo are none other than his two daughters, who run the Robert Doisneau Studio and see to the preservation and representation of their father’s works. Besides the most celebrated shots, like the famous Kiss by City Hall, visitors will be able to discover lesser-known prints, personal effects like his legendary Rolleiflex camera, original panels, etc.

Place: Museum of Ixelles

Date: 19/10/2017 – 21/01/2018



Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Urban Projects

“Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Urban Projects» is the first retrospective since the 1990s of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s urban projects. The exhibition, through a selection of about eighty original works – models, drawings, and collages -, to evoke a certain number of urban projects, completed or not, by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The selection and placement will emphasise the vital importance of design in the genesis, development, and aesthetic coalescence of each project.

Place: ING Art Centre

Dates: 24/10/2017 through 24/02/2018



Oceania – at the Cinquantenaire Museum (MRAH)

From James Cook to the twenty-first century, Oceania is still associated with great journeys into the unknown in the West’s collective consciousness. This aspect with be the common thread running through the Oceania – Voyages into Vastness exhibition. It was designed as in invitation to travel across the wide ocean in the wake of the eighteenth century explorers in search of the Oceanian art aesthetic and its cultural context as reconstructed through ethnography and archaeology.

The rich Oceanian collections of the Royal Museums of Art and History (Cinquantenaire Museum and the Museum of Musical Instruments) and the Royal Museum of Central Africa will be featured at this exhibition.

Place: Cinquantenaire Museum (MRAH)

Dates: 26/10/2017 > 25/04/2018


Additional information at



About Author

Comments are closed.