Behind the walls of KBR

The outer walls of KBR, are for a brief moment, a canvas for Brussels artist Denis Meyers, who draws inspiration from the national library’s collection.

KBR is located in a beautiful spot in the heart of Brussels. The imposing building forms one of the sides of Mont des Arts. Those who have seen it before remember a stately modernist building and big, long walls that are unfortunately often covered with tags. Indeed, Mont des Arts is one of the most “tagged” places in our capital.

What many do not know, however, is that behind those walls and tags is a rich heritage collection that ironically contains the roots of graffiti or lettering and graphic art. Think handwritten, beautifully illustrated manuscripts, rare prints by world-famous typographers or drawings and prints by old masters, as well as contemporary artists.

KBR and Brussels artist Denis Meyers are joining forces to encourage people to take a look behind the walls. Denis Meyers describes himself as a typesetter and typographer. He is a contemporary artist, but likes to be inspired by the past.

“My love for typography comes indirectly from my grandfather, he was also a typographer. What is very interesting to me is that thanks to institutions like KBR, my grandfather’s work, and more generally the work of artists, is preserved. Maybe in a few years I can also give some of my work to KBR so that they can preserve it long after my death.”

– Denis Meyers

Denis created “Behind These Walls” for KBR, an artwork using the paper cut technique temporarily applied to the walls of the building. The paper cut glue technique is a technique increasingly used in contemporary street art. Through this work, Denis Meyers makes a reference to the heritage that lies behind the walls and encourages everyone to discover the place and its collections.

Contrasts and disruption are important in the story. Denis’ work will only hang on the walls for a few days, while KBR is a preservation library that preserves heritage for generations to come. Denis Meyers is a contemporary artist but draws inspiration from the past. KBR treasures the past, but also wants to play an important role in contemporary society.

Together, KBR and Denis Meyers aim to inspire people to discover what goes on behind the walls of the modernist building on Mont des Arts: an inexhaustible source of precious heritage, and therefore knowledge and information, is preserved and shared.

Everyone is welcome to come here to read, study or work, to visit a temporary exhibition or the KBR museum, to take part in a workshop, attend a conference or enjoy a snack or drink in the restaurant with its panoramic roof terrace. In other words: your heritage lies behind these walls. Come discover it and be inspired!

Plan your visit and discover what can be found behind KBR’s walls

Practical information

With the support of Belspo.