Founded in 1979 by Mr and Mrs Mark and Marleen Deweer in Otegem, a small village in the south of West-Flanders, Deweer Gallery currently started the second big chapter of its existence.
Both sons of the gallery’s founders, Bart and Gerald Deweer, have indeed recently taken over the lead of the gallery with the intention to continue playing a dynamic role on the scene of the international contemporary arts and to promote a new generation of artists by means of strong gallery exhibitions and regular participations at the most important international art fairs.
The change of generation can be observed not only from the ambitious gallery program, but also from the renovation of the gallery buildings. Since the mid-80s Deweer Gallery (formerly called Deweer Art Gallery) is housed in an exceptionally vast building that once hosted a small industrial company. In the course of 2011-2012 the gallery spaces have been renovated consistently. As a result of the far going architectural operations the gallery’s public spaces (entrance lounge and three exhibition rooms) have been doubled into a total surface of approx. 1200 m².
The new and enlarged gallery opened in September 2012 with the group show Re-Opening that illustrated Bart and Gerald Deweer’s intentions with regard to the renewal of the gallery’s program.
All of this perfectly enables Deweer Gallery to confirm its primary policy options and to further develop them. Deweer Gallery aims to be an internationally active gallery with an equally international effervescence, for artists of different nationalities and of different disciplinary categories, of emerging, young artists, mid-career and established artists, thus representing a fine group of artists that show a critical mix of rational, emotional and poetical qualities.
In the course of its more than 30 year existence Deweer Gallery has accomplished a remarkable history.
At the beginning of the 80s Deweer Gallery was the first Belgian gallery to introduce the German New Wild Painting and the Italian Transavanguardia. The gallery presented solo shows with a.o. Georg Baselitz, A.R. Penck, Rainer Fetting, EnzoCucchi and MimmoPaladino. At the same time the gallery took on the promotion of contemporary Belgian artists. In 1983 the gallery organised its first individual exhibition with Panamarenko. It continues to represent the artist up until today. Jan Fabre was introduced in 1985. Over more than 25 years every important chapter in Fabre’s visual arts practice was illustrated in a solo show at Deweer Gallery.
In the second half of the 80s Deweer Gallery became the first non-German gallery of the German sculptor Stephan Balkenhol. Since the first one-man show in 1987 the artist made no less than 10 shows with Deweer.
In the 90s Deweer Gallery worked with a number of international artists who were critically acclaimed for their very strong and individual positions: Günter Brus (Austria), GüntherFörg (Germany), Tony Cragg (Great Britain), IlyaKabakov (Ukraine, from 1992 onwards!), ImiKnoebel (Germany), Gerhard Merz (Germany), AernoutMik (The Netherlands), Siegfried Anzinger (Austria), Thomas Ruff (Germany, as early as 1992!) and Mark Wallinger (Great Britain) just to name these few.
Each of them made extraordinary use of the gallery’s museum like exhibition rooms in several solo shows. All shows were accompanied by a monographic publication edited by the gallery.
The new millennium was marked by the introduction of Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen who’s on-going Cosmopolitan Chicken Project was exhibited several times. The first decade of the new millenium was also the start of a number of continued collaborations with new artists: Matthieu Laurette (France, > 2004), Sergey Bratkov (Ukraine, > 2006), Enrique Marty (Spain, > 2006), Benjamin Moravec (France, > 2006), Andy Wauman (Belgium, > 2006), Stefaan Dheedene (Belgium, > 2007), MichaëlAerts (Belgium, > 2008), Cristina Lucas (Spain, >2008), Boris Mikhailov (Ukraine, >2009), Tatjana Gerhard (Switzerland, > 2010), Matthew Lutz-Kinoy (United States, >2011) and Norbert Witzgall (Germany, >2011).
In between this remarkable list of solo shows Deweer Gallery on a regular basis presented thematic group shows that likewise are the milestones of Deweer Gallery’s rich exhibition history; to name a few: “Ouverture” (1985, at the occasion of the gallery’s move to its location at Tiegemstraat 6A), “Xth Anniversary Show”(1989), “A Painting Show”(1994, at the occasion of the inauguration of the current Room II), “ECLiPS” (2004, at the occasion of the gallery’s 25th anniversary and presented at the former electric power plant Transfo in Zwevegem) and “Art of the Loom – 32 Tapestries woven on the looms of Mark Deweer’s factory, Otegem, Belgium, 1985-2010” (2011).
Today Deweer Gallery unabatedly continues its historic impetus and resolutely chooses for continued renewal and innovation.
During exhibition periods the gallery is open on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday from 2 to 6pm (check http://www.deweergallery.be/en/306-opening-hours)
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