BGW Spotlight: Galerie Templon
Get to know the Gallerists behind Brussels Gallery Weekend! Here, Mathieu Templon of Galerie Templon shares his thoughts on the Belgian design scene and the process behind Franz Ackermann’s new show ‘Our Houses’
TLmag reached out to four gallerists whose galleries are participating in Brussels Gallery Weekend to share their thoughts on the Belgian contemporary art and design scene, their new exhibitions and curatorial processes. The first interview in this series is none other than Mathieu Templon of the Brussels and Paris based Galerie Templon:
TLmag: How would you describe the contemporary Brussels (or Belgian) art and design scene, and what role do you think your gallery has within it?
Mathieu Templon (MT): Brussels has a vibrant art community, with a lot of great artists and designers, and a strong gallery presence. We also have the chance to have an important community of collectors and supporters of the art all over Belgium. And since Brussels does not have many art institutions, galleries make a lot of the cultural offer of the city. We are, therefore, delighted to have a space here. Galerie Templon has been existing for more than 50 years now in Paris and has been open in Brussels for 6 years now. The goal of the Brussels gallery is to continue defending the Paris program but also to introduce some novelty which is easier in Belgium, as the public and the collectors are – more than anywhere else – interested in discovery.
TLmag: What are the valuable aspects of taking part in art fairs and events such as Brussels Gallery Weekend?
MT: It is now essential for Galleries to participate in Art Fairs. To be known outside of their country but also to meet with collectors, curators, critics and the public in their hometown. The Brussels Art Fair is undoubtedly one of the most critical times of the year for the local art market. The Brussels Gallery Weekend is also essential for Brussels’ visibility. It’s the moment of the year where all galleries put on their best show and create a real event for all the Brussels, Belgian, and international public. We are looking forward to reconnecting with our local collectors but also to meet with new people, collector, critics and representants from institution from all over the world.
TLmag: The exhibition on view is Franz Ackermann’s first exhibition in Brussels, which further illustrates the city that it’s in. Could you tell us a bit more about your relationship with Franz and how this exhibition came about?
MT: This will be Franz Ackermann’s second exhibition with the gallery, after his Paris show two years ago. Franz is an amazing artist to work with. He is very independent, but we keep in constant communication and visit him a couple of times a year in Berlin to exchange thoughts and ideas. For this Brussels show we gave him a “carte blanche”, and since his work talks about travel utopia and architecture, it seemed natural for him to do a show about the city of Brussels.
TLmag: Could you tell us a bit more about the curatorial process? Were there any surprises or challenges along the way?
MT: Franz’s work is about travel and the way he sees architecture in the urban space. He then creates a mental map where you can discover his mix of sensations and memories from the global cities. In our exhibition at the gallery, he will inspire himself from the Brussels energy to create combination of mural paintings, but also oils on canvas, a sculpture and a series of small-format works on the city of Brussels. The show ‘Our Houses’ talks about the intimacy of the home in our lonely urban realities. We are as eager as you to discover the show since even if we know the paintings already, we don’t have a clue about how Franz is going to transform the space with his installation and mural paintings.
TLmag: What would you say is your goal with this exhibition, and how does it link to other exhibitions and practices that your gallery has set up in the past?
MT: The idea behind this exhibition is to give Franz a space to express himself and for the public to discover of this internationally acclaimed artist. We are also really excited to start this new season with a show where the whole gallery is transformed with installations and mural paintings. It is in direct continuity with ‘From the Paper to the Wall’ our last exhibition, for which we called five artists from our roster (Omar Ba, Abdelkader Benchamma, Norbert Bisky, Oda Jaune and Chiharu Shiota) to come in and create murals on the gallery wall that would echo their drawings. And as for many exhibitions before, it is really important for us to invite artists, not only to show their work but to really invest the space to make it special and create a unique experience for the visitors.
Thank you, Mathieu!
“Our Houses” by Franz Ackermann will be on view at Galerie Templon until October 19, 2019.
Cover Image: Die Sicht der Dinge, Franz Ackermann, 2016, Oil on canvas, 210 x 300 cm, 82 5/8 x 118 1/8 inch.