An exhibition of Arié Mandelbaum at the Jewish Museum of Belgium
16 September 2022 – 05 March 2023
The Arié Mandelbaum exhibition is an original production from the Jewish Museum of Belgium. This is the first time that the work of the painter Arié Mandelbaum (°1939, Brussels) has been the subject of a retrospective. Paintings old and new are being brought together as never before in a rich dialogue featuring some forty pieces from the period of 1957 to 2016.
The son of Polish Jewish immigrants, Arié Mandelbaum began painting at the age of sixteen. He had his first solo exhibition in 1960 and five years later won the Belgian Vocation Foundation prize. From the 1980s onwards, the exaggerated expressionism of his early work was followed by a more restrained form of expression, giving rise to works of disturbing fragility that he continues to produce to this day.
Following the Stéphane Mandelbaum exhibition that was organised in partnership with the Centre Pompidou (Paris) in 2019, the Jewish Museum of Belgium is now presenting an exhibition devoted to his father, Arié Mandelbaum. The present exhibition looks back at the links between these two artists, with the son following his father’s teaching for a time, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Uccle. Above all, it shows the silent dialogue that developed between these two major artists – a dialogue that continued well beyond the tragic death of Stéphane Mandelbaum (1961–1987).
The works presented come from the collections of the Jewish Museum of Belgium, but also from institutions such as the Museum of Ixelles, the Museum of the National Bank of Belgium, and the collections of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. A number of private collections have also been mobilised, and the exhibition includes works from the Belfius Art Collection and various individual collectors.
The exhibition is divided into different thematic chapters. First of all, we discover the way in which the painter deals with the question of intimacy and the family, before politics – in the form of the protests of 1968 and the Vietnam War – collide with these inner questions. The tour continues with an exploration of the self-portrait and the body, two themes that show how Arie Mandelbaum’s work is transformed into a reflection on the trace, absence, and erasure. Political violence then makes a significant return in his work, as he addresses the torture at Abu Ghraib and the assassination of Lumumba. Over the last two decades, his work has been increasingly marked by the memory of the Shoah – as if by way of a return to what was repressed in this child during the trauma of the Second World War.
Exhibition at the Jewish Museum of Belgium
16 September 2022 - 05 March 2023
PRESS CONFERENCE: 15 September 2022, 11am
Jewish Museum of Belgium
Rue des Minimes 21
Selection of images