It took me a little longer that I planned to share with you my third arty stop in Brussels, but finally here we are. I’m trying by best to be a diligent blogger but what can I say, life is a busy adventure when you are a Twenty something living in Tel Aviv.
Today we are going to start right back where we finished last time : exploring the second part of the center of Brussels.
S E C O N D S T O P : C I T Y C E N T E R
I used to not really like the center of the city, too much tourists, busy, tense, but more I spent time walking around more I started to enjoy it. I of course always loved the popular neighbourhood of the Marolles with the flea market on Place du Jeu de Balle, its typical bistrots and boutiques are so charming and you can spot great street art all around. The last few years I really had a crush on the area around Antoine Dansaert Street and Sainte Catherine church. It’s young, hip, very creative and definitely a must go if you have a thing for fashion and art.
A.L.I.C.E. Gallery : Perfectly placed in the Pays de Liège street two minutes away from the Sainte Catherine plaza and its vibrating neighbourhood, the Alice Gallery is probably the best art space in the city in terms of urban/street art and illustration. The gallery definitely contributed to the recognition of the graffiti art, but is also an important place for contemporary art creation. Every time I go there the rooms are filled with energy , colors and creativity. A must GO.
Centrale for Contemporary Art :Placed in an old electric power plant on the Saint Catherine plaza, Brussels’s Center for Contemporary Art supports the idea of an art in dialogue with its surrounding and its society. With a very eclectic program mostly based on visual art, the center wants to show local talents and make art accessible to everyone. I particularly like the C-Box that shows young artists six times a year, and is used as a laboratory a place of art experimentations which I think is very important. I like places that not only exhibits art but offer spaces for creations and new ways of approaching art.
Dépendance Gallery : The gallery is proposing a selection of emerging artists sharing a conceptual approach of art. They represent many artists that I like among them the German artist Thomas Bayrle. The gallery is currently showing some of its artists in Tel Aviv in the beautiful Sommer Gallery.
C-O-M-P-O-S-I-T-E : In the same street that the Dépendance Gallery, c-o-m-p-o-s-i-t-e is a non-profit contemporary art space that works as a platform that support the creation of different projects : “Through the activities conducted, we approach questions about art practice, and how, within it, composite configurations emerge, bind together, transform, stabilise, reiterate” (text from their website). A very interesting place to discover.
Gladstone Gallery : Big international gallery initially based in New York. They opened few years ago in Brussels, choosing the capital of Europe as their pied à terre on the old continent. They represent big (and bankable) names of the contemporary art world such as the YBA Sarah Lucas and Anish Kapoor.
Office Baroque : Another contemporary art gallery that made the move from Antwerpen to Brussels. In an old brewery transformed as a minimalist pure interior, the gallery hosts exhibitions from established european and american artists such as the great Neil Campbell or Tamar Halpern.
Greta Meert Gallery : First of all I’m a huge fan of the building housing the gallery, a beautiful piece of industrial Art Nouveau made by the architect Louis Bral between 1902 and 1905. Even though it was renovated, the charm remains. Almost 26 years of existence, but the gallery never felt so young showing emerging conceptual and minimal artists while still representing amazing names from the contemporary art world such as Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Sol Lewitt and one of my favorite of all time John Baldessari . Without a shadow of a doubt a must go in Brussels.
Etablissement d’en Face : Previously based in the hip Dansaert area, the art space is now stationed rue Ravenstein in front of the Bozar. This very open minded collective (all coming from different art backgrounds, but all active in the plastic art field) featured emerging talents as much as established artists. A very interesting art laboratory.
The Vanhaerents Art Collection : Not really well known from the public, the collection of the Vanhaerents familly is pretty impressive. Located in a huge (3 500 m² ) former industrial building of the Anneessens street, you will discover a contemporary art collection builded since the 70’s presenting artists that you can’t especially see in the public museums in Brussels. You will discover there the art works of artists such as Andy Warhol, Bruce Nauman, Cindy Sherman, Takashi Murakami, and many MANY other artists. My personal favorite? The “Cry Me a River” sign on the top of the building made by Ugo Rondinone. So don’t wait any longer and go visit this incredible space.
There is of course many other interesting arty spot in the city center such as ISELP or La Verrière so please note that my list is not exhaustive and feel free to share with us your favorite art place from the city center.