Ten years after his death, the Kunsthal exhibition ‘Hugo Claus, Con amore’ presents the Belgian master in all his facets: poet, novelist, painter, dramatist, film director, socially engaged artist and ‘crafty player’. The exhibition is curated by the film director, author and admirer Marc Didden – ‘not about Claus, but for Claus’ – and sketches an idiosyncratic and highly personal portrait.

The exhibition includes original manuscripts, photographs, film and audio fragments, paintings and drawings, collections of poems and novels. Some of them are unique objects that are rarely shown, such as a sketchbook in which Claus made a superb series of new drawings at the end of his life when writing had become more difficult. Besides a selection of paintings and sketches by Hugo Claus, the exhibition also features works by artists who inspired him or who were his friends or associates, such as Karel Appel, Pierre Corneille, Asger Jorn, James Ensor and Léon Spilliaert. Visitors can also discover the original illustrated manuscript of Herbarium, the mythical collection of poems that Claus wrote in a single night for his lover at the time, the actress Ellie Overzier.

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