Culture: the artists you ought to see in Brussels this spring

07 February 2023

Brussels is a true creative lab. Its artistic scene, which is as audacious as it is innovative, gives rise to an incomparable amount of talent. From cartoonists to designers, architects, contemporary artists and musicians, here’s a selection of artists who are fearless and heart-warming! Join the Brussels family and keep in touch with our local creatives!

Woman Before Fashion: Diane von Fürstenberg at the Fashion and Lace Museum

A magician with the stocking stitch, the creator of the iconic wrap dress and a genius dressmaker, Diane von Fürstenberg embodies pure elegance. She’s as comfortable in the company of the European jet set as she is with pop art artists (Andy Warhol painted her portrait several times), and she’s being honoured at the Fashion and Lace Museum this spring. Among the creations on display, visitors can swoon over the vintage contours, taken directly from the fashion house's archives.

Diane von Fürstenberg, Woman Before Fashion - Where? At the Fashion and Lace Museum. When? From 21 April to 7 January 2024

  • Did you know? In addition to being one of the most powerful women in the world according to Forbes, Diane von Fürstenberg was also born in Brussels, where she lived until the age of 13 and of which she has been an honorary citizen since 2018!  

Michel François, a retrospective

Brussels-based artist Michel François thinks in three dimensions! Starting from sculpture, he displays accessible, playful works where upcycling, reuse and the interplay of materials have pride of place. With blown glass balloons, sculptures like doodles, woven metal and rolled paper works, François invites us to explore a universe of great formal variety. This exhibition takes a comprehensive yet playful look at 40 years of artistic practice.

Michel François - Where? At Bozar. When? From 16 March to 21 July 

  • Did you know? In addition to living in Brussels, Michel François represented Belgium at the 48th Venice Biennale with Ann Veronica Janssens. 

Le Chat comes out of its shell in Brussels!

Along with Garfield, Sylvester and the Aristocats, Le Chat is one of the most famous hairballs in pop culture! After touring Europe, from Geneva to Monaco via the Champs Elysées, he returns to his hometown, and to the Royal Park if you please! Cartoonist Philippe Geluck reveals the quintessence of his world in 20 funny and poetic monumental sculptures. We’ll see the puss in all sorts of funny situations: playing the recorder, in the company of an opera rat or as a feline weightlifter!

Le Chat déambule - Where? At the Royal Park. When? From 10 March to 30 June

  • Did you know? It was in Brussels, in March 1983, that Le Chat was born. He first appeared in the pages of the newspaper Le Soir and soon became its mascot.

Victor Horta, Maestro of Art Nouveau

In 2023, Brussels is celebrating Art Nouveau and the Horta Museum is playing its part with a highly original exhibition! Who is Victor Horta outside Art Nouveau, the style that is attributed to him? Through a series of drawings, models and objects, "Victor Horta versus Art Nouveau" approaches the master's work beyond preconceived ideas. This includes Art Deco, Ancient Egypt and his admiration for the modern Gothic style of Viollet-le-Duc. Off the beaten track, the Horta Museum takes a fresh look at one of the first European "starchitects".

Victor Horta versus Art Nouveau - Where? At the Horta Museum. When? From 15 March to 7 January 2024


  • Did you know? There are no fewer than four Horta houses in Brussels listed as World Heritage sites by UNESCO! An indication of the massive impact the architect had on the capital!

Mehdi-Georges Lahlou, multiple identities

With totemic works, colourful “banana tree busts” and immersive installations, Mehdi-Georges Lahlou's work tackles notions of gender and questions both our identities and our representations. At CENTRALE, the French-Moroccan artist offers a multifaceted work while continuing to explore the representation of violence and its consequences. In parallel, the work of Berlin-based Candice Breitz, invited for the occasion, offers a striking counterpoint.

extra - Where? At CENTRALE for contemporary art. When? From 20 April to 17 September 

  • Did you know? Mehdi-Georges Lahlou was born in France but moved to Brussels in 2007. He’s one of many international artists who choose to set up their studio in the capital and be part of in its bubbling creativity.

Judith Vanistendael, paper poetry

Judith Vanistendael creates worlds of bittersweet poetry with watercolour or pencil on paper. Whether these worlds evoke the trials of life, the relationship with others or the search for oneself, her graphic novels contain a delicate commitment. The Belgian Comic Strip Center offers a retrospective of her career with a look back at six of her albums, including Salto and Les deux vies de Pénélope (The Two Lives of Penelope). We discover an author who’s a master in the art of surprise and emotion.

Judith Vanistendael - Where? At The Belgian Comic Strip Center. When? From 24 March to 12 November

  • Did you know? After her studies, which brought her to Brussels, Judith Vanistendael became an international success. Her work has been awarded the Bulles d'Humanité prize (best citizen and committed comic strip of the year).   

Privat-Livemont, Art Nouveau poster artist

Do you know the man who’s sometimes called the Mucha of Brussels? Privat-Livemont was the undisputed star of Brussels poster art at the end of the 19th century. His drawings of women with flowing hair, surrounded by highly Art Nouveau decorative motifs promoted events, chocolates and even absinthe! The Autrique House displays the full range of Privat-Livemont's talents by presenting posters, as well as sgraffiti, stained glass, ceramics and even prints!

Privat-Livemont, FLEURS à L'AFFICHE! - Where? At the Autrique House. When? 9 March to 14 February 2024

  • Did you know? The success of the Schaerbeek artist extended far beyond the Belgian borders
    during the Belle Epoque! He even worked for a short time with the Comédie-Française, designing theatre sets. 

A Belgian baritone for Henry VIII

After playing the title role in Hamlet, Bluebeard and then Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Lionel Lhote will play the Tudor King Henry VIII this spring. Performed at La Monnaie, this late 19th century French opera is a true historical saga. Camille Saint-Saëns recounted the tumultuous divorce of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. It’s a lyrical opera that’s still little known, with particularly meticulous orchestral writing, further enhanced by Olivier Py's staging.

Henri VIII, Camille Saint-Saëns - Where? At La Monnaie. When? 11 to 27 May 2023


  • Did you know? After the Royal Conservatory of Mons, Lionel Lhote entered the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, before travelling throughout Europe. 

Concerts, exhibitions, architecture: spring's must-see events

Whether you're an art-lover in search of the latest exhibitions, an architecture buff thirsty for new places to discover or looking for the concert that will bring your spring to life, take a look at the trends that will get you out of the house this season!