From April 21 to 24, 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 presenting the work of individual artists.
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).
Exhibitors that participated in last year’s edition form 68%; of which 30% 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), Mitterrand (Paris), MOT International (London, Brussels), Nathalie Obadia (Paris, Brussels), Almine Rech (Paris, Brussels, London), Michel Rein (Paris, Brussels), Tucci Russo (Torre Pellice), Pietro Sparta (Chagny), Sorry We’re Closed (Brussels), Daniel Templon (Paris, Brussels), Valentin (Paris).
Presenting a younger generation of artists and supporting the work of emerging and young galleries, this section has played an important part in developing Art Brussels’ ‘discovery’ profile.
The section was launched at last year’s edition to bring together and showcase up-and-coming international artists whose work is not yet widely known in Europe. This year it has expanded to include 30 galleries (21% of the fair), up to eight years of age, that present works created between 2013 and 2016 by 61 artists. This section presents collectors and art professionals alike with an opportunity to make real discoveries, and consolidates the reputation of Art Brussels as a place to identify artists at the beginning of their careers.
Newcomers this year are: Sabrina Amrani Gallery (Madrid), àngels (Barcelona), Arcade (London), :BARIL (ClujNapoca), BWA Warszawa (Warsaw) Château Shatto (Los Angeles), Document Art (Buenos Aires), General Store (Picton), Iragui (Moscow), Ellis King (Dublin), Neumeister Bar-Am (Berlin), The Sunday Painter (London) and Rita Urso (Milan). Galleries can opt to present a solo presentation or a maximum of three artists in their stands.
Galleries in the DISCOVERY section are selected by a committee comprised of: Michael Callies, Director, dépendance (Brussels) | Aaron Cezar, Director, Delfina Foundation (London) | Zoë Gray, Senior Curator, WIELS (Brussels) | Katerina Gregos, Curator and Artistic Director Art Brussels | Nikolaus Oberhuber, Director, KOW Gallery (Berlin).
This section plays a significant role in the development of the fair’s existing ‘discovery profile’. Fourteen galleries will present works by important artists, living and deceased, from the historic avant-garde, who have been underestimated, overlooked, or unduly forgotten. The selection will focus on art made between 1917 and 1987, linking the beginnings of conceptual art with the advent of neo-conceptual practices and highlighting the importance of art historical memory. REDISCOVERY aims to counteract the ‘presentism’ inherent in contemporary art fairs, by profiling surprising, unknown and original artists that have not yet broken into the art historical mainstream.
Highlights in this section include work by:
Roy DeCarava (1919–2009, US), the first African American photographer to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship. DeCarava was a pioneer of a school of African American photography that broke with the social documentary traditions of his time and was a staunch civil rights activist (Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco).
Eduardo Terrazas (b. 1936, MX), a founding member of the Mexican contemporary art scene whose work spans several disciplines including architecture, design, museology and urban planning. Terrazas became known for developing a distinctive form of abstraction that combined geometric elements with elements from Mexican folk art, navigating both contemporary art and craft traditions (Timothy Taylor, London).
Bob Law (1934–2004, UK) was one of the fathers of British minimalism, known for his large canvases and drawings consisting of nothing but modified fields of black and simple abstract drawings (Richard Saltoun, London); while Boris Lurie (1924-2008, US), the controversial founder of NO!art, a radical avant-garde anti-art movement started in New York in 1959 which aimed to deliver a punch to consumerist society, (Odile Ouizeman, Paris), is seen alongside Vera Molnar (b. 1924, HU), a pioneer of computer-based and algorithmic art (Galerie Oniris - Florent Paumelle, Rennes).
The experimental photography of Barbara and Michael Leisgen (b. 1940, DE & b. 1944, AT) which functioned as a counterpoint to the conceptual, typological photography practiced in the 1970s is brought by Beta Pictoris Maus Contemporary (Birmingham); and Hessie (b. 1936, CU) the elusive feminist artist who produced a variety of works in paint, textile and made out of everyday objects or detritus, by Arnaud Lefebvre (Paris).
As in previous years, Art Brussels continues to place emphasis on individual presentations with 24 galleries presenting SOLO projects by artists from 18 countries (within Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and Asia) making this the most international and geographically diverse group of solo presentations at Art Brussels to date. Selected by Katerina Gregos, SOLO includes a variety of practices by emerging and historical artists of different generations featuring positions that range from the conceptual, formal and minimal, to the political and the postcolonial.
Larissa Lockshin (Canada, 1992), Albert Baronian (Brussels) | Ester Fleckner (Denmark, 1983), Avlskarl Gallery, (Copenhagen) | David Medalla (Philippines, 1942), Baró Galeria (Sao Paulo) | Ori Gersht (Israel, 1967), Brand New Gallery (Milan) | Anoek Steketee (Netherlands, 1974), Flatland Gallery (Amsterdam) | Shaun Gladwell (Australia, 1972), Galerie Analix Forever (Geneva) | Iván Navarro (Chile, 1972), Galerie Daniel Templon, (Paris/Brussels) | LAb[au] (Belgium, est. 1997), Galerie Denise René (Paris) | Taysir Batniji (Palestine, 1966), Galerie Eric Dupont (Paris) | Sammy Baloji (Democratic Republic of Congo, 1978), Galerie Imane Farès (Paris) | István Csákány (Romania, 1978), Galerie Krinzinger (Vienna) | Bob and Roberta Smith (UK, 1963), Galerie Kusseneers (Brussels) | Levi van Veluw (Netherlands, 1985), Galerie Ron Mandos (Amsterdam) | Rokni Haerizadeh (Iran, 1978), Isabelle Van Den Eynde (Dubai) | Georges Tony Stoll (France, 1955), Jérôme Poggi (Paris) | Noémie Goudal (France, 1984), Les Filles Du Calvaire, (Paris) | Jochen Höller (Austria, 1977), Mario Mauroner (Vienna) | Nicolás Lamas (Peru, 1977), Meessen De Clercq (Brussels) | Marinella Senatore (Italy, 1977), MOT International (London, Brussels) | Darren Almond (UK, 1971), New Art Centre (Salisbury) | Pier Paolo Calzolari (Italy, 1943), Ronchini Gallery (London) | Dinh Q. Lê (Vietnam, 1968), Shoshana Wayne Gallery (Santa Monica) | Yann Gerstberger (France, 1983), Sorry We're Closed (Brussels) | Kristof Kintera (Czech Republic, 1973), D+T Project (Brussels).
‘Cabinet d’Amis: the accidental collection of Jan Hoet’ is the flagship artistic project for Art Brussels 2016. It is an exhibition showcasing selected works from the collection of the late Jan Hoet. Hoet (1936-2014) was an internationally recognised Belgian curator who became known for his 1986 ground-breaking exhibition ‘Chambres d’Amis’. Jan Hoet subsequently went on to curate Documenta IX in Kassel, as well as several other important exhibitions. He was also the founder of S.M.A.K., the museum of contemporary art in Ghent. In his own country, Jan Hoet was one of the few people in the contemporary art world to become a household name. His dedication and passion for art was unequivocal and his quixotic, opinionated, defiant and larger-than-life character contributed to his legendary reputation.
Hoet’s collection is highly idiosyncratic; it is the result of relationships forged with artists throughout his career, rather than a strategically assembled accumulation of artworks. Many works were gifts made by artists, resulting in a collection put together not by design, or intent, but almost by accident. The result is eclectic and whimsical, highlighting the non-conformist character of the collection’s owner. Though there are over 500 works in the collection, most are of a modest or small scale. The exhibition will feature works by established, internationallyacclaimed and lesser-known artists from Belgium and further afield, many of whom Hoet worked closely with.
Among the artists featured are: Joseph Beuys, Christian Boltanski, Michaël Borremans, Ricardo Brey, Marcel Broodthaers, Cai Guo-Qiang, Thierry De Cordier, Raoul De Keyser, Wim Delvoye, Jessica Diamond, Marlene Dumas, Jimmie Durham, Günther Förg, Rodney Graham, David Hammons, Joseph Kosuth, Kris Martin, Bjarne Melgaard, Marisa Merz, Cady Noland, Dennis Oppenheim, Panamarenko, Giulio Paolini, Richard Prince, Nedko Solakov, Luc Tuymans, Patrick Van Caeckenbergh and Franz West.
The exhibition is curated by Katerina Gregos, with the kind co-operation of the family of Jan Hoet and will be on view at Hôtel de la Poste, a space within the historic site of Art Brussels’ new home Tour & Taxis. The exhibition scenography will be designed by the Brussels-based artist Richard Venlet.
The exhibition is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Anglo Belge Special Risks and Stibbe.
2016 Creative Campaign Each year, Art Brussels selects an artist to conceive its creative campaign. The campaign for 2016 has been entrusted to OTTOMURA. OTTOMURA is a Belgian collective founded in 2010 by three photographers in order to produce work on assignment, together or individually, without it interfering with their personal photographic practice. The collective focuses on image-based media with an emphasis on photography in all genres, such as exhibition documentation, fashion, photojournalism and commercial work.
OTTOMURA’s campaign images were produced inside Art Brussels’ new venue, Tour & Taxis with a view to highlighting the features of this spectacular industrial building from 1904. The artists engaged in a series of insitu experiments with coloured smoke in the empty spaces of the building, creating an atmospheric, ethereal environment which will come to life between the 21st and 24th April 2016.
Anne Vierstraete, Managing Director, says: "With our move to Tour & Taxis, Art Brussels sharpens the quality of its list of participating galleries and strengthens its longstanding link with the vibrant Brussels art scene. By doing so, it is thus located geographically closer to the exhibitions proposed in its OFF programme, to the shows in the galleries and the overall artistic offerings in town that will animate Brussels during late April. The well-known Brussels Design Market will also take place at Tour & Taxis during the Art Brussels weekend, thus diversifying the offer with complementary points of interest. The move is an excellent opportunity to enhance quality on other parameters such as the design of the fair which, this year will be by Tom Postma Design. Moreover, echoing Brussels' reputation as a gastronomic hotspot, Art Brussels will offer a highly tempting assortment of trendsetting food and drinks, under the supervision of one of Belgium's masters in fine cuisine, Jean-Michel Loriers (JML). Last but not least, Art Brussels thanks ING for their ongoing support since 2005; ING will present a site specific installation by Peter Kogler, especially conceived for the fair."