In this expanse of green, lying but a few kilometres outside Folon’s place of birth Brussels, the artist returned to his roots. As a child he lived at the neighbouring Genval lakeside and often passed the Solvay Park, which he called «the garden of the thousand rhododendrons’.
To Folon, this estate that harbours an exceptional fauna and flora seemed like the ideal setting for his foundation. Nature, so dear to the artist’s heart, is paid a twofold tribute: for over forty years nature and the protection of the environment were among Folon’s favourite themes, just as they were priorities for Ernest Solvay. Both men had a love for nature and the lives that compose it, and each in his way tried to glorify it.
The castle’s farmhouse, built in 1833 by the architect J.P. Cluysenaar (who also constructed the famous Royal St-Hubert Galleries in downtown Brussels), has been restored to its original appearance. It is made up of whitewashed buildings set around a paved courtyard. The tennis courts have been handed back to nature. Walkers sometimes stroll across the farm’s courtyard unaware that it has been transformed into a museum!
A dynamic museum
The Foundation presents a permanent exhibition of the works of Jean-Michel Folon in their diversity of themes and techniques. An original and interactive scenography designed by Folon himself leads the visitor on a poetic dreamlike journey into the artist’s universe, right to the heart of his creations. Optical effects, plays of light, music and films enliven your visit. In The Birth of an image Folon reveals the creation of a watercolour, in The Encounter you see a surreal meeting between Folon and Woody Allen in New York’s Central Park. Some of Folon’s animated films are on display in a room full of mirrors. The original music created especially for the Folon Foundation by French composer – musician Michel Colombier harmonises perfectly with Folon’s colours.
Stéphanie Angelroth – Director
Pascale Bourdinon – Administration
Corinne Bullaert – Artshop
Sonia Compas – Reception / Administration
Géraldine Dresse – Human Resources
Nathalie Fièvé – Scientific Research
Pierre-Paul Fièvé – Digital communication
Moune Lachapelle – Educational service
Alain Lauwers – Logistics / Maintenance
Allison Michel – Collection management
Dominique Michels – Communication / marketing
Doris Sarmiento – Reception / Administration
Véronique Vandendorpe – Artshop
Laura Vásquez – Booking
Marie-Esther Verheyen – Educational service
Yolanda Lopez – Atelier Folon Monaco
These wonderful people have accepted to honour the Folon Foundation with their friendship: Valerio Adami, Balthus, Pol Bury, César, Henri Cartier-Bresson, André Delvaux, Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Renzo Piano, Andrée Putman, Jorge Semprun, José Van Dam, Simone Veil.
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