The three museums of visual arts on the banks of the Lys have come together every two years since 2008 to simultaneously present paintings from Belgium and abroad. This biennial celebration of painting is always rooted in the context and collection of these three museums.
The Biennial of Painting was established in 2008 as a partnership between Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens and the Roger Raveel Museum, based on an idea by Roland Jooris, the first director of RRM. Since 2014, these two museums have been joined by the Museum of Deinze and the Lys Region (mudel). The first editions were overseen by Joost Declercq and Tanguy Eeckhout (MDD), Piet Coessens (Roger Raveel Museum) and Wim Lammertijn (mudel).
The ambition was to contextualise the recent art-historical past, to view it through a contemporary lens and to approach the painting of the past hundred years from specific angles. In this biennial celebration of the art of painting, these museums in the Lys region come together to share their collections and their history with an ever-growing audience, united by their endless fascination for gesture, representation and the materiality of paint.
The biennial is not intended as a showcase of the ‘latest and greatest’, but rather as a means to engage the visitor in a subjective investigation of painting’s long history. Along this organically developed route, modern art from the museum’s own collections meets contemporary art, thus entering into dialogue. The special backdrop of the Lys region plays a key role as a source of inspiration for generations of artists.
The appeal of the surrounding landscape to artists is a common thread that wends its way through the history of the Lys region. Even today, the region is a constant source of inspiration to artistic talents. What’s more, the touristic potential of the Lys region – overnight stays, walking, cycling, boat trips and more – is coming to be more and more appreciated.
For this eighth edition, each museum will explore the history of painting in its own unique way. This year the focus is on the dialogue and confrontation between different generations, within both Belgian art history and current global affairs. The museums have invited guest curators to cast light on specific themes and characteristics of painting as a medium.
They will also draw links between these themes and contemporary topics of discussion, creating a kaleidoscopic view of painting from the past century to the present day, touching on themes such as genealogy, authorship and shared histories.
Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens is inviting artist Oscar Murillo and curator Gabi Ngcobo; mudel is working with philosopher and art critic Willem Elias and the organisation platvvorm; Roger Raveel Museum is calling on artist Vaast Colson to shape the selection of artists and artworks as well as the presentation of the works.