Art Brussels announces new projects in the Artistic Programme for its 50th anniversary

  • BRUSSELS, Belgium
  • /
  • March 26, 2018

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Bernd Lohaus, Eupen, 1993, wood, 85 x 550 x 1650 cm, installation shot: site Grand-Hornu, Photo by Philippe De Gobert, Courtesy Tommy Simoens Gallery

Art Brussels is pleased to announce new projects within the artistic programme in celebration of its 50th anniversary which include: 
A monumental sculpture project
A varied talks programme
The Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, BelgianArtPrize and Art Contest showcases:

As well as already announced projects:
The flagship project entitled Mystic Properties, curated by Elena Sorokina
Crossed Wires, a film commission celebrating the history of the Belgian art scene, in collaboration with Philippine Hoegen
Inspiring / inspired: women in the Belfius Art Collection in the Belfius Lounge

Nicolas Party, Still Life, 2017, 130 x 150 cm, pastel on canvas. Photo : HV-studio, Brussels, courtesy: the Artist and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels

Monumental sculpture project

Eight monumental sculptures will greet the visitors at the entrance to Art Brussels 2018. The large scale artworks, by renowned artists and emerging talents represented by participating galleries, will be displayed outdoors, on a 3000 m² esplanade at the industrial site of Tour & Taxis.
Artists include: Caroline Coolen (The White House Gallery), Paolo Grassino (Mario Mauroner), Bernd Lohaus (Tommy Simoens), Stefan Nikolaev (Michel Rein), Bernard Pagès (Ceysson & Bénétière), Karl Philips (Dauwens & Beernaert Gallery), Shine Shivan (Felix Frachon) and Henk Visch (Tim Van Laere Gallery).

SOLO Prize

True to Art Brussels’ tradition, which started to put solo presentations on the spotlight as of 1988, galleries have the opportunity to make a distinctive statement by presenting one specific project by an individual artist. This gives visitors the opportunity to discover the work of an artist in greater depth. SOLO Prize is supported by Van Den Weghe.
The members of the SOLO Jury are:
Suzanne Cotter | Director MUDAM (Luxembourg)
Abaseh Mirvali | Independent project producer and curator
Beatrix Ruf | Curator
Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo | Founder and President Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (Turin)
Bruno & Gael van Lierde | Collectors

A total of 22 SOLO booths will be exhibited at the fair, including:

Frog King Kwok (Kwok Mang Ho), presented by 10 Chancery Lane Gallery (Hong-Kong). The Frog King Kwok Calligraphy Shop acts as an interactive work with audience participation. Frog King will sit in the booth and write your message or your name in his unique sandwich font calligraphy.

Alex Chaves, presented by Martos Gallery (New York). The booth will present a selection of Chaves’ new portraits and still lifes with bold patterns such as camouflage and florals, the centre piece of which will be his re-creation of Picasso’s Guernica.

Nicolas Party, presented by Xavier Hufkens (Brussels). Using a wide-range of media to create colour-saturated paintings, murals and sculptures, Party’s work dissects the art of painting itself, as well as his subjects, through colour and composition.

Click here for full list of the SOLO presentations


The DISCOVERY section contains 33 galleries presenting younger-generation artists and is an important part of Art Brussels ‘discovery’ profile. Art Brussels wishes to encourage the work of these galleries, which support emerging artists, and has therefore instigated a prize since 2013, which is awarded each year to the gallery that has made the most original and engaging presentation in the fair. DISCOVERY Prize is supported by Moleskine.
The members of the DISCOVERY Jury are:
Aaron Cezar | Director Delfina Foundation (London)
Joseph Kouli | Collector
Suzanne Swarts | Director Voorlinden Museum (Wassenaar)
Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven | Artist
Tanguy Van Quickenborne | Collector

The DISCOVERY section presents 33 galleries, including:

Derouillon (Paris) with works by Przemek Pyszczek
Exile & Polansky (Berlin, Prague) with works by Martin Kohout and Christophe de Rohan Chabot
Hunter/Whitfield (London) with works by Christopher Page
SMAC (Cape Town, Johannesburg, Stellenbosch) with works by Georgina Gratrix

Click here for full list of artists and galleries in DISCOVERY

Talks Programme 

The talks programme held at Art Brussels over the duration of the fair will cover a range of topics pertinent for art lovers and professionals. Talks include (among others):

Expanding horizons. Fundación Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Madrid
In conversation with curator Abaseh Mirvali, renowned contemporary art patron and collector Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo will discuss plans for her new foundation in Madrid, and reflect on how her Turin foundation initiative – the Turin Triennial - has helped to shape the role of contemporary art in northern Italy, amongst other topics.

What’s Taboo To You?
Mixing the format of a game show with a TV chat show, these frank but fun conversations aim to address some of the current taboo subjects in relation to the arts. Conceived and moderated by host Aaron Cezar (Director, Delfina Foundation), What's taboo to you? will feature a dynamic group of guests, and encourage audience participation.

Ways Beyond the Post-Internet
Borrowing its title from the launch of the Post-internet label at the Digital Life Design conference in 2012, this panel discussion, proposed by iMAL and Link Art Center, will explore aesthetics, poetics, politics and economics in the context of a global art world that has accepted digital technologies and ‘digital aware art’. The panel will include a number of artists, collectors, curators, gallerists, art critics and theorists.


Invisible Cities, by Pierre Jean Giloux, winner of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles contest 2018
Invisible Cities is a tetralogy of films, inspired by the 1960-70s Metabolist utopist movement, which questions the notion of landscape and brings together several portraits of Japanese towns. It is close to what is called “augmented reality” as it combines 3D, 2D images with images of social and urban reality, filmed or photographed. The choice of showing Japan through hybrid plastic shapes results from the use of the technological tools that constitute it, with the goal of recreating it. These eclectic cities, sorts of laboratories where architecture and urbanism are in perpetual evolution, entail a dialogue between reality and fiction. The project is curated by Gregory Lang.

In Pursuit of Bling, by Otobong Nkanga, winner of the BelgianArtPrize 2017
The winner of the 2017 BelgianArtPrize, Otobong Nkanga, will present In Pursuit of Bling. In Pursuit of Bling, first shown in 2014, is the cinematic result of research into the metamorphoses that natural resources undergo during their transition from raw material to finished product.
The next edition of the BelgianArtPrize will take place in 2019. The four finalists will be announced in April 2018 and are invited to conceive new works that will be exhibited at BOZAR-Centre for Fine Arts from March to May 2019.

Private Eden, by Ben Van den Berghe, Alexey Shlyk, winners of Art Contest 2017 and Edi Danartono
Art Brussels has invited artists Ben Van den Berghe, Alexey Shlyk and Edi Danartono to present Private Eden, a multi-media installation as part of their ongoing project The Plastic Number, an exploration into escapist aesthetics.
Private Eden is inspired by the life and work of Edward James, a British millionaire who was a collector and patron of many surrealist artists. He famously created ‘Las Pozas’, a surrealistic group of structures more than 2,000 feet above sea level, in a tropical rainforest in the mountains of Mexico, filled with exotic animals, orchids, waterfalls and pools. The artists will collectively explore the human desire to escape reality through an immersive installation which incorporates elements of sculpture, painting and photographic architecture, transforming the VIP Lounge into a temporary refuge from the fair and from reality.

Previously announced projects

Mystic Properties
Mystic Properties is the flagship project for the 2018 edition of Art Brussels, which has been developed in collaboration with the Higher Institute for Fine Arts in Ghent (HISK). It is curated by Elena Sorokina, curator for the HISK, and includes works by alumni and future friends of the institute.
The point of departure for the project is the Ghent Altarpiece, also known as The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, painted by Jan and Hubertus Van Eyck in 1432. Artists are invited to explore and question the notions of belonging and possession attached to this piece that is so often thought of as public cultural property. Amongst the participants are several generations of HISK residents, including prominent artists such as Pieter Vermeersch, the award-winning film maker Nicolas Provost, and young prodigies Rinus Van de Velde, Kasper Bosmans and Hedwig Houben, among others.

Crossed Wires
In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Art Brussels has commissioned a film in collaboration with Philippine Hoegen which explores the Belgian art scene as perceived from different positions and timeframes within the past 50 years. Providing insight into its progress and complexity, Crossed Wires focuses in particular on Brussels as pivotal to its development, through a series of conversations between people who are deeply immersed in the contemporary art environment.

Inspiring / inspired: women in the Belfius Art Collection
Marking their second year as principal partner of Art Brussels, Belfius Wealth Management will present Inspiring / inspired: women in the Belfius Art Collection,  an exclusive series of works specially selected for this edition of the fair, and on display in the Belfius Lounge. Women, both on the canvas and in front of the easel, are the starting point for a journey that includes significant works by female artists such as Berlinde De Bruyckere, Lili Dujourie, Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven and Marthe Wéry, and as well as their male counterparts, including Michaël Borremans, Paul Delvaux, Luc Tuymans and Rik Wouters. Together, these historic and contemporary pieces bring to the surface new conversations; between men and women, between model and artist, between society of yesteryear and today and, finally, between modern and contemporary art.

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