During the past few months, we have seen a lot of our endeavors fall through. Being all in the same boat, Galerie Jos Depypere as well as many others have been plagued by the “blessings” of the year 2020.
Future projects began to fell apart starting with the cancellation of the annual art fair of Art Up! Lille 2020 on March 3rd 2020. As the pandemic was slowly spreading, one of the most well-known contemporary art fairs of France with over 40 000 annual visitors was forced to postpone its 2020 edition to 2021.
“You’ve got to work with what you’ve got”, the saying goes. Therefore, we decided to bring our Art Up! Lille booth to our gallery in Kuurne for the weekend. As a result of our tenacity and determination but certainly thanks to our enthusiastic team of volunteers and loyal clientele, our last-minute initiative turned out to be a huge success.
Increasingly faced with the unprecedented global development of the virus and the national lockdown enacted by the Belgian federal authorities, Galerie Jos Depypere closed on March 18th. Progressively, it became clear that more and more events and art fairs would be annulled in the near future. Soon Eurantica Fine Art Fair 2020 would cancel its 2020 edition, in which we were planning to participate together with our artist and art photographer Bart Ramakers.
Other artists were likewise hindered in their future plans. Glass artist Giampaolo Amoruso, for example, who was looking forward to his exhibition ‘Umanita Poetica’ in the Glass Museum of Charleroi (BE) was faced with the postponement of his expo to September 19, 2020.
We decided to make the best out of the quarantine and launched a series of interviews with our artists such as Dominique Samyn, Fabrice Gallez and Gilles Van Schuylenbergh on how they experienced this period of time. They explained how the confinement allowed them to broaden their vision of art and to reflect on their own work. By this end, art turned out not only to be a great remedy for daily stress but also a way to enjoy the essence of life.
Galerie Jos Depypere finally reopened its doors in May 2020. Still hampered by the measures taken by our Belgian Government as to keep the virus under control, a visit by our customers at the gallery was not feeling the same as before. Eager for more, we could not sit still and wanted to find a way to keep our art collectors excited.
Soon, we were planning an exhibition of Kamagurka and Herr Seele in the newly renovated historic building ‘de Patria’ in Kortrijk in collaboration with Real Estate Agency Engel & Völkers. A wide range of new works dedicated to the Covid-19 crisis were exhibited as well as some iconic Cowboy Henk paintings.
Nonetheless, we were eager for more. Our mission was to offer our customers a fresh and unique experience. The successful Belgian ‘Staycation’ campaign made us wonder about opening a second gallery at the Belgian coast. Known for its vibrant art scene and for hosting more than 150 art galleries, Knokke appeared to be the ideal location for a pop-up gallery during the summer months.
After finding an appropriate seafront exhibition space, the pop-up opened its doors on July 1st 2020. By regularly changing the exhibition display, various of our artists were put in the spotlights such as Bart Ramakers, Bernard Pras, Giampaolo Amoruso, Laurent Dierckx, Frédéric Fontenoy and C.Leg.
For the last two weeks of September we want to switch things up a little bit. Although our focus has been on modern and contemporary art for most of our time at Knokke, we want to show another side of Galerie Jos Depypere. As history keeps repeating itself, the old can be as new as the modern.
Therefore, from Friday 18 until Sunday 27 of September our pop-up gallery in Knokke will be dedicated to ancient art and sculptures of José Vermeersch only. We will present to you works of Evariste Carpentier, Constant Permeke, César de Cock, Floris Jespers, Louis Robbe and so much more.