The French artist Jephan de Villiers has turned Albert station into an imaginary archaeological museum containing relics from the invented lost city of Arbonie. A massive wooden cart transporting a giant rock stands in a glass case while an underground pit contains several hundred oval objects.
Compte de Flandre
The 16 eerie human figures suspended above the tracks at Compte de Flandre station, titled ‘16 x Icarus’, were made by the Antwerp artist Paul van Hoeydonck in 1981. Ten years earlier, Van Hoeydonck’s tiny aluminium figure ‘Fallen Astronaut’ was laid on the surface of the moon by the Apollo 15 crew. It remains the only work of art on the moon.
Maelbeek station, in the heart of the European Quarter, is decorated with strange sad faces painted on the tiled walls by the Belgian artist Benoît. In 2016 the artist added a drawing symbolising an olive tree in memory of 16 people killed here by a terrorist bomb.
Porte de Hal
Old Brussels trams poke out of the walls and imaginary cities rise above the station platforms at Porte de Hal station. The Brussels artist François Schuiten created this strange utopian vision in 1993, drawing on his cult comic book Brüsel.
The Flemish artist Berlinde De Bruyckere, known for eerie sculptures of human corpses, opted for a less edgy aesthetic in her commission for the busy Simonis (Léopold II) station. She decorated the walls with large carpets made from cement tiles to create a comforting environment.
The Brussels transport authority stib has published a book on art in the metro. It also has information on the art and artists on its website. More info: www.stib.be