Our first stop in Brussels was so successful (and the feedback oh so sweet) that I decided to keep going with this little pet project. Every week, I will present the arty spots of a different area in Brussels introducing or reintroducing to locals and globetrotters my favourites art galleries and museums in the city.
Today I decided to talk about the hot spots that the city center has to offer. As it is a fairly big part of Brussels, I chose to divide the visit in two parts.
S E C O N D S T O P : C I T Y C E N T E R
I wanted to share with you one of my art routine while I’m Brussels. As I’m living only few steps away from the “Louise” station, I like to stroll around Régence Street and the beautiful small and big “Sablon”. Many contemporary art galleries and museum are in this neighbourhood that is mostly renown for its antique shops. After a short stop to admire the view from the Place Poelaert, you will find at the very beginning of the street a incredible space reuniting few very cool inspiring galleries, so let’s start there at the number 67 of the Régence St.
Mon Chéri : As sweet as its name sounds, “Mon Chéri” is not a candy but a new art gallery that opened on April 25 in Brussels. Ideally situated on Régence street, this space became the fiefdom of two Parisians galleries : Galerie Valentin and Galerie Jeanroch Dard. Presenting cutting-edge art mainly by arising artist in an old printing house, the gallery is definitely a must see in the city.
Catherine Bastide Gallery : Alsol ocated at the 67 Régence St., the gallery is presenting in its gorgeous space a large selection of contemporary artists from all kind of disciplines . They represent amazing artists such as Sarah Crowner. A very important address in Brussels.
Micheline Szwajcer Gallery : Active since the early 80’s in Antwerpen, the gallery also have a space in Brussels where they keep presenting conceptual and post-conceptual artists.
Jan Mot Gallery : Eclectic exhibitions always well curated, presenting local and international artists, it always worth to stop by as their space is also located on the ground floor of the 67 Régence St.
Sorry We’re Closed: A very intriguing window on Régence Street. Many of you pass in front of it probably wondering what is this place. It is actually an untypical gallery that decided to curate exhibitions in a white cube facing the street. I think that this “project room” is genius. This astonishingly realistic work by John De Andrea haunted me for weeks, and probably would have had a different impact on me if it didn’t jump in my face in the street outside of the gallery. A must experience.
MOTinternational : Located on the top of the “Petit Sablon”, the well established gallery is presenting in its small but intimate space, great international artists like the Turner Prize winner Laure Prouvost. If you happen to stop by London visit their gallery on New Bond street.
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Art : Also on Régence Street after the Sablon, the museum houses in his collections over twenty thousands artworks. Not very attractive from the outside the architecture of the building inside is simply beautiful. Still presenting its old masters collection and temporary exhibitions (don’t miss Chagall Retrospective), the museum stopped showing its modern art collection few years ago and we are still all waiting for the reopening of this section. Recently were added to the “group” the Magritte Museum and the Musée Fin de Siècle. I really recommend you to go get a tea on their terrasse on a sunny afternoon, gorgeous view, intimacy and sculptures all around.
Bozar:Probably one of my favourite place in Brussels (I miss their oh so cool shop so badly). It is all about art and progress in that space. The amount of amazing events and exhibitions they managed to pull out every year is truly impressive. From young experimental art, to old masters, I see Bozar as a laboratory and as the creative heart beat of the city. Just go, whatever they are showing you will not be disappointed. Don’t forget to spend some time on the steps of this gorgeous Horta hall.
Cinematek :A classic. If you love cinema or simply art it is a most go in Brussels. They always have great screenings and a large programme that will please every single one of you. The plus? No advertising before your movie ! Keep in mind that the seats are limited.
Roberto Polo Gallery : After a little walk around the Sablon, you can stop by the Roberto Polo Gallery. I always enjoyed their space and choices of exhibitions. A very interesting place to discover if you never enter their gallery.
Daniel Buren’s Flags : Few steps away from the Roberto Polo Gallery you will find a sea of 89 blue, white and green flags on yellow poles by the great French artist Daniel Buren. I use to dislike this place close from a dark bridge and a parking lot, a very narrow space stuck between high building and a road. The city commissioned the artist to create an “intervention” right there, a piece that will transform this very austere spot. Buren created a work that is instantly catching our eyes (we all recognised his famous stripes),and makes us forget the unpleasant surroundings. For me it is a successful marriage between urbanism and art.
Next week we will keep exploring what the city center has to offer in terms of contemporary art.