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DIVA proudly presents her first special exhibition. 'Room of Wonder I: Axel Vervoordt’ is the first in a series of special exhibitions in which a number of guest curators present their interpretation of a Wunderkammer, or cabinet of curiosities and rarities.

Axel Vervoordt is an internationally renowned antiquarian and interior designer. He is something of an authority on silver and a past master when it comes to putting together inspired, aesthetic and wondrous combinations. To create his ‘Room of Wonder’, he drew on DIVA’s collection and added loans, including pieces from his own collection. The resulting exhibition, which consists of naturalia, jewellery and exotica, along with historical and contemporary works of art, arouses curiosity and amazement.

Axel Vervoordt: collector and wonder-worker

DIVA invited Axel Vervoordt to create a very personal Room of Wonder. Since the early 1980s Axel Vervoordt has been putting objets d’art together in novel ways at the Biënnale des Antiquaires in Paris. In 2007 he also started curating exhibitions at Palazzo Fortuny as part of the Venice Biennale. By that time, silver was already one of his many interests and areas of expertise. In that period he handled the sale of the Antwerp owl cup which, thanks to the King Baudouin Foundation, is now one of the highlights of the DIVA collection. He also managed the transaction of the gilded tazza with wave pattern which decorates the cover of the exhibition catalogue.

 

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An extra dimension

The emotion Axel Vervoordt invariably arouses, gives collecting and exhibiting an extra dimension. He transforms a room full of art into a Room of Wonder. That is also how medieval and early-modern thinkers saw amazement: as a cognitive passion, which was about the search for knowledge and understanding entwined with heady emotion. So Axel Vervoordt was DIVA’s ideal guest curator to usher in the series. His Room of Wonder reflects on marvellous, rare, precious, exotic and monstrous collectibles from various civilizations down the ages.

With loans from: Victoria & Albert Museum (London), Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (Brussels) and the MAS Collections (Antwerp)

With works of art including: Anish Kapoor, Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, Jan Fabre, Wim Delvoye, Jan II Brueghel, Lucas Cranach, El Anatsui, Jef Verheyen, Lucio Fontana, Marina Abramovic, David Huycke, Paul Van Hoeydonck, Octave Landuyt, Niki de Saint Phalle and others.

L: Picasso, Collection RIRA, photograph Jan Liégois - M: El Anatsui, Axel Vervoordt Gallery, photograph Jan Liégeois - R: Gedraaide beker, Axel & May Vervoordt Foundation, photograph Laziz Hamani
 

Read all about DIVA's Rooms of Wonder


Practical information

  • The exhibition runs from October 19th 2018 to April 28th 2019 and is open every day (except Wednesdays) from 10.00 to 18.00.
  • Tickets cost € 10. A Combi-ticket - to include Room of Wonder I: Axel Vervoordt and DIVA, a Brilliant Story - costs €16.

With thanks to the City of Antwerp, Visit Flanders, De Standaard, AWDC, SDE and Umicore

Campaign image © DIVA / photograph Dominique Provost
Banner image Random Triangle Mirror, Courtesy The Artist © Anish Kapoor 2018

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Location

DIVA, Suikerrui 17-19

Antwerpen - BE - 2000

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