Thomas de Wouters gives a new cultural star to the Etoile “star” roundabout

In Brussels, in the very chic and international commune of Ixelles at 26 boulevard Général Jacques, a new foundation is being set up at the Rond-Point de l’Etoile: blan, born of the desire of Thomas de Wouters, its founder, to bring a fresh look to contemporary art.

Beauty lies in the fragile balance of our imperfections and doubts. At the turning point of an existence and its paradoxes, in search of meaning, this life project imposed itself on me, born of my sensitivity to the human condition, of the humanist and artistic vision that inhabits me” explains its founder.

Supporting art and culture, developing a critical spirit, awakening to beauty and raising awareness of human issues is the project of this new private foundation. “I wanted this place, neither a gallery nor a museum, but a place to meet and create. A place where words are expressed, a place of effervescence, of coming and going where artists come and go. A place where people meet, eat, drink… life in all its facets,” explains Thomas.

A blan foundation, without the C, to create and give meaning

The acronym of the blan foundation, in reference to the blank page and to this new look at art. blan, without the “C” because it is to leave an opening on the world. blan finally, like the 4 initials of the first names of Thomas’ children. It is in a superb mansion that the globetrotting photographer has imagined a place capable of to host this large-scale project.

Four floors dedicated to artistic creation, from the exhibition rooms to the workshops and his artists’ residence. All of this is topped by a private area in the form of a cube suspended between the two adjoining buildings. A call to daring, and a call to look up and see with different eyes.

What I want to do is to offer the enchantment that the notion of beauty provides, because beauty is an absolute

By bringing it to life, Thomas de Wouters wishes to share what moves him in art which is, in his very personal vision, intimately linked to beauty and meaning. Starting with his relationship to aesthetics, he wants to share his project: “What I want to do is to offer the enchantment that the notion of beauty provides, because beauty is an absolute. To aesthetics I add the search for meaning. Through its future choices, the Blan Foundation will seek to awaken a critical spirit. It is not a question of providing answers or certainties but of opening up to questioning”.

A rich and wildly contemporary abundance. Exhibitions, concerts, artist residencies, talks, workshops, master classes, a crazy floating bazaar where artists come to draw inspiration from this energy and from others. A place where we each come to explore our relationship to the world.

Carte blanche to Stephan Balleux

To mark the birth of blan, Thomas de Wouters has given Stephan Balleux carte blanche. The internationally renowned multidisciplinary artist will present Artificialia until 1 July 2023. Stephan Balleux is taking over the entire foundation, from the basement alcoves to the floors of the mansion.

The suspended garden, located between the hotel and the cube that overlooks it, will host a very large-scale work by the artist, visible from the Boulevard Général Jacques.

Stephan has created a phantasmagorical universe here, where older works rub shoulders withthe artist’s new creations. The latter are in the majority: found sculptures reworked by the artist, oil and watercolour paintings on copper or wood, overpainted photographs, engraved marble slabs and small format works in display cases that are either unknown to the public. Stephan Balleux thus presents a dynamic and fluid body of work imagined as a cabinet of curiosities, to which the title of the exhibition Artificialia refers.

29.03 > 01.07.2023
Wednesday to Saturday, 2pm to 7pm
Free access
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