The Art Brussels Contemporary Art Fair opens its 34th edition relocated from Brussels Expo to the more conveniently Tour & Taxis building, the historic Customs House, situated in Brussels’ inner city area, near the site of a planned new modern and contemporary museum set to open in 2017.
By Dimitris Lempesis
Photo: Art Brussels 2016 Archive
Art Brussels 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 to the Palais des Beaux‐Arts in Brussels. In 1989 the fair moved to the former Expo ‘58 premises in Heyzel where it remained until last year. The 2016 edition brings together 140 galleries from 28 countries in 3 main sections. PRIME focuses on mid-career and established artists from Modern to Contemporary on an international level, this year the c 98 established galleries present internationally established artists. DISCOVERY presents 30 young galleries (no more than 8 years old) who actively support emerging international artists that are not yet known within the European context, and whose practice constitutes a real ‘discovery’. The works are produced between 2013 and 2016. REDISCOVERY is a new section dedicated to art from 1917 to 1987, which presents living or deceased artists, that are under-recognised, under-estimated or forgotten. Tracing a timeline that spans the beginnings of Conceptual Art to Neo-Conceptualism, via the majority of the 20th Century Avant-Garde, this section aims to excavate and highlight surprising, unknown and original practices that have not yet broken into the art historical mainstream. This year are on presentation works by artists such as: Roy DeCarava, Bob Law, Barbara & Michael Leisgen, Véra Molnar, Yuko Nasaka and Eduardo Terrazas. The SOLO presentations are spread throughout the fair. Galleries are making a statement by showing one specific on site project by an individual artist. This gives the visitor the opportunity to get to know the work of an artist more in depth. since 2013 Art Brussels invites a number of NON-PROFIT SPACES to the fair each year and gives them a carte blanche to develop an artistic project especially for the fair that transcends the orthodox booth presentations and is more experimental in nature. The flagship project for Art Brussels 2016 is the exhibition “Cabinet d’Amis: The Accidental Collection of Jan Hoet”, showcasing selected works from the collection of the Jan Hoet (1936-2014). He was an internationally acclaimed Belgian curator who first became known for his ground-breaking exhibition “Chambres d’Amis” in 1986, for which artists were invited to create works for 50 private homes in Ghent, which were then opened to the public for several weeks, also he was the founder of S.M.A.K., the Museum of Contemporary Art in Ghent.
Info: Art Brussels 2016, Tour & Taxis Building, Avenue du Port 86C, Brussels, Duration: 21-24/4/16, Days & Hours: 21/4 Preview (by invitation only) 11:00-17:00, Vernissage 17:00-22:00, 22-24/4/16 11:00-19:00, Vernissage ticket: 50€, Day ticket: 16€, Day ticket + catalogue: 35€, Students: 8 €, Free entrance for kids under 16 years old, www.artbrussels.com