The Vanhaerents Art Collection of Brussels

Touring collections like the Vanhaerents are a huge part of why I travel. There’s something really special about visiting an art collection that may have taken someone years to assemble. People are quick to write off art collectors as people with lots of money to blow, but for me, it’s wonderful to see collections like these which have been carefully curated and essentially given back to the public.

Because of my arrival to Brussels on a Saturday morning, the Vanhaerents Collection was my very first top in the Belgian capital. A black gate lined the front entrance, preceding a modern black building with colored balconies. Inside, two exhibitions were on display: the group show “Man in the Mirror” and Tomás Saraceno’s “Many Suns and Worlds.”

Spanning three floors plus an additional mezzanine, the collection reminds me a bit of my visit to the Boros Collection in Berlin, and there is even a Danh Vo similar to the one at the Boros! The building was a former industrial site, so it’s quite rustic with concrete floors and walls, and wooden railings. The space is so sparse that the eye doesn’t have anywhere else to go but the art.

First Floor

Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels

Man in the Mirror at the Vanhaerents Art Collection
Haegue Yang, Drilling Tree House with orange, 2012

Haegue Yang, Drilling Tree House with orange, 2012

Sterling Ruby and Franz Ackermann

Sterling Ruby and Franz Ackermann

James Lee Byars, The Death of James Lee Byars, 1994

James Lee Byars, The Death of James Lee Byars, 1994

Sterling Ruby, Bad Moon Rising, 2011

Sterling Ruby, Bad Moon Rising, 2011

Rashid Johnson and James Lee Byars

Rashid Johnson and James Lee Byars

Rashid Johnson

Rashid Johnson

Michelangelo Pistoletto

Michelangelo Pistoletto

Danh Vo, We the People, 2011-13

Danh Vo, We the People, 2011-13

David Altmejd, Figure with black arms and strawberry, 2013

David Altmejd, Figure with black arms and strawberry, 2013

Joseph Kosuth, Four Colors Four Words, 1966

Joseph Kosuth, Four Colors Four Words, 1966

Second Floor

Second Floor, Vanhaerents Collection

Haroon Mirza, Digital Switchover, 2012

Haroon Mirza, Digital Switchover, 2012

Haroon Mirza, Digital Switchover, 2012

Haroon Mirza, Digital Switchover, 2012

Haroon Mirza, Digital Switchover, 2012

Haroon Mirza, Digital Switchover, 2012

Teresita Fernandez, Wisteria, 2006

Teresita Fernandez, Wisteria, 2006

Teresita Fernandez, Wisteria, 2006

Teresita Fernandez, Wisteria, 2006

Ivan Navarro, Twin Towers, 2011

Ivan Navarro, Twin Towers, 2011

“Many Suns and Worlds” by Tomás Saraceno

The highlight of my visit was definitely experiencing Tomás Saraceno’s immersive installation, “Many Suns and Worlds.” The exhibition features an sprawling bright white room where Saraceno strung many wires throughout the space, mostly holding up his cloud-like black and white sculptures that he is known for. Visitors are allowed to walk inside the installation but they must take their shoes off (presumably to keep footprints off the pristine white floors) before entering. There are no windows in the room, thus transporting the visitor to another world created by Saraceno.

Tomas Saraceno



Third Floor and Mezzanine

Third Floor, Vanhaerents Collection

Third Floor, Vanhaerents Collection

Third Floor, Vanhaerents Collection

Mark Handforth, NO, 2006

Mark Handforth, NO, 2006

Alex Hubbard

Alex Hubbard

Alex Hubbard, Hot Dogs & Indians, 2012, Central Avenue, 2012, Return of the Weave Shop, 2013

Alex Hubbard, Hot Dogs & Indians, 2012, Central Avenue, 2012, and Return of the Weave Shop, 2013

Elmgreen & Dragset, Social Mobility Fig. 2, 2005

Elmgreen & Dragset, Social Mobility Fig. 2, 2005

Ryan Sullivan, 2012

Ryan Sullivan, 2012

Peter Halley, Black Cell, 1989, Terminator 2, 1990

Peter Halley, Black Cell, 1989, and Terminator 2, 1990

Sterling Ruby, SP147, 2010

Sterling Ruby, SP147, 2010

Jorge Pardo, Untitled, 2001 and Isaac Julien, Glass House, Prism, 2010

Jorge Pardo, Untitled, 2001 and Isaac Julien, Glass House, Prism, 2010

Entrance to the Vanhaerents Collection

Vanhaerents Collection
Rue Anneessens 29
1000 Brussels, Belgium

Open to individual visitors every first Saturday of the month from 2-5pm

October 16, 2016
I’m an American photographer and writer based in Paris after living in New York for 7 years and then and spending a year and a half traveling. My work has been featured by the Paris and Nice Tourism Offices, Art Basel, and Refinery 29. Culture Passport is a place to share my travels and experiences in new places, with a focus on cultural attractions.

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2 Comments Leave Yours!

Hello Victoria, welcome to Brussels! I also wrote about the Vanhaerents Art Collection. It’s a great collection and I loved the building itself. Looking forward to the next exhibition in 2017! I’ll be following your blog. Lisa

Reply

Hey Lisa! It’s such a cool place right? I was blown away! I will definitely follow your blog to see their next exhibition! :)

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