Must-See Art Tips – Antwerp - ART FIX
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Must-See Art Tips - Antwerp

Our latest Art Fix recommendation is Kanaal, near Antwerp. This hidden gem is an art village created by Axel and Boris Vervoordt, two of Belgium’s most esteemed gallerists and collectors.

River view of Kanaal

Kanaal

  • Location: Stokerijstraat 19, 2110 Wijnegem  
  • Open: pre-book your visit 
  • Nearest Airport: Brussels Airport (35 min drive)

Kanaal is housed in a large red-brick warehouse and grain-storage area of a former brewery, built in 1857. Today it houses an incredible combination of art, architecture and design.

Anish Kapoor, At The Edge of the World, 2000

Before you go, it may be good to know some of Kanaal’s history. Rewind to 1998, when Vervoordt purchased the first plot on the site. In 2000, he installed Anish Kapoor’s ‘At the Edge of the World’ there, a vast red dome-like structure that serves as the site’s symbolic beating heart.

Per Kirkeby, Nordhorn, 1991

Many of the old malting factory structures have been kept intact, creating cavernous, contrasting spaces that frame the works. In the Escher gallery, where Per Kirkeby’s exhibition is currently on show, large concrete frames that used to house grain silos are still visible as you look up to the second storey.

Some highlights not to miss at Kanaal: the 19th century chapel, which is now home to James Turrell’s ‘Red Shift’ from 1995, and eight concrete silos which have been converted into circular apartments. Here, works by Marina Abramović and Otto Boll have found permanent residence.

Axel Vervoordt with his sons Boris and Dick

TIPS:

  • Visit the gallery on Saturday from 11am until 6pm. Start your tour at the reception, where you’ll be offered a map of Kanaal, and a visitation badge along with a binder of information about the artworks currently on view.
  • K Restaurant on the site of Kanaal is pure cuisine inspired by Japanese gastronomy with sushi and sashimi, but with a Mediterranean twist. Every Thursday you can attend the K Jazz nightswith live music from 8pm.
  • Looking for a restaurant in the centre of Antwerp? Go to Roji. Decorated in true Vervoordt style.
Marlene Dumas, Shèrkènt and Eden, 2020
  • For an other art fix, stop at Zeno X Gallery for a new solo exhibition by Marlene Dumas. For more than thirty years Marlene Dumas has used her paintings and drawings to touch upon existential subjects that often refer to art-historical motifs and topical political subjects. She has been inspired by images found in magazines and newspapers as well as by personal photographs which she has taken of her loved ones. Check website for opening hours.
Hotel August
  • While in the area, visit Hotel August, located next to the famous two Michelin star restaurant, The Jane. This charming modernist hotel opened last year and is housed in a former Augustinian convent.