by Dirk Van Saene
Rik Wouters & The Private Utopia is a project carried out in Antwerp, initiated jointly by the MoMu (Fashion Museum) and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts to commemorate Rik Wouters, who died 100 years ago.
The exhibition, which runs until February 2017, displays more than 60 pieces under the same roof, flanked by contemporary fashion, applied design, and art installations. Craftsmanship and natural materials are the common thread running through the show. Fashion designer Dirk Van Saene, a member of the Antwerp Six, took up the challenge to translate his own picturesque visual language into a rug design. Like Wouters, he painted elements from his own private world and surroundings: the cats on the neighbour’s lawn, pigeons building their nests, and his own flower garden. The rug is five metres in diameter and is presented as a seating element in the installation created by Van Saene for this exhibition. It was produced by family-owned company Limited Edition, maker of high-quality rugs in artistic editions. The colours of the hand-dyed yarn were created especially for this unique piece at the firm’s own dye-works.