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01 Jun 2016

'a due', Laura Viale and Stijn Cole at the Italian Cultural Institute, Brussels

Laura Viale - Stijn Cole, Halfway
Italian Cultural Institute, Brussels


Opening: Thursday 09.06.2016, 6 - 8:30 pm Exhibition: 09 - 30.06.2016 Monday - Friday, 9:30am - 1pm, 2 - 5 pm


+32 2 5332720

Italian Cultural Institute
Rue de Livourne, 38/b
1000 Brussels

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'a due'. Arte Contemporanea in Italia e Belgio. 1990-2015 ('in twos'. Contemporary Art in Italy and Belgium. 1990-2015) is a project aimed at creating a dialogue between a series of Italian and Belgian artists who have emerged since the 1990s up to the latest generations.
The idea came about when Laura Viale was invited to exhibit her works at the Italian Cultural Institute in Brussels. She extended the invitation to some of her Italian colleagues who had close ties with Belgium, asking them in turn to invite a Belgian artist for a double solo exhibition. The project has been curated together with the art historian, Maria Elena Minuto.

Between November 2015 and April 2016, 'in twos' hosted the exhibitions of Davide Bertocchi (Modena, 1969) and Joris Van de Moortel (Ghent, 1983); Enrico Gaido (Turin, 1971) and Freek Wambacq (Brussels, 1978); Margherita Moscardini (Donoratico, 1981) and Futurefarmers (Belgium-USA, collective founded in 1995).

The inaugural year of the project will close with Halfway, the exhibition of Laura Viale (Turin, 1967) and Stijn Cole (Ghent, 1978), which opens on 9 June. The exhibition comprises photographs, paintings, drawings and installations, specifically conceived in the area around Vittel in France. The landscape in this part of Lorraine, which is exactly halfway between Turin and Ghent (the artists' cities of origin), was chosen by the artists as a symbolic place for their productions, which make use of oil colours, graph paper, and photographic and digital prints.
The works on view in the exhibition, inspired by this original 'halfway' encounter and created from natural elements gathered locally, reflect on themes that are constantly present in the artistic search of the two artists, such as the relationship between nature and artifice, the external environment and the mental dimension, and concrete experience and abstraction.

The collaboration between Viale and Cole began in March, with the exhibition LumièreMatière at the Académie royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, which invited the two artists to exhibit in a dialogue with some of the Academy's alumni and Master students.

Laura Viale lives and works in Brussels. Her works have been widely exhibited, in places such as PAV – Centro d'Arte Contemporanea, Museo Nazionale del Cinema and Museo di Scienze Naturali in Turin; Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Villa Croce in Genoa; Museo Marino Marini in Florence; Fondazione Bottari Lattes in Monforte d'Alba; and Galleria Civica d'Arte Contemporanea and MART in Trento. She was also a guest artist at the Djerassi Foundation in California, the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida and the Fondation La Napoule in France.

Stijn Cole lives and works in Chimay. His works include paintings, installations and sculptures, using a variety of media, including video, paint and graphic work. He has exhibited in a number of institutions and galleries, such as the Museum of Fine Art and De Witte Zaal in Ghent; Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens in Deurle; Be Part Foundation in Waregem; Second Room in Brussels; Garage in Malines; Kunstverein Schwerte and Kunstverein Ahlen in Germany; Galerie Van De Weghe and Galerie Geukens & De Vil in Antwerp; and Galerie Kunst-zicht in Ghent.

Maria Elena Minuto (Rome, 1981), a PhD researcher at the University of Bergamo, is an art historian and independent writer. She lives and works in Brussels.

In partnership with Academie Royale des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles - Ecole Supérieure des Arts.

Special thanks to Chimay.