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Arbol sin fruto, 2016

Ricardo Brey, included in the group exhibition Feast of Fools. Bruegel Rediscovered, curated by Luk Lambrecht and Lieze Eeneman, at the Gaasbeek Castle, Brussels.

Press Release

Pieter Bruegel is often seen as the embodiment of Flemish identity. Why has that been so since the revival of his work around 1900? How has he grown to become an icon, an inexhaustible source of inspiration and a huge cliché? In the exhibition Feast of Fools. Bruegel Rediscovered the visitor becomes acquainted with a series of key works by Flemish and international artists who ‘have a thing about Bruegel’. They latch onto his themes, reinterpret them, quote him ... and thus demonstrate that his work has lost none of its relevance.

The exhibition takes as its starting point ‘the great misunderstanding’, when Bruegel, in the last years of the Romance era, was proclaimed a painter of peasant psalms, crackling snow landscapes, and eternally rustling cornfields, with his roots firmly in the Flemish clay. The exhibition inquires the way in which Flemish, and by extension, Belgian and international artists, handled his artistic legacy in the period between and after the wars. Hence we focus on the following artists: James Ensor, Valerius De Saedeleer, Jules De Bruycker, Gustave Van de Woestyne, Jean Brusselmans, Constant Permeke, Anto Carte, Otto Dix and George Grosz.

At the same time, the exhibition pulls out various contemporary stops, with art, performance, and music. In collaboration with curators Luk Lambrecht and Lieze Eeneman, ten artists have been invited to delve into the themes from Bruegel’s work or into the interpretation of them by the generation of discoverers. These creations are linked to existing works relevant within the context. Included artists are Pascale Marthine Tayou, Honoré d’O, Emanuelle Quertain, Jan Van Imschoot & Salam Atta Sabri, Dirk Braeckman/Franz West/Lisbeth Gruwez, Kasper Bosmans, Gilberto Zorio, Grazia Todori, Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkácová, Christoph Fink, Daniel Buren, Jimmie Durham & Ricardo Brey and Bart Lodewijks.

The exhibition pathway through Gaasbeek Castle will be enhanced dramaturgically by Rimini Protokoll, with their work Global Village. After Bruegel. Rimini Protokoll will stage a contemporary portrait of rural life around the planet in the form of an immersive video installation in Gaasbeek Castle for head-mounted displays. Just like in Bruegel’s paintings the spectator will be confronted with a tableau that depicts the crucial reality of life on the countryside, but not only in Belgium, also in a village in Burundi, East Anatolia, Utah or Punjab. And this time the spectator will be in the middle of this social model. The figures will move all around him.

The exhibition Feast of Fools. Bruegel Rediscovered is part of the ‘Flemish Masters’ project of VISITFLANDERS, which is supporting Feast of Fools. Bruegel Rediscovered.

Feast of Fools. Bruegel Rediscovered
April 7, 2019 – July 28, 2019
Gaasbeek Castle
Kasteelstraat, 40 - 1750 Gaasbeek (Lennik)
Belgium