HASSELT.- Sue Schiepers
(1973) spent six years creating exhibitions for Kunstforum Würth in Turnhout. She organised both solo shows for big names such as Christo & Jean-Claude, François Morellet and Stephan Balkenhol, and exhibitions with themes such as Abstract Graphic Art, Contemporary Glass, Contemporary Still Life, etc. Her fascination for art glass came about accidentally, while setting up the glass exhibition Breekbaar (breakable) for Kunstforum Würth Turnhout. In 2018, GlazenHuis in Lommel asked her to create an exhibition. Schiepers accepted the challenge to set up a show in very little time. This turned out so well that she soon received proposals for exhibitions in Tel Aviv (late 2019) and the United States (early 2020).
Noting that despite the existence of many good glass artists both here and abroad, there was no Belgian gallery specialising in glass - unlike in France, the Netherlands or Germany - she decided to open a gallery of her own in 2017. Two years later, it is with great satisfaction that she reflects on this adventure, which developed faster than shed ever dreamt.
The location of her gallery in Hasselt is no accident: The majority of my customers come from outside Hasselt. Most of them are from abroad, even. Hasselt was therefore a strategic choice due to its location in the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion. The Netherlands, Germany and France do have more of a history involving glass than Belgium. I am pleasantly surprised occasionally, though. There are some true glass collectors in our country.
The choice to have her gallery concentrate on contemporary art glass wasnt coincidental either. Her experience as an expert in the art market, combined with a genuine passion, led her to opt for this domain, still relatively unknown and under-represented in Belgium. This is something she strives to change, each and every day.
Sue Schiepers has three exhibitions planned for 2019: Baldwin & Guggisberg (USA & CH) from 2 February to 2 April; Kait Rhoads (USA) from 11 May to 3 August; and from 28 September to 21 December, Christine Vanoppen & Wouter Bolangier (both BE).
2 February - 2 April: Baldwin & Guggisberg (USA & CH)
Philip Baldwin, who was born in New York, and the Swiss Monica Guggisberg have worked together since 1980, studying together in Sweden. As students they assisted Wilke Adolfsson and Ann Wolff before leaving Sweden in 1982 to set up their own studio in Switzerland. They continued to work as glass artists in Switzerland for another twenty years before moving to Paris in 2001 and in 2015 to Wales, where they currently live and work. After their successful Canterbury Cathedral exhibition, this duo is coming to Belgium.
11 May - 3 August: Kait Rhoads (USA)
Kait Rhoads is an American sculptor. She lives and works in Seattle. She creates innovative structures using traditional glass cane and murrine (Italian glass technique). Rhoadss youth was spent between rural Virginia and a sailboat in the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Growing up on the water was a major influence, and is a great source of inspiration. Her Sea Stones series references these watery origins: simple shapes with subtle shifts in colour and quick gleams of light reminiscent of the sun on the waves. To create these amorphous shapes, she weaves together hollow glass cane with copper wire. The resulting small sculptures beg to be touched, their scale, surface and playfulness eliciting a variety of responses from curious viewers. This is Rhoadss first European exhibition of her work.
28 September - 21 December: Christine Vanoppen & Wouter Bolangier (both BE)
The years final show will be dedicated to two Belgian artists. To Sue Schiepers, its important to include local talent as well.
Christine Vanoppens artistic works span a diversity of applications, permanently displacing the limits of the possible. She experiments with various techniques and materials, drawing inspiration from both architecture and natural structures. Christine often employs dichotomies: open/closed; holding close and offering up; hidden or revealed. Her work is always characterised by its high technical quality and a distinctly individual aesthetic beauty. Intensive research and experimentation mean that her visual imagery is constantly evolving. Vanoppen is a designer, a creator to the bone, and her imagination appears infinite.
Wouter Bolangier started working with glass at sixteen years of age. Today, he works primarily in glass, stainless steel and rubber. His work takes us into a world of suspended animation, where objects come back to life in new and magical ways full of unending sparkles, reflections and hues. At the same time, you are very aware of their fragility, with every seemingly stable instance being an illusion.