Exhibitions programme

Exhibitions programme

The core of the cultural city festival 'Antwerp Baroque 2018. Rubens Inspires' is a series of eight exhibitions, whereby Rubens and the Baroque are confronted with contemporary art(ists). These exhibitions are presenting nearly 300 works of art in total. From historic and contemporary masters. From paintings and photos to book illustrations and performances. From Rubens and Caravaggio to William Forsythe and Edward Kienholz. It is a unique opportunity for Antwerp and the public to experience art as a way of life - just as Rubens did.

The exhibitions are taking place in The Rubens House, the MAS, the M HKA (in collaboration with the KMSKA), the Middelheim Museum, the FOMU | Photo Museum, the Museum Plantin-Moretus and the Snijders&Rockox House.

Rubens’ Return

The Rubens House

1/6/2018 – 15/3/2019

Curator: Ben van Beneden                                                                      

With an eye on 'Antwerp Baroque 2018. Rubens Inspires', the collection of The Rubens House is further enriched by a number of exceptional masterpieces. Previously, the museum has already welcomed the works of Tintoretto, Titian and Anthony van Dyck. Starting 1 June 2018, these pieces shall be accompanied by no less than six top works by Frans Floris, Daniël Seghers, Adam de Coster, Jan van den Hoecke and even two by Rubens. A highlight is Rubens’ Martyrdom of Saint Andreas from Madrid, which comes home for the first time in nearly 400 years. Along with the acquisition of a self-portrait by Jacob Jordaens, The Rubens House now presents self-portraits from the three tenors of the Flemish Baroque: Rubens, Van Dyck and now Jordaens.

The restoration works on the portico and the garden pavilion of The Rubens House are fully underway. These 400 year-old elements are the only two original remnants from the Rubens residence and form rare traces of the master as an architect. Only during 'Antwerp Baroque 2018' shall the portico be enshrouded with an eye-catching 3D simulation, and there is the opportunity to follow the restoration by way of new, digital applications and on-site visits. Never before has the visitor had the chance to literally be able to come so close to the architecture of Rubens.

For more information, see Rubens' Return


MAS in collaboration with The Rubens House

1/6/2018 – 2/9/2018

Curator: Dr Katlijne van der Stighelen

The Rubens House is staging the first retrospective exhibition of the oeuvre of Michaelina Wautier (1604–1689) and demonstrates the exceptional talent of a female artist who became great in a period in which women artists were very rare. Her work is to be called nothing short of groundbreaking. For all intents and purposes, the entire known oeuvre of Michaelina is being shown for the first time together to the public. The absolute highpoint is the 12 m² Triumph of Bacchus from the Kunsthistorisches Museum of Vienna, on which Michaelina depicts herself as a devotee of Bacchus amongst half-naked men and who then looks out at the viewer quite self-consciously.

For more information, see MAS - Michaelina


Sanguine | Bloedrood. Luc Tuymans on Baroque

M HKA in collaboration with the KMSKA

1/6/2018 – 16/9/2018

Curator: Luc Tuymans

The M HKA pits the spirit of the Baroque masters against the vision of contemporary artists. Curator Luc Tuymans brings dramatic Baroque works into the experimental space of contemporary art and overwhelms the visitor with key works from the Baroque to engage them in dialogue with contemporary artists. Rubens, Jordaens, Van Dyck, Zurbarán, Brouwer, Gijsbrechts, De Vos and Caravaggio encounter contemporary artists from home and abroad, including: Berlinde De Bruyckere, Fred Bervoets, Jan Fabre, Michaël Borremans, Nadia Naveau, Jack Whitten, Zhang Enli, On Kawara, Pierre Huyghe, Carla Arocha and Stephane Schraenen. The main attraction is certainly the presence of two Caravaggio’s and Edward Kienholz’ Five Car Stud.

For more information, see M HKA - Sanguine/Bloedrood

Experience Traps

The Middelheim Museum

1/6/2018 – 23/9/2018

Curators: Pieter Boons and Sara Weyns

In ‘Experience Traps’, the Middelheim Museum hosts a group of particularly fascinating artists who gather inspiration from the innovative ideas from the Baroque landscape. Each of the 16 artists or collectives, amongst which are William Forsythe, Bruce Nauman, Recetas Urbanas and Ulla von Brandenburg, introduced different supplements and interpretations: often the works can be interpreted as variations of the Baroque-landscape motifs or concepts that would make a trip to a Baroque garden an exceptional experience, such as labyrinths, fountains, trompe-l'oeils, imitation ruins, and so forth. But, above all, each one of them links the Baroque heritage with a critical reflection of their own era. This results in highly diverse architectural sculptures, installations and performances that appeal to all of the senses. The works, often created especially for this project, can be enjoyed throughout the museum park and at select locations in the city.

For more information, see Experience Traps

Baroque Burez


1/6/2018 – 21/4/2019

Curator: Marieke Van Bommel

The MAS presents new work by the Antwerp photographer Athos Burez. With 80 photos and installations that are being shown in the promenade, he provides an idiosyncratic and contemporary look at various genres from the style period: still lifes, portraits, landscapes and interiors. It shall be the first time that the work of Athos will be available to be admired in a solo exhibition in Antwerp.

For more information, see MAS - Baroque Burez

Paul Kooiker – Untitled (Nude)

FOMU | Photo Museum Antwerp

28/6/2018 – 7/10/2018

Curator: Joachim Naudts

For many years now, Kooiker has made images deriving from the nude in art. As such, he arrives at a unique, aberrant history of art. His frame of reference primarily is focused upon the 20th and 21st centuries, with artists such as Hans Bellmer or Hans-Peter Feldmann. For this project he is making a special, one-time excursion to the Baroque of the 17th and 18th centuries, the Baroque of Rubens and Rembrandt.

For more information, see Paul Kooiker – Untitled (Nude)


Baroque Book Design

A Tale of Friendship and Collaboration

Museum Plantin-Moretus

28/9/2018 – 6/1/2019

Curator: Dr Dirk Imhof, Dr Goran Proot and Dr Geoffrey Brusatto

During the Baroque festival, the Museum Plantin-Moretus places book designers and Peter Paul Rubens in particular in the spotlight. How did the book evolve in the Baroque? Why did a publisher such as Balthasar Moretus collaborate with prominent artists? And, which vision do contemporary innovators in the book business propagate? The exhibition in the Museum Plantin-Moretus, ‘Baroque Book Design, A Story about friendship and collaboration’ displays the love for the publisher's craft. How the artist, printer and designer in the past and the present motivates towards the creation of a top product.

For more information, see Museum Plantin Moretus - Baroque Book Design

Cokeryen – Photo Film Food. Tony Le Duc / Frans Snijders

Snijders&Rockox House

28/9/2018 – 13/1/2019

Curator: Tony Le Duc

The Baroque painter Frans Snijders (Antwerpen, 1579 – 1657) is famous for his hunting scenes, imposing market scenes and still lifes. Culinary photographer Tony Le Duc shares with Frans Snijders a keen eye for attractive compositions. He enchants with colour and raises basic foodstuffs to the level of art. For the exhibition, ‘Cokeryen – Photo Film Food’ he brings together works by Snijders and his contemporaries and juxtaposes this selection with his own work. The place is also special in the experience, the actual residence and studio of Frans Snijders. The exhibition itself inspires an excitingly creative and culinary cross-pollination. During the exhibition period, some fifteen of Antwerp chefs dish up contemporary interpretations of recipes from the cookbook of Antonius Magirus (1612).

For more information, see attachment Snijders&Rockox House - Cokeryen – Photo Film Food

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About Antwerp Baroque 2018. Rubens inspires

The cultural city festival “Antwerp Baroque 2018. Rubens inspires” pays tribute to Peter Paul Rubens and his baroque, cultural legacy. Rubens was one of the most influential artists ever and is still widely regarded as Antwerp’s most famous inhabitant. He is the personification of the Baroque and continues to be an important source of inspiration, for contemporary artists and for the atypical lifestyle of the city of Antwerp and its population. “Antwerp Baroque 2018” tells the story of the Baroque, then and now, establishing a dialogue between the historic Baroque and contemporary artist, using the city and the world as a backdrop. “Antwerp Baroque 2018. Rubens inspires” is a key event in the Flemish Masters programme, which is organised by VISITFLANDERS. Combining artistic individuality with genuine hospitality, the festival promises to be uniquely extraverted. From June 2018 until January 2019 in Antwerp.