Rik Wouters & the private utopia

The exhibition takes the theme of domestic bliss in the home of the Belgian painter Rik Wouters and his wife Nel and the intimate little Eden they created for themselves as a starting point.

Wouters was the only painter in Flanders to use post-Impressionist painting techniques for his simple, domestic scenes. His expressive brushwork and the unfinished appearance of his captivating canvases lend a certain energy to his work, combined with his attention to light and colour which oozes optimism. The notion of shelter and warmth is a popular theme in the work of conceptual artists and applied artists (fashion, interior, design).

These worlds tend to overlap in their utopian quest for the essence of “the good life”. What do we really need to be happy? This quest manifests itself in a preference for self-sufficiency, working with pure materials and traditional, artisanal techniques.  Various Belgian fashion designers express this idea in their own way.

This exhibition is a collaboration between the MoMu and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts on the occasion of the centenary of the death of the painter Rik Wouters in 2016. The exhibition features work of Rik Wouters from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts alongside the work of contemporary artists and fashion designers.

Ronald Stoops



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