United Nation of Belgian artists for UNICEF

08.09.2014 - Dries Tack

How to combine the subversive pictorial language of Michaël Borremans to the contemplative and reflective approach of Franck Christen? Or Van Eetvelde Sautour’s subtle blend of sensation and imagination to the exquisite disturbing approach of Berlinde De Bruyckere? UNICEF asked Catherine Legallais tobring together 45 Belgian artists -as well as international names- who are livingandworking in Belgium to promote a good cause. The event will be a charity auction where the debates of the contemporary Belgian art scene gather emerging voices, as well as truly iconic artists.

Charles-Henry Sommelette Could you tell Belgian Boutique more about this auction? UNICEF offers art lovers and collectors the chance to bid for a contemporary artwork and help children at the same time. To me, this is the perfect pairing. Many people don’t realize that UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations and the funds raised from this auction will go towards financing two key projects, one in India, for access to education for girls, the other in the Democratic Republic of Congo, for the survival and development of children from birth to twelve months. This event will combine a philanthropic event to a major cultural event highlighting the dynamism of the contemporary art scene in Belgium. I'm excited about it.

Franck Christen How did you make your selection? I was in charge of finding and proposing names to the selection committee composed by internationally renowned artists represented by galleries. The selection had to be various enough to please potential buyers attracted by the auction. Artists are constantly approached by many charities and thanks to some leading names we convinced a range of artists who reflected our strict standards. The selection committee was composed of three art world personalities who are recognized for their broad artistic horizons: Albert Baronian, Director of the Gallery A. Baronian, Cedric Liénart of Jeude, art collector and Wilfrid Vacher, Director of the Contemporary Art department and CEO at Cornette de Saint Cyr.

Jan Fabre

Johan Gelper Which artist was the most dedicated? All artists and galleries who support them were very generous and everything went very smoothly indeed. Some of them were keen to create an artwork especially for this event, which was a nice touch. For instance, Berlinde De Bruyckere came up with a powerful artwork, hovering between eroticism and nightmare visions, which revolve around the key notions of vulnerability, transience and loneliness. Michaël Borremans donated an artwork ”coloured by hand for a good cause”, as labeled by the hand of the artist; and the group Van Eetvelde Sautour delivered an organic and dreamy mounting. All these pieces are utterly original and inspiring.

Berlinde De Bruyckere

Michael Borremans How does one acquire an artwork? The sale will take place at the auction house Cornette de Saint Cyr, who kindly decided to support the event, and will not apply any commission. The catalog of the lots is posted on their website. After a three day exhibition to the public, the auction will be held on Sunday, 14th September. You can bid at the auction venue, by telephone or online thanks to Drouot Live.

Walter Swennen

Xavier Mary www.unicef.be/fr/unicef-contemporary-art-belgium Helena Heukeschoven for Belgian Boutique 2014


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