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Autumn in Brussels: love is in the air

20:42 01/10/2018
Sponsored: Our pick of cultural highlights in the capital best enjoyed à deux this season

This one’s for all you lovers out there. If you’re looking for something that will impress your partner on a crisp autumn day in Brussels, there’s a whole host of activities for couples to choose from between September and December – but we think the way to their heart could be a bit of art.

When you’re talking about art in Brussels, it’s impossible not to mention Bozar, and once again, its autumn schedule is overflowing with quality. The cultural centre’s flagship exhibition this season is Beyond Klimt (until 20 January), which gives an insight into a changing central Europe between the wars through the eyes of more than 75 artists, including Klimt, Kokoschka and Schiele. Through painting, sculpture, posters and more, it charts how political and economic shifts in turbulent times led to artistic migrations, new ideas and perspectives and new artistic networks. It’s about so much more than those famous lovers in Klimt’s golden-hued masterpiece The Kiss.

History has always influenced artistic movements. The Resistance exhibition at La Centrale for Contemporary Art (until 27 January) explores the way in which certain artists challenged societal diktats from 1968 to the present day. Fifty years after the world order was shaken up by protests and revolutions across Europe, this show creates a dialogue between historical works from 1968 and contemporary pieces by Belgian and international artists.

If music be the food of love, there’s a mouth-watering line-up for you in Brussels. What could be more romantic than a classical concert by Flagey’s resident pianist Paul Lewis (pictured top), who flawlessly interprets Haydn, Beethoven and Brahms? Or perhaps we can interest you in Schiev (16-18 November): a simple music festival featuring concerts, talks and a label market at Beursschouwburg. Whatever floats your boat, be it electronic or acoustic, traditional or futuristic, Schiev offers a wide selection of avant-garde pop dedicated to diversity and discovery. Its varied programme presents artists who innovate and experiment with textures, influences, rhythms and composition. If that sounds like you and your other half, this could be a match made in heaven.

Fans of contemporary art and design will fall in love with Kanal’s In Red & White exhibition (until 7 January). Housed in the former Citroën garage next to the canal – the building itself is a real beauty – this show presents highlights from the collections of Brussels’ Art & Design Atomium Museum and Paris’s Centre Pompidou. Whether minimalistic or extravagant, functional or fictional, these bold design objects bring to life a fascinating chapter of industrial history, from the 1960s to the present day.

But this autumn’s ultimate place to be is undoubtedly Independent (8-11 November). The latest edition of the New York art fair is a performative festival with a focus on live artistic performances, installations, music and discussions. It’s a genuine hub for experimentation and will be love at first sight for anyone whose heart beats a little faster at the thought of art with a social conscience.

More ideas:

Top photo: Johan Jacobs

Written by The Bulletin with Visit Brussels