Belgium has already developed a cult following for its major museums and established galleries, but the country’s appetite for great contemporary art has left Brussels pretty crowded with unique venues and less traditional approaches to art presentations. Showing a support for young and emerging artists, as well as shared enthusiasm for the established and buzz worthy artists nowadays, the city has it all. With interesting venues, apartment exhibitions and former brewery’s all dedicated to the art world, Belgium's scene is definitely worth our visit.
Being married to Picasso’s grandson brings even more glamour to Almine Rech’s gallery. Since the gallery’s first exhibition, a single piece by James Turrel, their goal has been to “go out there and do things for the artists”. Its clear that they want to showcase not just the artist's works, but also the strong individual characters they are. Being present in fairs such as Art Brussels and Frieze London and representing artists like Jeff Koons, Anselm Reyle, James Turrell, Julian Schnabel and David Ostrowski. Almine Rech is present in Brussels, but also in Paris and London.
Address: Rue de L'Abbaye Abdijstraat 20 - Website: www.alminerech.com
Galerie Jeanroch Dard is becoming a household name in the european art scene. After all, the gallery in Paris is a must-go stop for contemporary art. Just six years after its launch (2008), the gallery opened a second location in Brussels (2014). With several presences in the art fair circuit like Art Rotterdam, Art Brussels, Art Cologne and FIAC, its reaching an ever expanding audience. Its artist rooster is composed by artists such as Samuel François, Kasper Sonne, Oliver Kosta-Théfaine, Evan Roberts and Benoit Plateus.
Address: Rue de la Regence 67 - Address: www.jeanrochdard.com
Gladstone opened in Brussels in 2008, after already having two spaces in New York City. According to Barbara Gladstone, the gallery owner, it’s a logical step to any American art entrepreneur who also shares strong ties with the European art scene. It does seem natural to be closer to both artists and collectors and Brussels was the perfect fit. Present in Fiac and Art Dubai, Gladstone allows a closer look into the works of Keith Haring, Sol Lewitt, Lucio Fontana, Dan Flavin and Donald Judd. It comes with an apartment where artists can stay while their exhibitions are in Brussels.
Address: Rue du Grand Cerf 12 - Website: www.gladstonegallery.com
Parisian galleries Valentin Paris and Galerie Jeanroch Dard dediced to collaborate and opened a gallery in Brussels, which coincided with Art Brussels' opening. The gallery, named Mon Chéri, is housed in a 300m2 former industrial space and aims to create a neutral ground and new concept, as said by Phillipe Valentin, one of the gallery owners. Presenting shows by artists like David Douard, Jean-Baptiste Bernadet, Éric Mistretta and Kasper Sonne, the space creates a different dynamic among artists and curators. Their challenge is to offer the best of young contemporary art.
Address: Rue de la Regence 67 - Website: www.moncheri.co
MOT International is a London based gallery founded by Chris Hammond in 2006. The gallery went to Belgium (2011) even before its leap from East London to Mayfair (2012). A household name when it comes to sounding artists, it represents artists such as Elizabeth Price, winner of the 2012 Turner Prize and Laure Provost, winner of 2013 Max Mara's Prize. However, this doesn’t stop the gallery from showing young talent such as Simon Mathers, Aishan Yu and Katrina Palmer. The goal of opening a gallery in Brussels was to expand and spread it’s programme, allowing the Central European enthusiasts a space to catch some of the world’s most desirable artists.
Address: Avenue Louise 423 - Website: www.motinternational.com
Having opened in 1991, Rodolphe Janssen Gallery has organised more than 120 shows and has participated in more than 40 art fairs. The gallery has gained a unique fame of championing and supporting works from diverse types of media, since the 00’s, from European and American artists alike. A presence in the Art Brussels fair, Roldophe Janssen Gallery represents names such as Sam Moyer, Still House Group, Wim Delvoye and Chris Martin.
Address: Rue de Livorne 35 - Website: www.galerierodolphejanssen.com
Opened in 2005 by Alice van den Abeele and Raphaël Cruyt, Alice Gallery offers a platform for artists from graffiti, street art, punk and skateboarding sub-cultures. Their aesthetics demonstrate urban sensibility and a belief in a unique mix of contemporary art, street art and film. Focusing on emerging artists and street art, they represent Maya Hyuk, Todd James and Stephen Powers. The gallery also presents a nice selection of books & magazines about graphic design, t-shirts, stickers and other popular items. You can also catch them at Art Brussels.
Address: Rue du pays de Liège 4 - Website: www.alicebxl.com
Occupying an impressive Art Nouveau building designed by the architect Louis Bral and then restored by architects Hilde Daem and Robbrecht, the gallery was founded in 1988 under the name of Gallery Meert Rihoux. In 2006, it changed direction and assumed the name of the new director, Greta Meert. From the start, the gallery has placed the emphasis on the minimal and conceptual art of the seventies, from Donald Judd to Robert Mangold, Richard Tuttle, Robert Barry and Hanne Darboven, while always dedicating a special attention to photography from the eighties (from names like Thomas Struth, Louise Lawler, Jeff Wall, Ken Lum, Ian Wallace and John Baldessari). In addition, the gallery presents a more future-focused selection of artists including young Italian and Belgian visual artists such as Liliana Moro, Eva Marisaldi, Mario Airò, Grazia Toderi and Sylvie Eyberg, Sophie Nys, Catharina Van Eetvelde and Koen van den Broek.
Address: Rue du Canal 13 - Website: www.galeriegretameert.com
Middlemarch is a non-profit space for contemporary art hosted in a private apartment in Brussels, Belgium. Named after an imaginary village in a George Elliot’s novel, the project was founded by Virginie Devillez, former curator at the Royal Musem of Fine Arts of Belgium. When Virginie couldn’t find a space for a new contemporary art venue, she teamed up with artist Jean-Baptiste Bernadet and decided to just use her own living room and dining room. Their first exhibition in October 2011 was an instant success and they decided to stick to the unconventional concept. Every show is an “episode”.
Address: Chaussée de Waterloo 550 - Website: www.middlemarch.be
C L E A R I N G
Directed by Barthélémy Scholler, Clearing Gallery is present in Brussels and New York. While the Brooklyn gallery started as a project space, it quickly evolved into a fully-fledged gallery. Founder Olivier Babin came to Brussels just a year after the opening in Brooklyn and created a townhouse, opposed to the white cube space in the United States. The gallery represents international artists such as Korakrit Arunaanondchai, Aaron Aujla, Sebastian Black, Ryan Foerster and Marina Pinsky, as well as Belgian artists Koenraad Dedobbeleer and Harold Ancart. It’s also actively involved in collaborations with museums and foundations. Clearing is also present in fairs like Frieze New York, Art Brussels, Fiac and Dallas.
Address: Avenue Louise 292 - Website: www.c-l-e-a-r-i-n-g.com
The origins of this gallery dates back to 1987, when Xavier Hufkens opened a gallery space in an un-refurbished warehouse in the neighbourhood of South Station (Midi) in Brussels. During the early years of the gallery the focus was upon mid-career and emerging artists, having introduced some of the most influential contemporary artists to Brussels at a time when they were still relatively unknown. With the motto of offering quality above anything, the gallery has a roster of thirty plus artists from various generations, including Willem de Kooning, Tracey Emin, Sterling Ruby, Erwin Wurm and George Condo. Part of the six-member selection committee for Art Basel during seven years, Xavier Hufkens also participates in up to five international Arts Fairs annually.
Address: Rue St-Georges 6 and 107 - Website: www.xavierhufkens.com
SORRY, WE’RE CLOSED
Since April 2005, Sorry We’re Closed has been presenting artists’ projects in a 350cm³ white cube standing on Rue de la Régence between the Law Courts and the Museum of Fine Arts. A very inspired location, the place is permanently visible from the outside and illuminated, with one window opening onto the street, lit up day and night. Created by Rodolphe Janssen’s brother, Sébastien, the window-display-size cube, that comes with a tiny gallery behind it, as been showing a program as eccentric as its name. With Laura Ghazzaoui, Eddie Martinez and Ugo Rondine as some of the artists jewels, its also present in fairs such as Art Brussels, NADA New York and the Armory Show.
Address: Rue de la Régence 67 - Website: www.sorrywereclosed.com
Super Dakota is a commercial art gallery, originally founded in Paris as Galerie Dakota in 2011. Galerie Dakota became the Super Dakota gallery, continuing the initial reasoning - to discover and promote up-and-coming artists. Super Dakota is renewing this ambition and confirming its determination to be more open to international art. Director Damîen Bertelle-Rogier wants to be consistent with the perspective of contemporary art as a demanding discipline and whose roots lie deep in the history of art, creating a dialogue between different generations and producing creative synergies. With works from artists like Joachim Bandau, Baptiste Caccia, Alex Clarke and Christian Vetter, you can also find Super Dakota at Art Brussels.
Address: Rue Washington 45 - Website: www.superdakota.com
Office Baroque originated in Antwerp, but in the end of 2013 decided to open a new place in Brussels. In an impressive Art Nouveau building designed by architect Paul Hamesse, this beautiful gallery used to house a former brewery. Representing both promising and more established artists, European and American, they have created a great way to present distinct art in unique shows. They are present in several art fairs like Frieze, FIAC, Miart and Art Brussels.
Address: Place du Jardin aux Fleurs - Website: www.officebaroque.com