Discover Benelux, Issue 31, July 2016

Page 64

Discover Benelux | Belgium | Top galleries & art exhibitions 2016

Deweer Gallery entrance.

Esteemed gallery for contemporary art TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: DEWEER GALLERY

Well-known Belgian artists like Jan Fabre and Panamarenko have been collaborating with the Deweer Gallery for over 30 years. Much of their work is first exhibited at this esteemed art gallery near Kortrijk, from where it is sold to collectors all over the world. Lots of young artists also showcase their work at Deweer Gallery, which can be visited free of charge. “When Jan Fabre had just started his career, my father would occasionally buy one of his blue ballpoint drawings, allowing Jan to continue his work and helping him to become the artist he is 64 | Issue 31 | July 2016

today,” says Gerald Deweer. The times Deweer describes are the 1980s; the early years of the gallery. His father was a textile industrialist and a contemporary art enthusiast. In 1979, he had decided to turn part of the factory into an exhibition centre for young artists. Painters, drawing artists and sculptors could get the exposure they needed and Mark Deweer would help them find buyers of their work. What started off as a passion, grew into a revered gallery.

Established artists and young talent The Deweer Gallery is still housed in the former textile factory in Otegem, a short

drive from Kortrijk, Lille and Ghent. It is now managed by Mark Deweer’s sons Gerald and Bart, who gave the building a complete makeover in 2012. The entrance hall and the three exceptionally large exhibition rooms were modernised with respect for the industrial characteristics of the building. Lots of permanent art pieces can be found around the gallery’s premises and in its basement, while the three exhibition rooms change every two months. The Collector’s Room shows group exhibitions of Deweer’s resident artists, such as Stephan Balkenhol, Marc Bauer, Jan Fabre, Melissa Gordon, Benjamin Moravec and Panamarenko.