Brussels is often depicted as monotonous, but even though it’s not the most exciting European city (depending on what you are looking for obviously) we can at least all agree on the fact that the buzzing local art scene is everything but boring. In my opinion Brussels is a creative hub with all that that implies, art galleries, art schools, art fairs, museums, contemporary art centres, artists studios, culture entrepreneurs, and an impressive amount of art collectors.
Brussels is becoming more trendy and is attracting always more artists, as let’s face it it’s easier to be an emerging (struggling?) artist in Brussels than in Paris or London were the cost of living is way to high to keep a studio going. But it’s not all about financial motivation (I hope), there is a je ne sais quoi that gives this city a special vibe, a sense of freedom and flippancy that is visible in the “Belgian” aesthetic.
If you never been to Brussels, are planning to go back this year or simply live there, I listed for you 6 good news from Brussels dedicated to us art lovers:
1. The Independent Fair is inaugurating its Brussels branch in April
This is a very exciting news for Brussels I believe, launched in 2010 in New-York by the art dealers Elizabeth Dee and Darren Flook, the Independent Fair became in few years a key event in the art world and will definitely brings to Brussels a fresh breeze. The fair will take place at the Vanderborght Building on April 20-23 so already add it to your agenda. For more information and to have a look at the exhibitors list click here.
2. The Dvir Gallery is opening a second space in Brussels
When I saw that one of my favorite Telavivian gallery was opening in my hometown I was thrilled. Dvir is a leading gallery in Israel and represent internationally acclaimed artists such as Adel Abdessemed, Mircea Cantor, Ariel Schlesinger or Lawrence Weiner. Dvir’s exhibitions are strong and innovative, I’m delighted to see the gallery grow outside of its iconic Tel Aviv space to join Brussels’s buzzing gallery hub at 67 rue de la Régence. The grand opening is on January 28th with a group show dedicated to Belgian artist and filmmaker Chantal Akerman.
3. The Art Blog “Our Pursuit of Art”
It’s been almost a year that Our Pursuit of Art was launched by three minded girls who all share a true passion for art. What is so refreshing about the blog is their unique vision, they don’t seem to follow the trends and approach art with authenticity. In a time when the Belgian blogosphere is bursting with hundreds of blogs dedicated to food, fashion and make-up, it feels good to see these young ladies bringing some culture on the table. Don’t forget to join them on Facebook and on Instagram to stay connected with the Belgian art scene.
4. La Patinoire Royale
I know it’s not “fresh” news but when I went to visit it a couple weeks ago a lot of my Belgian readers asked me about this place. Built in 1877 this beautiful neo-classical venue was originally a skating rink which was recently restored to welcome an art gallery. The space of the Patinoire Royale is very impressive and will welcome each year up to three exhibitions (group show or solo exhibition). Currently you can go see “Let”s Move”, a group exhibition focusing on Kinetic art that I really recommend.
5. The first edition of Brussels I Love You
Born in Paris in 2011, the concept of the contemporary art walk is exporting to Brussels. Their goal is to celebrate the city creative scene and spirit, but also to federate people around art : “The tour of contemporary art, BRUSSELS I LOVE YOU, is a declaration of love to the city, the country, and to art itself. The main theme of our itinerary is Belgian artistic creation and involves both emerging and internationally renowned artists.” Their program is eclectic, you will find art galleries, alternative art spaces, bookshops and even ArtCurial. The tour will mostly take place in Saint Gilles and Ixelles.
6. Daniel Buren “Une Fresque” at Bozar
It’s not a secret I’m a big fan of the French artist Buren who built his career on white and colored vertical stripes. Curated by Joël Benzakin for Bozar, the exhibition will focus on a new corpus of work :” Daniel Buren created a specific intervention in which his work enters into dialogue with that by artists who have inspired him (Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Constantin Brancusi, Jackson Pollock, Fernand Léger, Marc Chagall, Sol LeWitt…).” I know that the entrance fee is insane but if you have to put money into an exhibition in Brussels this winter I would bet on that one. Opening on February 19th.
Cover Picture: © Tanguy Aumont – AIRSTUDIO / La Patinoire royale