It invites visitors to discover the secrets behind the creative work of one of Art Nouveau’s greatest artists, a movement which revolutionised European spatial and architectural concepts at the dawn of the 20th century. A series of photographs, documents and plans highlight the value of this extraordinary legacy.
“Victor Horta and Brussels”
January 15 – December 31, 2018
Rue de l’Ermitage Kluis 55, Brussels
Victor Horta blessed Brussels with dozens of art nouveau buildings, and the city would like to draw more attention to this heritage. Exhibitions will be held in a number of these buildings, including the Belgian Comic Strip Centre (the former Waucquez Warehouse), the Horta Museum in Saint-Gilles, the Autrique House in Schaarbeek and the Cinquantenaire Museum, which recently opened a new exhibition hall showcasing the fully-restored shop interior of the Wolfers Frères jewellery.
A good starting point is The Cradle of Art Nouveau exhibition (from 15th January to 31st December 2018) at the CIVA Foundation museum in Ixelles. This provides a general introduction to Horta’s work by presenting his most notable commissions in Brussels. This foundation also organises the Unbuilt Brussels exhibition every summer, which displays architectural and other urban projects that never came to fruition. This year, the Horta plans are central to the reconstruction of the area between the Centre for Fine Arts and the Central Station, along with the Congo Pavilion for the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900.
Other time-limited exhibitions will also be running, including at the Temple of Human Passions – Horta’s first architectural work – and at the Centre for Fine Arts. The Brussels Art Nouveau & Art Deco Festival 2018 will take place in March, themed around ‘the hidden treasures of and focus on Victor Horta’. The Artonov Festival, in October, will in turn shed light on Horta’s connection to freemasonry.
The evocation of nature and rational construction inspired by nature are the basic building blocks of Victor Horta’s architecture and of the living environment of its inhabitants and users. By placing a light metallic frame at the heart of his architecture, he opens up spaces and creates an extraordinary method for capturing daylight and at the same time creating a stunning Chiaroscuro effect that plays with light and darkness. The exhibition will use these themes to explain the art and architecture of Victor Horta.