In recent years Brussels, Belgium has attained a new notoriety through decreasing its beer, waffles, and “mussels in Brussels” reputation in favor of developing its presence within the contemporary art world. Blue chip New York galleries, such as Gladstone Gallery, have opened Brussels outposts, and Brussels-based galleries, like The Clearing, have received international attention. Fittingly, the contemporary art fair Art Brussels, now in its 33rd year, has become a familiar name around the world.
“Art Brussels has largely contributed to the formation of Brussels’ reputation as a hotspot for contemporary art,” the managing director, Anne Vierstraete, said yesterday during the fair’s the opening. “Progressively, artists are choosing Brussels as their place of residence.”
In concurrence to Brussels’ growing art scene, 200 galleries are presenting at this year’s fair and only nine percent come from the United States. The majority of the remaining galleries come from Belgium, Germany, and France, including established spaces (labeled as “Prime”) as well as a wealth of mid-career (Young) and emerging (Discovery) galleries. Due in large part to Artistic Director Katerina Gregos’ ethos, there is also a unique non-profit sector, a screening area for art films, and between the two exhibition halls, an outdoor stage to host musical performances.
So while plenty of Prime gallery booths are exhibiting Michelangelo Pistoletto’s mirrors, Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs, and Tony Oursler’s surveillance works, we focused on those who might be lesser known (or forgotten amidst today’s myriad of production). Click through the slideshow above for our top 10 picks of Art Brussels, New York galleries excluded.
ART BRUSSELS IS OPEN THROUGH MONDAY, APRIL 27. FOR MORE INFORMATION AND THE FAIR’S HOURS, VISIT ITS WEBSITE.