Established in 2011 by Boris Vervoordt, Axel Vervoordt Gallery has developed strong bonds to a range of established and mid-career artists and prominent artist estates, with a vision towards connecting the past and present, East and West, and exploring the concepts of the void, space and time.Read More
Boris’ father Axel Vervoordt—a designer, collector, curator, and entrepreneur of international renown—began the Axel Verdvoordt company at the age of 21, operating out of the Vlaeykensgang from a collection of 15th- and 16th-century buildings in Antwerp, 11 of which Vervoordt set out to renovate in 1969. The company is a family-led business in the field of art and interiors & design, aimed at the pursuit of beauty. Boris created the gallery in 2011 as a new start for the company’s long relationship with art.
Opening in Antwerp in January 2011 with an exhibition by German sculptor Günther Uecker, Axel Vervoordt Gallery’s early focus was on the German ZERO and Japanese Gutai Movements. Post-War contemporary art movements in Europe, Japan, and Korea continue to form the backbone of the gallery’s exhibition programme, with later expansions into movements such as Dansaekhwa. The gallery moved in 2017 from the center of Antwerp to the industrial site ‘Kanaal’, situated outside Antwerp on the banks of the Albert Canal. Originally a distillery and malting complex the company began developing Kanaal into a cultural and residential centre and headquarters in 1999. The location opened with an extensive retrospective of key Gutai artist Kazuo Shiraga. In this new home the gallery’s programme of prominent and mid-career artists is enhanced by surrounding spaces that feature permanent installations by James Turrell, Marina Abramović, Takis, Tatsuo Miyajima, and Anish Kapoor, and spaces showing the extensive art collection managed by the Axel & May Vervoordt Foundation, which was founded in 2008.
In 2014, building on its mission to connect across time and culture, the gallery opened a space in Central Hong Kong before expanding its operations in the city by moving, in 2019, to a larger space in Wong Chuk Hang’s Coda Designer Centre in the southern area of Hong Kong Island in 2019. The space in Wong Chuk Hang opened with Infinitive Mutability (2019) a group exhibition featuring sculptor, Peter Buggenhout, installation artist, Kimsooja, and painter Bosco Sodi. Based on Jacques Derrida’s concept of deconstruction, the show examined the unlimited possibilities created by new interpretations of art and ideas.
Axel Vervoordt Gallery represents numerous estates and living artists, several of whom have exhibited at prestigious locations including Tate Modern, London, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. On the gallery’s roster is an international range of established artists such as Nigeria-based sculptor El Anatsui, Korean photographer Bae Bien-U, German Minimalist sculptor Otto Boll, Belgian sculptor Dominique Stroobant, and the late Ida Barbarigo, Raimund Girke, Jef Verheyen, and Per Kirkeby. As a bedrock of the gallery’s mission to connect East and West the gallery represents many influential Gutai artists, such as Yuko Nasaka, Tsuyoshi Maekawa, Norio Imai, and the late Kazuo Shiraga, Sadaharu Horio, Ryuji Tanaka, and Shozo Shimamoto. Beyond Japan, the gallery represents Korean artists such as Kimsooja and the late Yun Hyong-keun and Chung Chang-Sup. Bringing together the past, present, and future of contemporary art the gallery also represents the developing practices of mid-career and emerging artists such as Michel Mouffe, Bosco Sodi, Renato Nicolodi, Markus Brunetti, Marco Tirelli, and Jaromír Novotný.
Alongside publishing detailed artist monographs, Axel Vervoordt Gallery supports its extensive range of artists by participating in a range of prominent international art fairs. These include Frieze New York; Art Brussels; The Armory Show, New York; West Bund Art & Design, Shanghai; EXPO CHICAGO;Art Basel Hong Kong; Tapei Danghai Art & Ideas; and Frieze Sculpture, London.