Over the past few weeks I have taken you on a design journey to Belgium, to be more precise to Antwerp. Today I am taking you to yet another fantastic address for art and design lovers: the Valerie Traan Gallery. This beautiful gallery is located in a picturesque alley and invites the art and design savvy folks with a intersting line saying ‘Objects & Subjects’. The modern space is toned down and leaves the stage to the exposed art objects. And it invites the visitor to roam, reflect, and even buy art pieces.
We were lucky enough to be welcomed by the gallery owner herself and we were guided through the current exhibition. During our visit there was an extensive exhibit of the work by Belgian artist Johan de Wit who interprets various forms into poetical constructions. And even though these look like made of old rusty metal, they are in fact made of paper!
Additionally we saw some cool furniture in cheerful colours from the Belgian design team Muller van Severen – upstairs there was a stark white room with colourful geometrical patterns and unexpected doors – the setting perfectly accentuated the exhibited furniture. And the small outdoors courtyard showcased wire furniture that seemed to be totally airy and light.
Another very interesting feature of the Valerie Traan Gallery is the adjacent living space with a kitchen, a welcoming dining/conference room and a spacious and cosy living room – packed with design and art objects from floor to ceiling. Cutlery by Japanese designer Koichi Futatsumata, lighting by Muller van Severen, stools and tables by Robbrecht en Daem Architecten, amazing glass and ceramic objects by Unfold made in 3D printing technique.
I was particularly fascinated by the very unusual and somewhat eerie work of Octave Vandeweghe, who uses crystals and creates art objects some of which resemble human jaws – so peculiar yet so amazing!
If you ever visit Antwerp, I strongly recommend a visit of the Valerie Traan Gallery – you will not be disappointed if you are interested in art and design.
While in Antwerp I was also lucky to get to know a local artist – Colette Cleeren. And I had the honor to not only meet her and talk about her art (and many other topics by the way), but to also be her guest and stay at her home over the weekend. It is a great way to immerse yourself into a city’s art scene when you live among its art representatives. Thanks again Colette for a wonderful weekend and a comfy bed!
Photography by Igor Josifovic, last two images via Colette Cleeren