To visit the galleries and the private collection of Axel Vanvoort is an essential experience.
This antique dealer and collector of contemporary art has bought and renovated an old distillery, built two art galleries, housing, a restaurant and craft workshops in a hamlet 45 minutes away from Antwerp, giving life to this little piece of lost land .
You visit the galleries alone but for the private collection you’re accompanied by a guide.
Fascinated by the Japanese wabi sabi spirit (wabi: loneliness, simplicity …, sabi: alteration by time, patina of objects, taste for old things …), he combines masterfully the old and the contemporary, the industrial and the archaic.
Some exhibition halls are lit only by openings in the ceiling that let natural light in, while others are shrouded in half-light and are lit by a soft glow that lets us discover the works in silence.
For example, this 13th century Luohan monk, slightly lighted from above, becomes even more striking and mysterious, making it almost alive or those blood-red paintings of the Japanese artist, Kazuo Shiraga, part of the gutai movement, taken out of the darkness by a caress of light, a real journey of the eye.
Anish Kapoor under the vaulting of the grain barn, James Turrell in an old chapel, Otto Piene at the base of a concrete silo, are as many experiences to live as unforgettable moments.
All the pictures: courtesy of the Axel & May Vervoordt Foundation
1/ Building that houses Anish Kapoor © LazizHamani
2/ Lohan, lacquered and gilded wood, China, Sung Period (960-1269) 13th century, H. 106 © LazizHamani
3/ James Turrell, Red Shift, 1995 © JanLiégeois
4/ Kazuo Shiraga, Suiju, 1985 © LazizHamani
5/ Anish Kapoor, At the edge of the world, 1998 © JanLiégeois
6/ Tan’zu Kano, Six-panel screen featuring a dragon within clouds, 17th century © LazizHamani
Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale Natura, 1959-1960, bronze;
7/ Otto Piene, Lichtballet, 1970’s © JanLiégeois