Art Brussels

Words by Carla Ingrasciotta
April 20, 2016

The 34th edition of Art Brussels will take place in a new location, Tour & Taxis, a spectacular example of industrial architecture built in 1904, formerly a customs house. This year, the fair has been reduced in size, bringing together 141 galleries from 28 countries, represented in three main sections: PRIME, DISCOVERY and a new section, REDISCOVERY.
There will also be 24 galleries participating in SOLO, a section dedicated to the presentation of individual artists’ work.

The selection of the international committees resulted in 32% newcomers, including Ben Brown Fine Arts (London), Luis Campaña (Berlin), Laurent Godin (Paris), Peter Kilchmann (Zurich), Tina Kim (New York), Parisa Kind (Frankfurt), Antoine Laurentin (Paris, Brussels), Lyles & King (New York), Pace (London, Beijing, Hong Kong, Menlo Park, New York), Thomas Schulte (Berlin), Timothy Taylor (London), Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman (Vienna), Wilkinson (London), Martin van Zomeren (Amsterdam). 68% of the exhibitors participated in last year’s edition. 30% of which have been committed to the fair for a number of years such as Albert Baronian (Brussels), Bernier/Eliades (Athens, Brussels soon), Meessen De Clercq (Brussels), dépendance (Brussels), Grimm (Amsterdam), Xavier Hufkens (Brussels), Jablonka Maruani Mercier (Brussels-Knokke), Rodolphe Janssen (Brussels), Krinzinger (Vienna), Mitterand (Paris), Mot International (London, Brussels), Nathalie Obadia (Paris-Brussels), Almine Rech (Brussels, Paris, London), Michel Rein (Paris, Brussels), Tucci Russo (Torre Pellice) Pietro Sparta (Chagny), SorryWe’Re Closed (Brussels), Daniel Templon (Paris, Brussels), Valentin (Paris)….

Though it retains its youthful profile as a discovery fair, Art Brussels is one of Europe’s oldest and most established fairs. Founded in 1968 as ‘Art Actuel’, it was conceived by a small group of well-respected Belgian gallerists who each invited a gallery from abroad to exhibit. In the earlier years the fair had a nomadic character moving between locations as diverse as the Casino in Knokke (1972) to the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels (1976). In 1989 the fair moved to the former Expo ‘58 premises in Heyzel where it remained until last year. Until 1997 it was managed by the non-profit Association of Belgian Contemporary Art Galleries, when it was bought by the Artexis-Easyfairs group, active in multi-format venues and events business at an international level.

Since its inception, Art Brussels has evolved into a must-see international contemporary art fair, and one of the top European art fairs. The fair receives over 400 applications each year. With the move to its spectacular new location, Art Brussels continues to evolve, with a view to retaining its cutting-edge character (with Discovery and Rediscovery) and established talents (in Prime).

Art Brussels 2016 is at Tour & Taxis from Friday 22 April until Sunday 24 April 2016, 11am – 7pm
Preview: Thursday 21 April 2016, 11am – 5pm
Vernissage: Thursday 21 April 2016, 5pm – 10pm

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