24 April until 7 November 2021



There are many sides to the sculptor Johan Tahon: light and dark, simplicity and mystery, freedom and interconnectedness, heaven and hell, poetry and metal. He knows many loves. He is water, air, fire and earth. He is ceramics, plaster and bronze. There are multiple Johan Tahons and they are all part of his work.

Each is revealed in the exhibition UNIVERSUS, JOHAN TAHON, SCULPTURES 1999-2021: all the Tahons that he has feverishly mined over the past twenty years. In addition to an outstanding selection of his own creations, the exhibition offers a surprising insight into the artist’s impressive private collection. This includes a wealth of ceramics – from early Islamic pottery (9th century) to Italian Renaissance majolica (16th century) – but also letters from August Rodin and Rainer Maria Rilke, together with a sculpture by Georges Minne. The highlights of a life rich in encounters are displayed in an improvised ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’.

‘The MOU Museum is a magical place in which to look at my history and, at the same time, to begin a new narrative.’
Johan Tahon

In the other rooms of the MOU Museum, too, Tahon collides lovingly with the 16th-century building and the permanent collection of tapestries and silver. Through imaginary interlocking images, the visitor not only gains an overview of Tahon’s oeuvre, but also an insight into the things that have shaped him and those that spur him onwards. The things that torment him and those that make his heart race. Who he was, is and will be.

‘Johan’s sculptures are at once recognisable and enigmatic creatures. By juxtaposing the works with the MOU collection, the visitor is invited to read their full enigmatic meaning.’
Curator Arie Hartog

Johan Tahon (b. 1965, Menen) studied sculpture and was not yet thirty when he entered the international art arena. His sculptures can be found in important public and private collections and are regularly exhibited in renowned galleries and leading museums in Belgium and abroad.
Johan Tahon’s studio has been based in Oudenaarde for many years.

Tickets can be bought in advance online via the MOU website (link below) or on the day itself at the box office.