Art Brussels Turns 40

The 40th edition of Art Brussels has opened at Brussels Expo, the iconic Art Deco building constructed for the Brussels International Exposition in 1935. 

Art Brussels is recognised as a leading platform for contemporary art and continues to evolve, innovate and inspire, celebrating four decades of artistic excellence, creativity and cultural dialogue. ​The 40th edition of Art Brussels presents a selection of 177 galleries from 30 countries, each bringing their unique artistic perspectives and contributions to the fore. With a focus on innovation, diversity and inclusivity, the fair is presenting a curated programme of galleries divided into 5 sections: DISCOVERY, PRIME, REDISCOVERY; INVITED and SOLO.

Art Brussels was founded in 1968 and remains at the forefront of the contemporary art scene, showcasing established artists, fostering emerging talents, and facilitating dynamic exchanges between artists, collectors, gallerists, and art enthusiasts. Over the years, the fair has earned a global reputation for its commitment to presenting cutting-edge contemporary art in diverse forms, from painting and sculpture to photography, installation, and new media.

“Turning 40 is an important milestone in a person’s lifetime, and it holds equal significance for Art Brussels as it celebrates end of April its 40th edition. The moment invites reflection on past achievements while igniting aspirations for the future. Art Brussels is deeply grateful for the ongoing support from the expansive community of art enthusiasts across Europe. The success of Art Brussels is underpinned by Belgium’s reputation of having the highest number of art collectors per capita globally, fostering a dynamic artistic landscape with top- quality galleries. Art Brussels is the most important yearly momentum to honouring the contemporary art scene in the BENELUX. Looking ahead, we are committed to stay a welcoming, friendly and personal fair with multiple elements of surprise and novelties, ensuring that Art Brussels remains a priority on the international agenda for art lovers across Europe.”  Nele Verhaeren, Managing Director of Art Brussels

Several prizes were announced on the opening day of Art Brussels, including winner of the Art for the City Prize Marion Verboom, represented by Galerie Lelong & Co., which was announced by Philippe Close, the Mayor of Brussels. Verboom will be invited to design a work for Brussels as part of a future urban development project.

Richard Saltoun Gallery won the REDISCOVERY prize for their presentation of three women Surrealists in the section of the fair that celebrates the most underrated, underestimated or forgotten artist(s) of the 20th century. The ‘Women in Surrealism’ presentation features Myriam BAT-YOSEF (1931-2023), TOYEN (1902-1980) and Carmen DIONYSE (1921 – 2013). 

Since the Venice Biennale opened a week prior to Art Brussels, there is a specially curated section titled ‘Wandering Minds’, curated by Gregory Lang and featuring artists currently exhibiting at the Biennale Arte including Julien Creuzet who is representing France and Kapwani Kiwanga who represents Canada at the 60th Biennale and Julie Mehretu who is exhiting at the Pinault Collection in Venice.    

Here are some Culturalee highlights to see at Art Brussels 40: 

Sébastien Bertrand gallery’s booth is a captivating curation of intriguing paintings by Todd Bienvenu, Natalia González Martín, Han-Chiao and Sang Woo Kim.

Berlin’s Galerie Russi Klenner is presenting a solo exhibition by Zohar Fraiman in the DISCOVERY section. Fraiman’s eye-catching canvases reimagine seminal paintings by iconic Old Masters such as Giotto and Botticelli through the 21st Century lens of pop culture, iphones and obsession with social media. 

“I’m very inspired by art history, Old Masters and I take reference from painters like Giotto’s. ‘Baci Baci’ is inspired by Giotto’s ‘Kissing at the Golden Gate’ in the Scrovegni chapel. I’m a huge fan of the early Italian Renaissance Frescoes. It’s an intimate scene but then the phones are there, and it’s referring to how people meet today online, and how intimated moments are  always being captured with our phones.”   Zohar Fraiman

Copyright Zohar Fraiman

Brussels gallery Sorry We’re Closed is presenting works by; Anastasia Bay, Daniel Boccato, Perrine Boudy, Ben Crase, Eric Croes, Yann Gerstberger, Jameson Green, Roger Herman, Otis Jones, Thomas Kiesewetter, Nikki Maloof, Milo Matthieu, Julien Meert, Brian Rochefort, Jennifer Rochlin, Stefan Rinck, Machteld Rullens, Kristof Santy, Josh Sperling and Adrien Vescovi. The gallery is currently staging Anastasia Bay’s epic exhibition Maestra Lacrymae, an opus created by the artist in the form of an opera with costumes and panoramic paintings evoking Bay’s enigmatic world.

Galerie Anne-Laure Buffard is exhibiting Bachelot & Caron’s theatrical installation Les assassins assassinés, inspired by René Magritte and Chantal Akerman featuring Surrealist iconography expressed through painting and ceramics. A fitting exhibition in the same year that Belgium celebrates 100 years of Surrealism. 

Galerie Ron Mandos PLUS-ONE Gallery features a solo presentation by Dutch artist Hadassah Emmerich, known for her exuberant work intricately weaving stylized representations of exotic fruit, body parts and vegetal elements into murals and paintings, as an antidote to the troubled times we are living through.

Zander Galerie presents an installation by Allana Clarke in the SOLO section of the fair, which gives an insight into the Trinidadian-American artist’s exploration of the concept of ‘Blackness’.

OFFICE IMPART Gallery’s booth features a solo exhibition of American artist Sara Ludy, who practice merges everyday life wth natural and simulated elements across various mediums, including animation, AI, blockchains, painting and photography. Ludy’s multi-disciplinary practice examines how AI and tech infiltrate our everyday lives.  

KIN Gallery presents an exhibition of Liam Gillick with Polish artists Zuza Golińska, Dorota Jurczak and Andrzej Steinbach in the INVITED section. 

Art Brussels is at Brussels Expo, Place de Belgique 1, 1020 Brussels until Sunday 28th April, 2024.

All photographs copyright Culturalee.

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.

Top 3 Stories