2019 Venice Biennale

Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys Will Rep Belgium at 2019 Venice Biennale

Installation view of “Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys: Objects as Friends” at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in New York earlier this year.

COURTESY GAVIN BROWN’S ENTERPRISE

The wily Belgian artists Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys have been selected to represent their home country at the 2019 Venice Biennale, which will open next May.

The Brussels Times reports that the duo will present a project called “Mondo Cane” that will present “not without humor, the human figure within a national pavilion reminiscent of Europe.” Sounds promising!

Anne-Claire Schmitz, the founding director of the Brussels nonprofit space La Loge, will be the project’s curator. “I am convinced that this trio has all the qualities to grace our national pavilion with a project that, I hope, will give people the desire to discover the excellence of creation in the French Community and more broadly, in Belgium,” Alda Greoli, the minister of culture for the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, said in a statement quoted by the Times.

De Gruyter, who was born in Geel, Belgium, and Thys, who was born in Wilrijk, Belgium, in 1966, now live in Brussels and are known for works in a variety of media that are never short on wry, antic humor. They have been on a tear over the past few years, presenting one-person shows throughout the United States and Europe. Their high-profile include appearing in the main exhibition at the 2013 Venice Biennale and the 2017 Triennale di Milano.

Once the Venice show ends its run in November of 2019, it will be presented at at least two yet-to-be-named venues in Belgium, one in a French-speaking area, the other in a Flemish-speaking locale.

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