Art galleries : contemporary art spring selection

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Huang Yuxing, Camps by the river, 2021 © Huang Yuxing - Courtesy of the Artist and Almine Rech

Every year in Brussels, spring signals the return of contemporary art fairs, trendy fairs and new gallery exhibitions. In 2021, the major spring events are adapting and reinventing themselves and have a few surprises in store for us: hybrid events, new COVID-proof concepts and even arty strolls through the streets of the capital.  

To showcase the new season and celebrate contemporary art in style, we asked Alexandra Decraene, founder and director of BILY, and Anne Vierstraete and Nele Verhaeren, co-directors of Art Brussels, to present their favourite galleries of the moment. Ready for a tour? 

BILY (BRUSSELS I LOVE YOU) 

Behind its catchy acronym, which rings like a declaration of love to the capital, BILY offers an route punctuated with visits to art galleries, institutions and collections that bear witness to the city's position as a vibrant centre for contemporary art. This unique, week-long cultural journey takes you through the city's arty neighbourhoods.   

This year's festival will be spiced up with a series of culinary events featuring some of Brussels' best chefs. For its sixth edition, BILY will be shining a welcome spotlight on talented women exercising their artistic talents in Brussels. A stimulating spotlight that more than piques our interest!   

When?  29 May to 5 June 2021 

Where? All over Brussels 

Find out more on agenda

"After the difficult year we have all had, we wanted to offer a content that was both lighter and young and innovative. It is important to remember that BILY's primary target audience is the general public and this space reflects that.”

Alexandra Decraene
(c) Alexandra Decraene

Favourites of Alexandra Decraene, founder and director of BILY

  • L’Atelier de la Nuagerie.

“L'Atelier de la Nuageriewas founded by two young Belgian artists, but the space is not, strictly speaking, a gallery, as it is more about craftsmen/artists. However, after the difficult year we have all had, we wanted to offer a content that was both lighter and young and innovative. It is important to remember thatBILY'sprimary targetaudienceis the general public and this space reflects that.”

  • Almine Rech Gallery

“The Almine Rech Gallery is definitely 'the' must-see gallery in Brussels. It was one of the first foreign galleries to set up shop in the capital and has been based on Rue del'Abbayefor many years. The building's architecture already puts it at the top of the list and its exhibitions, most of which are in situ, confirm its position as one of the capital's best.”

ART BRUSSELS WEEK 

Anne Vierstraete et Nele Verhaeren à la Galerie Nino Mier - (c) Art Brussels

Never before has Art Brussels been so in tune with all four corners of the capital. This year, the event will take place as an itinerant journey through the city, taking in its best galleries. Organised with a festive and convivial spirit, the route will be full of surprises: free guided tours, gourmet takeaways and other tailor-made events. This week-long focus on Brussels will be complemented by interventions from participating galleries in Antwerp, Knokke, Paris, and elsewhere. 

In keeping with the times, Art Brussels will also be proposing an online offering, including a Viewing Room hosted by Artsy, which will include all of the fair's participating galleries. It will be held from 14 to 28 April, and will even give you the opportunity to view the works directly on your own walls at home!  

When? 3 June to 6 June 2021  and 1 to 14 June online  

Where? All over Brussels and online 

Find out more on agenda

"Two major overseas galleries have recently opened branches in Brussels, close to the Sablon.  Brazilian gallery Galeria Jaqueline Martins  positions itself as a kind of research laboratory for its artists, mainly from Brazil and the Los Angeles gallerist Nino Mier, already the initiator of a project space in Cologne."

Anne Vierstraete et Nele Verhaeren

Favourites of Anne Vierstraeteand Nele Verhaeren,  co-directors  of Art Brussels

  •  Galeria Jaqueline Martins 

    "Two major overseas galleries have recently opened branches in Brussels, close to the Sablon.  Brazilian gallery Galeria Jaqueline Martins has set up shop in a beautiful space at number 14 Rue aux Laines. It positions itself as a kind of research laboratory for its artists, mainly from Brazil. Brussels has been chosen as a strategic base to position their talents in Europe and develop a synergy with the European art scene.

     
  •  Nino Mier Gallery 

    “Successful Los Angeles gallerist Nino Mier was also attracted to the Sablon neighbourhood. Already the initiator of a project space in Cologne, he opened an impressive gallery in Brussels at the beginning of this year, which occupies the entire building at number 25 Rue Ernest Allard. The fact that Nino Mier himself grew up in Europe, more specifically in Germany, has a perceptible influence on the gallery's events calendar. During Art Brussels WEEK he will present a solo exhibition by American artist Mindy Shapero. One can expect psychedelic abstract paintings made obsessively in a series.” 

  • Sorry We’re Closed Gallery

    “Gallery owner Sébastien Janssen is moving his gallery Sorry We’re Closed at the end of May, on the eve of the Art Brussels WEEK. The new gallery will be located at 39 rue des Minimes, in a sumptuous 19th century town house with a majestic staircase. The opening exhibition will honour Anastasia Bay and her canvases of robust and tormented figures who appear to be moving.” 

      

     

Art Brussels Week - Program

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