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Patric Tuytens


It is not only the stories behind the individual works of art that appeal to the imagination. How the collection came about is more than worth telling. Let yourself be carried away to the origins of the collecting passion of 3 generations.


The story of Merode, as it now stands, starts with the parents of Patric Tuytens. Albert was a textile entrepreneur. Together with his wife he started purchasing lithographs. They also had an eye for beautiful objects when traveling, which they brought home with them. They take the next step towards modern and contemporary art. ​ Their house and textile company soon filled with works of art. Albert Tuytens wanted to bring them closer to people. His family and staff first and foremost. “Even if they don't like it, they still experienced it.” To say that Patric grew up surrounded by contemporary art is an understatement. His father took him to galleries and exhibitions, and passed on the collecting bug to him. He also found a partner in collecting in his wife, Françoise. Like his parents, Patric also filled his home with contemporary works. ​ This happened at such a pace that he needed extra space to store and, above all, exhibit the works. The building in Merodestraat was the perfect solution. Sufficient space for exhibitions, receiving guests and sharing the story of the collection. ​ History repeats itself with Marie, who, like her father Patric, grew up surrounded by art. In addition to collecting, she also started making art herself at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, In Situ3. Her thesis also brought her back to her roots: her grandparents' collection as a research subject. After a career in education, Marie returned to Merode. Together with Patric she made Merode what it is today. An open space where stories, works of art and people come together. Just like the collaboration with her father, a perfect symbiosis between wonder and inspiration.

Anneke Eussen Merode

During your visit to Merode, Marie and Patric will immerse you in the evolution of the collection. The further you go, the more intensely you feel the dynamics and tension building. In the first part you see the works that Patric already had before he bought the building in Merodestraat. These works can be nicely divided by type: a space for video, African art, large color photos, black and white photos, pop art, cars, etc. Gradually you feel the energy change. The accrochage changes, the humor and playfulness increase. The last impressions you get are separate choices of eclectic works including several large installations. They have a high "you can't think of anything crazier or he will buy it" factor. Works that can only be placed in such large spaces as in Mérode and that can be fully appreciated there. The last room is overwhelming. Marie and Patric only show them if visitors have first experienced the previous parts. Nevertheless, a visit to Merode is very accessible. Anyone who has no prior knowledge of (contemporary) art will certainly find something to their liking in the diversity of the collection.


Merode embraces a variety of contemporary artists. Young artistic talent enters into dialogue with established artists. You meet many Belgian artists but also other nationalities. Merode cannot be put into one specific box. As an Open Space, it is a place that dares to color outside the line and encourages people to form their own opinions. The works that Patric buys are not investment pieces. He does not care about its value expressed in euros. He emphasizes its value as an enrichment in his life and that of others. Patric follows his own erratic path, without external advice and always looking for what is unknown, surprising and amazing.


A tour of Merode feels very personal. Not only because the collection is a series of Patric's personal taste, but also because each work has a personal story. That is what makes a visit to Merode unique: anecdotes about the works themselves, the collector's stories, explanations about certificates, information about editions, contacts with artists, preservation of the works... Supplemented with Marie's critical view on the choices of her father. These are stories that you won't hear anywhere else. Unlike galleries and museums, in Merode you are not just a spectator. By looking, listening and feeling you stimulate yourself to develop your own opinion and taste. You don't have to find the works beautiful or good. We only ask you to keep your eyes open and embrace the diversity. The works that Patric has chosen for Merode are visually very strong and require little explanation. There is always humor and a certain light, positive energy. In this way, the works also tell the story of Patric himself. Someone who does not take himself so seriously and believes that it does not always have to be difficult. In short: when you step outside Merode, you feel inspired, you have learned something new and you have met creative, open-minded people. Through the works, the stories or the other visitors.


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Plan your visit.

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family visit
Visit with kids
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