As we arrive at the end of a jam-packed January (phew!), winter is playing hide-and-seek with Brussels and there is still a lot to look forward to in February. If you love the season of Spring, let me tell you that it is creeping slowly upon the city. Look around and upwards while you walk the streets of Brussels and you will find little buds of flowers waiting to bloom soon. In the meantime, let’s enjoy the winter and many of the upcoming events and exhibitions.
IMAGINE! Hundred years of International Surrealism
2024 marks a hundred years of international surrealism and there are so many important events lined up to celebrate this. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels is collaborating with Centre Pompidou in Paris for a touring exhibition on surrealistic art. From Dali, Chirico, Pollock, Miro to Belgian surrealists like Khnopff, Spilliaert, Delville and Minne – there are more than 130 works of art to be discovered in this expo from 21 February to 21 July. Info and tickets.
Bright Brussels Festival
Absolutely the event most Brusselites wait for the entire year! This festival of lights takes place for four days every February and this year is no exception with focus on the Royal Quarter and the European Quarter. Art installations, innovative light shows, guided tours, and museum visits aside, this year has a special zone for children to enjoy as well! Follow the path and let the lights guide you on winter evenings. More info.
Histoire de ne pas rire. Surrealism in Belgium. New exhibition on Belgium’s famous avant-garde movement spanning no less than 60 years is coming to Bozar from 21 February to 16 June. Details
Popcorn at MIMA museum. New group show featuring 15 artists who paint a colourful, offbeat and dreamlike picture of our society, with a dose of surrealism comparable to that of the 1930s. The humorous experience is as much a guaranteed visual shock as it is an antidote to winter melancholy. Until 26 May. Info
James Ensor. Inspired by Brussels. Did you know that Brussels played a crucial role in how Ensor developed as an artist? This exhibition explores how the city helped to shape artist’s quirky and characteristic visual language. From 22 February until 2 June. More details
James Ensor. Maestro. 2024 is the year of Ensor, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the death of famous Belgian artist. Bozar will be paying a tribute with an exhibition highlighting all his facets in an anthology of some 100 works. From 29 February until 23 June. Info
February Lunch Tours at House of European History. This month’s free tours revolve around the topic of ‘What’s love got to do with it?’. Upcoming tours: 13 Feb – Valentines Day; 20 Feb – Do you love your language? ; 27 Feb – LOVE IS LOVE! More info
Sculptura #2 Festival – Sculptura is an annual festival at the Gare Maritime (Tour and Taxis) featuring new and famous artists in the European Union. This year, ahead of the European elections, the European Parliament has incorporated the theme of ‘Art in Democracy’ in this festival. Visit until 10th March. More info
Flagey Piano Days
This is quite another celebrated and awaited among all music festivals in Brussels. Immerse into five days of piano with brilliant and upcoming artists. This year the artistic direction is done by pianist Anna Vinnitskaya, the 2007 champion of the Queen Elisabeth competition. She will be playing with her young protégés throughout the festival. Info and tickets.
Folon – A Trip to Brussels
2024 marks the ninetieth birth anniversary of legendary Belgian artist, illustrator and sculptor Jean-Michel Folon. In retrospect, the Folon Foundation, along with three museums in Brussels has arranged for exhibitions showcasing Folon’s works. There is also a route following twenty sculptures by Folon from Galleries Royale Saint-Hubert to the Mont des Arts leading to the Sablon square. Info
Anima, The Brussels’ International Animation Film festival starts from 23 February until 3 March. Jump into the universe of animated movies with a rich selection curated for the film festival. This year’s focus is on science fiction. More
Every year, the European month of photography is celebrated through this PhotoBrussels festival organised by Hangar (by Delphine Dumont). More detailed and matured in its 8th edition in 2024, the organisers have lined up a plethora of events for an entire month. The festival offers visitors an exhibition circuit in various cultural venues like art galleries, museums and public spaces in Brussels. More info.
Armenia – Contemplating the Sacred
A mention of the country Armenia often invokes imaginations of a rich and colourful culture with ancient history laced into it. The Boghossian Foundation at Villa Empain has organised a unique exhibition on Armenia, in collaboration with Iconem and also artefacts from the Musée Armenie de France. It is often believed that Armenia was founded by a descendant of Noah. This explains the history, myth and all the heritage that the country has to offer to visitors. This is a chance to get a glimpse of it. More info.
Bill Viola expo. La Boverie museum in Liège is hosting a monographic exhibition on American artist Bill Viola. A major figure in contemporary art, he is considered as one of the pioneers of the medium of video art. Discover more
We also selected several exhibitions and events that will end very soon. Don’t miss them:
● Affordable Art Fair. At the 15th edition of the Affordable Art Fair, there will be 85 Belgian and international galleries presenting over 600 artists and their works. As one of the popular art fairs in Brussels, there are around 15.000 to 20.000 visitors every year at Tour and Taxis. More info.
● Porsche Driven By Dreams – Autoworld in Brussels, in collaboration with Porsche Belgium and Stuttgart Museum has arranged for a never before seen show of ‘unseen’ Porsche cars. It cannot be described as more Belgian than the fact that there is a section called ‘Tintin’s cars’! Visit until 25 February. Info
● Brussels Early Music Festival – Festivita! A musical journey at Cercle Royal Gaulois from 10 to 18 February. More
● Antitapas Carnival Night – If you are looking for a different kind of celebrations – there will be music, ateliers, DJ set all night long, food, circus and performances at the antitapas carnival night on 17th February. Enjoy special dishes from chefs De Filippis and Gargiulo. More info.
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