Encounter with Luc Tuymans

In 2012 Luc Tuymans (b. 1958) painted the work Angel in the public foyer of the Concert Hall in Bruges, on the level of the second balcony. The art integration is a donation from the artist. It is the enlarged version of a much smaller work that Tuymans made in 1992, and according to the artist, it embodies a very ambiguous situation. It shows an angel - which itself already stands for the imaginary on the one hand, and for the divine, the sublime on the other - but with a face that retreats into the shadows and has been made invisible. All this while the angel plays a harp, which makes the whole immediately very fitting within the Concert Hall.
The spontaneous reason for this art integration took place during the exhibition Luc Tuymans: Een visie op Centraal-Europa (Luc Tuymans: A vision on Central-Europe) (2010), for which the Concert Hall was one of the locations within the art circuit. Paul Robbrecht encountered the artist in the building. At the actual spot in the audience foyer, the words ‘there is a wall waiting for a mural’ must have sounded. The artist later said that he immediately had a preference for just that spot, just that wall and calls the art integration itself a fantastic marriage. An earlier collaboration between Tuymans and Robbrecht en Daem took place during Documenta IX (1992), where the artist exhibited his work in the architects' Aue Pavilions. This was Tuymans' first international exhibition.
As soon as Tuymans finalized the art integration in the Concert Hall, the space around it was renamed the Angel Room. Inspired by Morton Feldman's Rothko Chapel, the Concert Hall has since been building a series of compositions especially written for this tuneful space: The Angel Series. Each year, a different contemporary composer is commissioned to write a new piece of music in the series. Visitors can also listen to the pieces of music on-site, with a view of Tuymans' work.