September 22


Antwerp, Belgium

Antwerpen or as the French call it Anvers is Reubensity. So the first thing one must to do is either go straight on down to Reubens’ Huis or Antwerp’s magnificent Gothic Cathederal – one of those constructs its impossible to photograph because nothing does it justice. And if there is a bonus required here you will find The Descent from the Cross (1611-14) and The Lamentation (1618) to name but two grand pieces which are among Peter Paul Reubens most OTT dramatic moments. There’s is also a mean 12 stations of the cross by someone else. After a fine lunch of Belgian Fries we dropped into a couple of very cool establishments. Axelvervoodt Gallery with a breath taking show by the late Polish artist Roman Opalka who began painting the numbers from one to infinity in 1965. Here you can see how far he got (5.5,000,000). This is one of the most beautiful galleries the secretary has ever seen in a 16th century setting including one gallery with modern ceiling that lights the space however you like it. No shadows. Then in Antwerp’s oldest gallery De Zwarte Panter  there is an enormous 6 room exhibition of impressive expressive works by Nick Andrews who actually lives here but isn’t entirely Flemish as the name might suggest. Nick’s exhibition studies the Scared Themes of art history through paintings that literally explode with colour and dark energy. Can probably come up with a better coment than that in the next few days. And finally … a visit to the Antwerp Museum of Contemporary Art where there is a MEGA exhibiton by Jef Geys who just happens to be one of Belgium’s most esteemed artists. Martin Douven – Leopoldsburg – Jef Geys looks at art through a filter of what may be art or possibly isn’t. Great show but sure deserved that drink at the Hopper !

Hans November at Axelvervoordt

purple chair installation along the way

Local talents painters Nick Adams and Karin Hanssen

typical Antwerp house