Horta inside out: Top Brussels exhibitions and events in 2018

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As part of “Horta inside out”, a year dedicated to this architectural genius, there will be a variety of events paying homage to the master of Art Nouveau. Among the activities, original exhibitions and events will spring up around Brussels in the coming weeks.

One of the greatest architects of his generation, Victor Horta certainly left his mark on Brussels. From Horta House to the Hôtel Tassel, not to mention the Hôtel Solvay, it is impossible not to admire these architectural gems.

Rich in this architectural heritage, Brussels owed it to Horta to honour his genius for a whole year. About twenty Brussels cultural institutions have gotten involved so you can discover or rediscover Victor Horta from every angle.

Throughout the year, they are proposing a series of activities revolving around the architect: exhibitions, guided tours, educational activities, entertainment. A great way to commemorate the work of this extraordinary architect.
Here is a glimpse of the exhibitions and events that will be dedicated to him in the coming weeks.

Exhibitions

Temporary exhibitions

“The Temple of Human Passions – the first building built by Victor Horta in Brussels” In 1890, Victor Horta was entrusted the task of designing a building to house the monumental marble relief “Human Passions” by the sculptor Jef Lambeaux. The architect had trouble curbing the sculptor’s desire to leave his mark on the building’s architecture. But the result was breathtaking: although classical at first sight, the building turned out to be very innovative and clearly announced the emergence of Art Nouveau.

Cinquantenaire Museum 24 March to 28 October 2018

“Light in the work of Victor Horta: from Hôtel Tassel to the Central Station”

Throughout his career, Horta aimed to capture light in his buildings—light that was sorely lacking in traditional bourgeois interiors. Here, visitors will be able to appreciate the variety of ingenious solutions thought up by Horta to let light into the innermost parts of his buildings. Fourteen buildings, from the Hôtel Tassel to the Central Station, have been selected to illustrate a lighting problem dealt with in an original way by Horta.

Horta Museum (in collaboration with CIVA)
27 March to 24 June 2018

“Horta Motifs. Fabric and wallpaper in Brussels houses”

Art Nouveau was a very significant period for the creation of wallpaper and fabrics. Inside Art Nouveau buildings, both Victor Horta and his contemporaries gave meaning to the concept of total art and revolutionised the applied arts, abolishing the hierarchy between different forms of plastic art. Original motifs, complex craftwork… the exhibition restores this fragile heritage to the place it deserves in the history of forms.

The Autrique House 18 April to 27 January 2019

Victor Horta’s Centre for Fine Arts. A Work in Progress

On the 90th anniversary of the Centre for Fine Arts, BOZAR is organising a one-off exhibition about the building. Victor Horta’s Centre for Fine Arts. A Work in progress brings together architectural models, unprecedented documents from the Blaton Papers, plans for future modifications, and architectural installations and interventions.

Centre for Fine Arts – BOZAR 27 April to 26 August 2018

“Unbuilt Horta”

Every summer, CIVA organises an exhibition with the theme “Unbuilt Brussels” presenting documents from its archives relating to architectural and urban projects that were never brought to fruition. This year, the exhibition is dedicated to Victor Horta, focusing mainly on his grand project to rebuild the block between the Palace of Fine Arts and the Central Station, and the Congo Pavilion designed for the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900.

CIVA
1 June to 15 October 2018

Exhibitions all year round

“Horta and the Waucquez Stores”

Art Nouveau masterpiece designed by Victor Horta, the old Waucquez Stores, which are now home to the Belgian Comic Strip Centre, were inaugurated on 31 March 1906. This exhibition gives visitors the chance to discover, through exceptional photographs and documents, a Brussels adventure symbolic of the 20th century: the birth and life of the Waucquez fabric stores as well as the building’s transformation into the comic strip museum. You will also discover a selection of illustrations by comic strip illustrators inspired by the story of the old Waucquez Stores.

Belgian Comic Strip Centre 1 January to 31 December 2018

“Victor Horta’s Studio House”

The Horta Museum is located in the house and studio of the architect Victor Horta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built between 1898 and 1901 at numbers 23 and 25, Rue Américaine in Saint-Gilles, the two buildings are typical of the Art Nouveau era at its peak. The interior decoration has been largely preserved, with mosaics, stained glass and murals forming a harmonious and elegant whole, down to the last detail.

Horta Museum
1 January to 31 December 2018

“The Autrique House: Interior of a townhouse built by Victor Horta”

In 1893, Victor Horta was commissioned to build a house for his friend Eugène Autrique, a mechanical engineer. This was one of the first townhouses built by the architect, and it already reveals some of his most notable elements: the beginnings of a connection with the pavement, wall claddings of varying thicknesses, symmetry coexisting with asymmetry, not to mention the use of metal and other industrial materials.

The Autrique House
1 January to 31 December 2018

“At the birthplace of Art Nouveau”

This exhibition, organised by the Directorate of Monuments and Sites in the Region of Brussels Capital, provides an overall introduction to the work of the architect Victor Horta with a presentation of his major works built in Brussels. The presentation 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.

CIVA
15 January to 31 December 2018

“Horta & Wolfers”

In 1912 the Wolfers Frères jewellers and goldsmiths opened on Rue d’Arenberg inside a grand building designed by Victor Horta. In 1973, the store was dismantled and refitted as part of the Royal Museums of Art and History. Finally in 2017, 105 years after it opened, the inside has not only been completely restored, but returned to the original layout as Horta designed it. The original windows display some of the masterpieces of Art Nouveau and Art Déco.

Cinquantenaire Museum
1 January to 31 December 2018 (open from 28 November 2017)

Events

“Brussels Art Nouveau & Art Deco Festival 2018”

A festival dedicated to Art Nouveau and Art Déco. This year’s theme is: “the hidden treasures and focus of Victor Horta”. The program includes a whole range of activities for discovering the wonders of these two architectural styles: visits to exceptional Art Nouveau and Art Déco interiors, guided tours on foot, by coach and by bike, concerts, exhibitions, cultural events and more.

Explore.Brussels asbl 10 to 25 March 2018

“World Art Nouveau Day – photo competition”

World Art Nouveau Day 2018 will be celebrating, among other things, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Peter Behrens, Komor Marcell and Lluis Muncunill i Parellada, as well as the centenary of the death of Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Otto Wagner and Koloman Moser. To celebrate, a photo competition entitled “My favourite Art Nouveau Architect” will be organised on 10 June by Réseau Art Nouveau Network through its Facebook page, allowing the public to present their favourite architect through the medium of one of his works.

Réseau Art Nouveau Network
10 June 2018

“Artonov Festival: Victor Horta and Freemasonry”

The aim of the ARTONOV Festival is to generate a convergence between the performing arts, such as music, dance, fashion and theatre, and the visual arts, thus encouraging an interdisciplinary approach.

Artists will reflect on the way art and performance can interact with architectural space. For this fourth edition of the ARTONOV Festival, the programme will revolve around the theme “Victor Horta and Freemasonry” at venues such as the Horta-Lambeaux Temple of Human Passions, the Wolfers Store at the Cinquantenaire Museum, the Autrique House and the Horta Museum. The symbolism and rituals of freemasonry were a source of inspiration and training for Victor Horta throughout his career.

ARTONOV
12 to 14 October 2018

Victor Horta and Art Nouveau Book Fair

A book fair entirely dedicated to Victor Horta and Art Nouveau. The fair also includes events such as talks, book presentations, book signing sessions, a guided tour of the exhibition “At the Birthplace of Art Nouveau”, and walks around the area to discover some of Victor Horta’s buildings.

CIVA
11 to 13 October 2018