The Vanhaerents Art Collection is pleased to announce Heartbreak Hotel, its first major exhibition outside Belgium.

Set to take place on the occasion of the 56th Venice Biennale, this exhibition will be on view at the Zuecca Project Space, one of Venice’s leading cultural institutions, from May 6 through September 15.

Heartbreak Hotel is curated by Walter Vanhaerents, the founder and primary benefactor of the Vanhaerents Art Collection, in celebration of his 70th birthday.

Keeping in line with earlier exhibitions, which were held in its Brussels location, the upcoming presentation immediately draws its title from pop music history. Inspired by the evocative and high-strung lyrics of Elvis Presley’s 1956 song, Heartbreak Hotel brings together fifteen or so sizeable works from the Vanhaerents Art Collection: they combine visual tension, a strong physical presence and conceptual vigour, whilst reverberating closely with the ideas and sentiments as expressed through Elvis’s evergreen piece of rock ‘n roll music.

Conceived as a dialogue between works by artists from different backgrounds and generations, the exhibition explores notions of melancholy, physical suffering and martyrdom. Heartbreak Hotel conjures up historical images of warfare and contemporary forms of religious practices, in contrast to an Arcadian realm of waving palm trees, amusing clown figures and leisure ladies in sophisticated, lush surroundings. Throughout its course, the presentation touches on issues of art collecting, as it confronts an impatient collector with his adversary, an unpredictable dealer in devilish attire – soliciting the question: in whose favour will the balance ultimately shift?

This exhibition will demonstrate the importance of showcasing private collections to the greater public and explore the way art is bought and consumed. The Vanhaerents Art Collection will work together with Zuecca Project Space to exhibit Walter Vanhaerents’ prized pieces to provide a unique insight in the intimacy of a single collector’s taste and research.


With works by Sam Falls, Katharina Fritsch, Matthew Day Jackson, Bruce Nauman, Ugo Rondinone, Markus Schinwald, Cindy Sherman, Yinka Shonibare, Lucien Smith, Nick van Woert, Joana Vasconcelos, Bill Viola and Andy Warhol.