Brussels puts Horta in the spotlight


Anyone interested in (re-)discovering the life and work of Victor Horta ought to be in Brussels in 2018. ‘Horta Inside Out’ will be organising a whole range of exhibitions, conferences, lectures and walking tours focusing on this architect throughout the year.

Victor Horta blessed Brussels with dozens of art nouveau buildings, and the city would like to draw more attention to this heritage. Exhibitions will be held in a number of these buildings, including the Belgian Comic Strip Centre (the former Waucquez Warehouse), the Horta Museum in Saint-Gilles, the Autrique House in Schaarbeek and the Cinquantenaire Museum, which recently opened a new exhibition hall showcasing the fully-restored shop interior of the Wolfers Frères jewellery.

A good starting point is The Cradle of Art Nouveau exhibition (from 15th January to 31st December 2018) at the CIVA Foundation museum in Ixelles. This provides a general introduction to Horta's work by presenting his most notable commissions in Brussels. This foundation also organises the Unbuilt Brussels exhibition every summer, which displays architectural and other urban projects that never came to fruition. This year, the Horta plans are central to the reconstruction of the area between the Centre for Fine Arts and the Central Station, along with the Congo Pavilion for the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900.

Other time-limited exhibitions will also be running, including at the Temple of Human Passions - Horta's first architectural work - and at the Centre for Fine Arts.

The Brussels Art Nouveau & Art Deco Festival 2018 will take place in March, themed around ‘the hidden treasures of and focus on Victor Horta'. The Artonov Festival, in October, will in turn shed light on Horta's connection to freemasonry.

A full overview of the activities can be found at​-inside-out.