Horta: The grammar of Art Nouveau

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An insight into Victor Horta’s world.

The grammar of Art Nouveau exhibition is a deeper dive into Horta’s work and in understanding his milieu. All architects need clients and many of Horta’s came from his links with ‘Les Amis Philanthropes’, a masonic lodge, if a reasonably progressive one, that included Brussels mayor Jules Anspach – yes, he of the boulevard – and Émile Vinck, who was a leading light of the Belgian Labour Party and – of course – Solvay. The group were Horta’s main backers, they gave him the orders to create the famous portrait houses (Autrique, Tassel, Lefébure, Solvay) and large public projects.  

The exhibition includes many leading authorities on Horta’s work, there are short video interviews with different international experts shedding light on his sources of inspiration, innovations in the use of structure, and even touches on the relationship between his work and the colonial enterprise of King Leopold II. Maps, plans, plaster models and unpublished photographic material present the man and give use a revealing insight into his world. If you live in Brussels you are surrounded by his work, visiting this exhibition will help you to understand the fabric of the city you live in.

Bozar, until 14 January.