FAD Magazine

FAD Magazine covers contemporary art – News, Exhibitions and Interviews reported on from London

Art Brussels special 40th edition.

DAVID PLAS PHOTOGRAPHY- Art Brussels special 40th edition

Art Brussels opened on 25th April at Brussels Expo, the iconic Art Deco building constructed in 1935 for the Brussels International Exposition. Art Brussels 40 is presenting a more diverse selection of galleries and genres than ever, with a strong international representation and an injection of fresh talent from emerging galleries selected for the DISCOVERY section. Around 800 artists are presented at the fair and 36% of the represented artists are women. 

Art Brussels celebrates four decades of artistic excellence, creativity and cultural dialogue with a focus on diversity, inclusivity and innovation, and a unique combination of emerging and established artists.

DISCOVERY Section Photo Lee Sharrock

2024 is an auspicious year for Art Brussels, with a special 40th edition of the Belgian art fair featuring 177 galleries from 30 countries exhibiting in 4 sections and 1 sub-section. 37 galleries are featured in the DISCOVERY section, 120 in PRIME; 11 in REDISCOVERY; 9 INVITED; and 27 SOLO presentations.

Art Brussels was founded in 1968 and has earned a global reputation for its commitment to presenting cutting-edge contemporary art in diverse forms. Four decades later the original Belgian art fair remains at the forefront of the contemporary art scene by exhibiting established artists, providing a platform for emerging talent, and facilitating enabling creative exchanges between artists, collectors, gallerists, and art lovers. 

Art Brussels is recognised globally as a premier platform for contemporary art, and while it’s a longstanding part of the international art world Grand tour, it continues evolving and expanding. Venice Biennale opened a week before Art Brussels, and the international art world circus is in full flow, with the focus next week shifting to Frieze New York. Art Brussels acknowledges the importance of the Venice Biennale with a section curated by Gregory Lang titled ‘Wandering Minds’, a collaboration with Stibbe which features artists who are currently exhibiting in Venice including Julien Creuzet who is representing France and Kapwani Kiwanga who represents Canada at the 60th Biennale and Julie Mehretu who is exhiting at the Pinault Collection in Venice.  Lang’s curation of wandering minds follows the Biennale Arte’s central theme of Stranieri Uvunque (Foreigners Everywhere) and ‘As participants in the universe, each embraces otherness and vulnerability by learning and evolving through their interactions.” 

At the Art Brussels Vernissage, the Mayor of Brussels Philippe Close announced Marion Verboom (Galerie Lelong & Co.) as the winner of the inaugural Art for the City competition to create a site-specific public art project for the City of Brussels. Verboom’s submission was selected from 14 artists represented by exhibiting galleries.

Nele Verhaeren, Managing Director of Art Brussels, explains: 

Turning 40 is an important milestone in a person’s lifetime, and it holds equal significance for Art Brussels as it celebrates end of April its 40th edition. The moment invites reflection on past achievements while igniting aspirations for the future. Art Brussels is deeply grateful for the ongoing support from the expansive community of art enthusiasts across Europe. The success of Art Brussels is underpinned by Belgium’s reputation of having the highest number of art collectors per capita globally, fostering a dynamic artistic landscape with top- quality galleries. Art Brussels is the most important yearly momentum to honouring the contemporary art scene in the BENELUX. 

We felt there was a strong energy from galleries who have a different profile or are pushing boundaries. For example someone like Nicola Schaffhausen, who recently opened a gallery in Brussels.  There are 2 selection committees this year, an international one and one for the platform section. The REDISCOVERY section is about artists who have been off the radar, who deserve to be in the spotlight again. Such as Galerie Thomas Fuchs’s presentation of Patrick Angus, who made a lot of portraits of the gay scene in Brooklyn, New York and was known as the ‘Toulouse Lautrec of the 80’s.

Gauli Zitter (booth 6B-34) was the recipient of the INVITED Prize, a diverse section that champions the evolution of the art market and provides booths to young and upcoming galleries who have never participated in Art Brussels before and who stand out for their ambition, programming, and curating, and in some cases, in ways they challenge the traditional gallery model. 

Richard Saltoun Gallery photo Lee Sharrock– Art Brussels special 40th edition

The REDISCOVERY prize was awarded to Richard Saltoun Gallery (booth 5A-26), with the jury commenting:

We have chosen to recognize the work of the Richard Saltoun Gallery for its rediscoveries in the art of the 60s and 70s and its interest on women artists. We were particularly taken by the graphic works of Myriam Bat-Yosef and TOYEN.

Gallery Lutnita(Moldova, founded in 2022), won the DISCOVER Prize, with the jury recognising the quality of the Gallery’s presentation showcasing Diana Cepleanu (b. 1957, Romania) and Mihail Sarpe (b. 1992, Moldova). And the SOLO Prize was awarded to Paulo Nimer Pjota, Mendes Wood DM (Brussels) (booth 5C-28)

Here are 5 FAD Magazine highlights selected by Lee Sharrock.

1 Galerie Anne-Laure Buffard 

As Belgium celebrates 100 years of Surrealism with major exhibition at the Museum beaux arts, Surrealist influences can also be found at Art Brussels, in particular at the Antonin Rocard stand, who are exhibiting Bachelot & Caron’s theatrical installation Les assassins assassinés, inspired by René Magritte and Chantal Akerman featuring Surrealist iconography expressed through painting and ceramics, which shows the artists’ background in cinema, opera and theatre. 


2 Sorry We’re Closed 

Sorry We’re Closed, the cutting edge Brussels gallery with the surreal name, is presenting works by; Anastasia Bay, Daniel Boccato, Perrine Boudy, Ben Crase, Eric Croes, Yann Gerstberger, Jameson Green, Roger Herman, Otis Jones, Thomas Kiesewetter, Nikki Maloof, Milo Matthieu, Julien Meert, Brian Rochefort, Jennifer Rochlin, Stefan Rinck, Machteld Rullens, Kristof Santy, Josh Sperling and Adrien Vescovi. 

The gallery is currently staging Anastasia Bay’s epic exhibition Maestra Lacrymae, an opus created by the artist in the form of an opera with costumes and panoramic paintings evoking Bay’s enigmatic world.


Gladstone Gallery presents an eclectic and engaging curation of works by Ed Atkins, Claudia Comte, Carroll Dunham, Arthur Jafa, Alex Katz, Andrew Lord, Victor Man, Nick Mauss, Wangechi Mutu., Shahryar Nashat, Elizabeth Peyton, David Rappeneau, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Rosemarie Trockel, Andro Wekua and Carrie Mae Weems.  A highlight of the stand is work by Arthur Jafa which examines in his words “what would America be like if we loved Black people as much as we love Black culture?”


4 Galerie Russi Klenner

Zohar Fraiman, Galerie Russi Klenner, Photo Lee Sharrock ©Lee Sharrock

A solo exhibition by Zohar Fraiman presented by Berlin’s Galerie Russi Klenner is a standout of the DISCOVERY section. Fraiman’s eye-catching canvases reimagine iconic paintings from Renaissance and Old Masters such as Giotto and Botticelli, through the 21st Century lens of pop culture, iphones and social media obsession. 


5 Freight+Volume

New York City’s Freight+Volume have dedicated their booth to Gabrielle Graessle, a Swiss artist living in Spain, whose vibrant paintings in a naïve style and candy-coloured palette offer a fresh take on the Pop Art genre, mixing up influences from fashion, music and sport.  


Some highlights from the director: 

  • Bea Scaccia at Maruani Mercier.
  • Arthur Jafa at Gladstone Gallery.
  • Hadassah Emmerich at Galerie Ron Mandos PLUS-ONE Gallery. 
  • Peter Buggenhout, Kimsooja, Germaine Kruip, Jaffa Lam, Bosco Sodi, Jef Verheyen at Axel Vervoordt Gallery.
  • Allana Clarke at Zander Galerie. 
  • Richard Saltoun Gallery, who were awarded the REDISCOVERY prize for a presentation featuring Miriam Bat-Yosef, Carmen Dionyse and TOYEN.
  • Patrick Angus in dialogue with Logan T. Sibrel at Galerie Thomas Fuchs. 
  • Lewis Stein at VIN VIN Vienna/ Naples. 
  • Xavier Hufkens Gallery.  
  • Zoro Feigl installation at FRED&FERRY in the DISCOVERY section. 
  • Sara Ludy at Office Impart, an American artist working with physical paintings and video works in the DISCOVERY section, who examines how we see the world today with the help of AI and tech. 
  • Liam Gillick, Zuza Goli?ska, Dorota Jurczak, Andrzej Steinbach at KIN.

Art Brussels – Sunday 28th April, Brussels Expo artbrussels.com

Art Brussels is one of Europe’s most distinctive and established fairs and from 25 to 28 April 2024, the European capital becomes once again a focal point for collectors, gallerists and art lovers from around the world, offering them a unique opportunity to explore the artistic treasures and diversity of the city, which is now home to a growing number of emerging and established artists, galleries and curators. 



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