The 38th edition of Art Brussels brought together 157 galleries from 26 countries and featured a record number of SOLO presentations which helped to drive robust sales across the fair. After a two year hiatus due to the pandemic, the fair’s strong, international line up attracted an enthusiastic crowd. Local and international collectors flocked to Tour & Taxis, along with numerous institutions and high-profile personalities – including fashion designers Walter Van Beirendonck and Raf Simons, and Alexander De Croo, the Belgian Prime Minister – all adding to the fair’s undeniable energy and convivial atmosphere.
With visitor numbers at near pre-pandemic levels, smiling faces told the story of how good it was to be back and reunite with colleagues from around the world. 24,541 art lovers attended the fair and new and returning collectors included Frédéric de Goldschmid, Galila, Alain Servais, members of the van der Vorst family, Walter Vanhaerents and Qiao Zhibing. The fair welcomed more than 30 museum and collector groups including those from; Centre Pompidou, Paris; MAMCO – Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Geneva; Fondation Boghossian, Brussels; Mudam, Luxembourg; Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle; Tate, London; Spirit Now, London; Wiels, Brussels and the Young Stedelijk, Amsterdam.
Galleries came out in force with expertly curated booths and a unique mix of established artists and emerging talent across the PRIME, DISCOVERY, REDISCOVERY, SOLO and INVITED sections, cementing Art Brussel’s position as a vital platform for international contemporary art at the heart of the city’s thriving art scene.
Anne Vierstraete and Nele Verhaeren, co-directors of Art Brussels, said:
“It was with a sense of elation, gratitude and pride that we brought the 38th edition of Art Brussels to close yesterday. A four-day celebration of contemporary art, the effervescent mood experienced by all our stakeholders was a testament to the fact that nothing equals encounters in real life. The unique character of Art Brussels shone through and everyone was impressed by the remarkable efforts the galleries made with regard to their curated presentations. The spirit of discovery for which Art Brussels is renowned was further strengthened this year by a record number of SOLO booths – many of which were installed by the artists themselves. It’s been an incredible week and we are enormously grateful to everyone who contributed to its success.”
SOLO and DISCOVERY Prizes
The SOLO Prize jury this year included: Diana Campbell, Artistic Director Samdani Art Foundation, Chief Curator Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh; Dj Hellerman, Curator SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah Georgia (US) and Kasia Redzisz, Artistic Director, KANAL – Centre Pompidou, Brussels, Belgium. They awarded the €10,000 prize to Senyi Awa Camara (b. 1939), who was showing with Baronian (Brussels, Knokke).
The jury said, ‘Senyi Awa Camara is an artist pushing the transnational discourse on ceramics and sculpture in the 21st Century. Her making process has developed through self-taught experimentation with open-hearth skills in Senegal, inspired by traditional pottery techniques and ritual objects. She re-contextualizes these references in her own artistic language that speaks to the interconnectedness of all forms of life and cultures. The jury wishes to acknowledge the thought and commitment Baronian put into presenting such important, fragile and powerful work in an art fair context. The SOLO prize is supported by Hiscox.
The DISCOVERY Prize jury this year included: Katerina Gregos, Artistic Director, National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST), Athens, Greece; Antony Hudek, Director, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens (MDD), Deurle, Belgium and Martha Kirszenbaum, Independent Curator and Writer. Their unanimous decision was to award the prize to House of Chappaz (Barcelona) and Joey Ramone (Rotterdam) for their shared booth presentation of F.A.T.A.L by the duo Momu & No Es. “The jury was impressed by the expanded spatial installation comprising sculpture, digital prints and sound, framed within cultural theorist Donna Haraway’s concept of tentacular space. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the project questions the relationship of bodies to their habitats, but also indirectly comments on change and the difficulty of moving into the future from a challenging present. Finally, the jury found that the project deals with timely questions regarding rethinking ideas of community and social relationality.” The DISCOVERY prize is supported by Moleskine.
New initiatives for 2022 included a partnership with Parallel.art to create an NFT ‘touch point’ designed to inform, educate and support NFT collectors and visitors who are curious about blockchain-based art practices. Extending beyond the physical presentations at the fair, Parallel partnered with JPG, a curatorial protocol for NFTs, to showcase a selection of the NFTs presented by Art Brussels galleries. Galleries who engage with digital artists and artworks including OFFICE IMPART (Berlin), were delighted with the initiative. They presented work by Kim Asendorf, LIA, Jonas Lund and Cornelia Sollfrank.
Talks included the Art Brussels.NFT Speakers Series in collaboration with institutional partner iMAL, the leading New Media Art Center in Brussels. Art Brussels also offered several guided tours for VIP’s and visitors throughout the duration of the fair. Performances within the fair included Myrthe van der Mark with Art Contest, a wandering performance by VOID with LMNO and Elen Braga’s participative tapestry weaving with Waldburger Wouters.
The next edition of Art Brussels will take place from 20 – 23 April 2023 at Brussels Expo, opposite the iconic Atomium.
Art Brussels was proud to announce Degroof Petercam as its main partner for 2022. This partnership reflects Degroof Petercam’s long-standing interest in and support of contemporary Belgian and international art.
Baronian (Brussels, Knokke) won the SOLO prize for their presentation of sculptural works by Senyi Awa Camara, selling out of all her works (price range €15,000 to €35,000).
Blouin Division (Montreal) sold out their SOLO booth of paintings by Wanda Koop.
C L E A R I N G (Brussels, New York, Beverly Hills) sold out their SOLO booth of hand-blown glass works by Koenraad Dedobbeleer.
François Ghebaly (LA) presented a group show featuring Marius Bercea, Rindon Johnson, Candice Lin and Willa Wasserman and reported brisk sales, almost selling out the entire booth.
Gallery FIFTY ONE (Antwerp) sold out of available works by Sandro Miller priced at €15.000. Further sales included Belgian artists Katrien De Blauwer, Arpaïs Du Bois, and a number of works by Bruno V. Roels (price range €2,000 €20,000) to buyers who included collectors Philippe and Ines Kempeneers.
Maruani Mercier (Brussels, Knokke) their SOLO presentation of colourful portraits by Dankyi Mensah sold out.
Greta Meert (Brussels) their solo presentation of recent paintings by Nathalie Du Pasquier was a great hit.
Mendes Wood DM (Brussels, São Paulo, New York) reported numerous sales on the first day of the fair to both existing and new collectors, and their SOLO booth of works by Mimi Lauter sold out.
Osart (Milan) almost sold out their solo presentation of works by Dan Halter and placed work in an important Belgian collection.
Tim Van Laere Gallery (Antwerp) reported numerous sales from their group presentation which featured works by Jonathan Meese, Bram Demunter, Tal R, and Rinus Van de Velde amongst others.
Sorry We’re Closed (Brussels) sold several works by the sculptors Brian Rochefort, Josh Sperling and Eric Croes. Their SOLO presentation of works by Natsuko Uchino sold out.
M+B (LA) their successful group show featured works by Mark Thomas Gibson, Pat Phillips and Didier William.
Lelong (Paris, New York) as in previous editions the gallery reported very strong sales and this year, huge enthusiasm for works by David Nash.
White House (Lovenjoel) their SOLO booth of works by sculptor Anton Cotteleer sold out. Sales from their PRIME presentation included works by Hadassah Emmerich, Joke Hansen and Tim Volckaert.
Ruttkowski;68 (Cologne, Paris) brisk sales on their booth included several works by Eva Beresin, Richie Culver, Conny Maier, Frédéric Platéus.
Suzanne Tarasieve (Paris) reported numerous sales including an important work by Youcef Korichi which was purchased by a French foundation.
Zeno X (Antwerp) sold over twenty works within the first hours of the fair including a sculpture by MartinMargiela priced at €50,000 and six works priced between €9,000 – €30,000 by Romanian artist Mircea Suciu.
ASPN (Leipzig) sold a large 2 metre painting by Benedikt Leonhardt to a museum in Northern Germany.
Super Dakota (Brussels), reported an extremely enthusiastic response to the work of Belgian artist Bent Van Looy selling half of the works (priced €3,800 to €6,700) on the opening night.
Robert Grunenberg (Berlin) a first time Art Brussels participant, sold seven large paintings by Brandon Lipchik on the preview day.
House of Chappaz (Barcelona) and Joey Ramone (Rotterdam) – winners of the DISCOVERY prize – presented F.A.T.A.L by the duo Momu & No Es on their shared booth. They reported strong sales and were delighted with their first participation at the fair.
PACT (Paris) presented a duo show with Rose Barberat and Dorian Gaudin whose works found new owners at Art Brussels.
WHATIFTHEWORLD (Cape Town) expressed how happy they were with number of curators who came by the booth and the reception they received for works by South African artist Chris Soal.
Steve Turner (Los Angeles) sold 12 paintings by Molly Greene.
Fred & Ferry (Antwerp) were delighted at the calibre of the fair’s visitors and by the opportunity to meet new collectors. They sold out of works by Maxime Brigou.
QG Gallery (Knokke) sold out of their presentation of works by François Ristori.
Galerie Laurentin (Brussels, Paris) reported very good sales of works by Antoine Mortier.
Callewaert Vanlangendonck Gallery (Antwerp) reported successful sales of works by Serge Vandercam.
Schönfeld Gallery (Brussels) sold out their SOLO presentation of works by Albert Pepermans.
Fridman Gallery (New York, Beacon) placed two paintings by the Ukrainian artist Lesia Khomenko priced at €15,000 – €25,000 with a prominent private collection in Basel, Switzerland.
OFFICE IMPART (Berlin) praised the ‘quality of visitors’ to the fair and their ‘open-mindedness’ when it comes to discovering emerging artists. They brought four young Berlin artists including Lena Marie Emrich and Benjamin Bernt Lorca and placed works by several of them with good collections.