Zeno X, an Antwerp-based gallery that helped raise the profile of celebrated artists ranging from Luc Tuymans to Jack Whitten, will close after 42 years in business, with operations set to cease at the end of this year.
Since its founding in 1981 by Frank Demaegd and Eliane Breynaert, Zeno X has become a haven for painting and a juggernaut of the Belgian art scene.
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It wasn’t entirely clear what prompted the closure. In a statement posted to social media, the gallery wrote, “Several health issues have caused the stress and pressure to become too much.”
Its current roster includes artists such as N. Dash, Raoul De Keyser, Yun-Fei Ji, Martin Margiela, Jockum Nordström, and Patrick Van Caeckenbergh.
A number of artists who showed there have gone on to achieve representation with mega-galleries. De Keyser’s sparse abstractions have been the subject of more than a dozen shows at Zeno X gallery; the late artist is now represented by David Zwirner. So, too, are Tuymans and Marlene Dumas, whose figural paintings in muted tones appeared in solo shows at Zeno X during the ’90s and onward, before the artists became market sensations, as well as Michaël Borremans, who has had seven shows with the gallery since 2003.
Whitten, an American painter who gained representation with Hauser & Wirth just before his death, had four solo shows at Zeno X in the 2010s. These were some of his first solo shows in Europe.
Yet Zeno X has also proven prescient with artists working in other mediums, such as the sculptor Mark Manders and the video artist Stan Douglas, who both began having solo shows with the gallery during the ’90s.
And, although the gallery is now known predominantly for hosting painting, it initially also had a focus on architecture and installation, with architect Rem Koolhaas having had a show there in 1984. Demaegd told Gallery Viewer that Zeno X’s guiding principle at the start was that “that the artworks had to be avant-garde.”
Also among those to have had solo shows at Zeno X are Miriam Cahn, Anton Corbijn, Dirk Braeckman, and Mounira Al Solh.
“The past decades have been wonderful for Zeno X Gallery,” the founders’ statement read. “With great pride and gratitude we look back on all the extraordinary exhibitions and the many encounters with inspiring people all over the world.”