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The Vanhaerents Art Collection is a unique and comprehensive collection of contemporary art, assembled by Walter Vanhaerents and his children Els and Joost. It enjoys the individual approach to collecting of its founders, as well as their shared passion for new and provocative art.
The origins of the Vanhaerents Art Collection date back to the 1970s, when a young Walter Vanhaerents began amassing his first works of art. Gathering pieces that were considered extremely fierce and radical at the time, he laid the groundwork for a collection that nowadays ranges among the most prestigious worldwide.
The collection profoundly reflects the diversity and vitality of current art practices. Both established and emerging artists are represented in its holdings, with works in various media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, photography and video.
Artists whose work plays a key role in the collection: Bruce Nauman, James Lee Byars, Christopher Wool, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Paul McCarthy, Bill Viola, Cindy Sherman, Ugo Rondinone …
The collection is housed in Brussels, a city that especially in the last few decades has become synonymous with artistic experimentation. In the colourful Dansaert district, a lively neighbourhood downtown, the VanhaerentsArtCollection has found a favourable residence, where it enjoys the proximity of major public art institutions and galleries.
The Vanhaerents Art Collection occupies a three-floor industrial premises from 1926. The former sanitary warehouse, covering a total surface of 38,000 square feet, was repurposed into a lofty exhibition, storage and office space by the leading Belgian architecture firm Robbrecht and Daem.
On the occasion of its ten-year anniversary, the Vanhaerents Art Collection has decided to radically alter the ways in which it introduces its holdings to the public. Experimenting with innovative ways of linking the presentation and daily management of artworks, it has adopted the format of a viewing depot that naturally lets aesthetics and functionality intertwine.
Biennale Arte 2019, Venice
In 2019 the Vanhaerents Art Collection held its second major exhibition outside Belgium on the occasion of the 58th Venice Biennale.
Entitled “The Death of James Lee Byars”, this exhibition with works by James Lee Byars and Zad Moultaka drew more than 130.000 visitors.