Art goes offspace :: LAMART :: BORGER#7
Forget stuffy art galleries and formal viewings, how about an art exhibition in a cosy apartment? Antwerp’s hip, new gallery Lamart have chosen a newly renovated apartment as the “off space” for their upcoming exhibition Nine Drawings.
The exhibition, which is part of the contemporary art festival Borger#7 this weekend, will feature two young artists - Laura Ruymaekers and Tom Van Puyvelde.
Though both artists typically work with different mediums, for this exhibition they’ve used paper. Ruymarkers’ works look impulsive and spontaneous at first, but a closer look brings into focus minute details. “She is creating a new visual reality,” explains Tijs Lammar, the founder of Lamart. Van Puyvelde, whose works are called Residu, created them with leftover oil paints. “He was archiving colour.”
Both artists visited the space – the apartment—chosen for the exhibition and worked with it. The idea of using non-traditional exhibition space is key to the vision of the art house. “Young artists need space to showcase their work, especially here in Antwerp where we have a lot of talent,” said Lammar. Lammar along with Laura Ruymaekers and Mathias Swings started Lamart in 2014. They hosted their first exhibition in an old neo classical building and another one in a publishing house. “The idea is to have something different from a traditional gallery show. Our opening night will have a DJ, musicians and booze. Something like a house party,” he added.
A twist in the tale
It’s not just the space that is treated differently. Their approach to an exhibition is atypical too. The artists are not detached participants. “They curate the show in a sense. They come and visit the space upfront, they’re involved in the publicity and planning as well,” says Lammar.
Another point of departure from tradition is that the organisers are never sure how long an off-space will stay with them. “If it’s an apartment it could rented out any time or there’s a chance that a space can be sold.”
Bringing that sense of surprise to the audience, they’ve organised something he called an “architectural intervention”. “That’s all I’m going to say about it for now,” he added.
If you’re an art dealer looking for interesting talent, an art lover or just a curious visitor, drop in for opening night on September 25 at 18h or the exhibition that is on over the weekend. Everyone is invited!
Exhibition Nine Drawings:
Text by Damini Purkayastha
Pics by LAMART