Now in its 38th edition, Art Brussels
- one of Europes oldest and most established art fairs - reveals details of presentations by 157 galleries from 26 countries. With a strong and international line up and a mix of established and emerging talent as well as artists to rediscover, Art Brussels maintains its reputation as a place for discovery. It presents the best of the contemporary gallery scene, showcasing close to 1,000 artists as part of a vibrant programme. Alongside the new initiatives and works commissioned for the fair, Art Brussels will feature thought-provoking artworks which examine identity and the body, technology and environmental issues.
The participating galleries are divided into different sections according to the fair programme: PRIME (for mid-career and established artists), DISCOVERY (emerging artists), REDISCOVERY (artists where recognition is long overdue), INVITED (emerging galleries that are transcending the typical gallery format) and SOLO (solo artist presentations).
The fair continues to show its dedication to curated displays by hosting a record number of SOLO presentations with more than 30 galleries highlighting the work of individual artists. Key SOLO presentations include: Wanda Koop at Blouin Division (Montreal) who examines the landscape through the lens of technology; Paul McCarthy at Xavier Hufkens (Brussels) whose works criticize American mythologies and politics; Dankyi Mensah at Maruani Mercier (Brussels, Knokke, Zaventem) whose colourful portraiture documents the development of the social and political landscape in Ghana; Nazanin Pouyandeh at Sator (Paris) whose works explore her personal evolution and relationship between Iran and Europe; and Noel W. Anderson at Zidoun-Bossuyt (Luxembourg), known for his exploration of black male identity using textiles as a medium. The best SOLO presentation will be awarded the SOLO Prize (supported by Hiscox), with the winning artist receiving 10,000.
Other works at the fair examine notions of gender, identity and the body. Examples in PRIME include: Kiki Smith at Lelong & Co (Paris, New York), known for her figural representations of mortality, abjection and sexuality; Kenny Dunkan at Les Filles du Calvaire (Paris) who refers to Caribbean culture, particularly the Carnival, and the ambiguous duality between colonialism and local tradition mixed with the African slave history and Didier William at M+B (Los Angeles) who draws on Haitian history and his personal experience regarding colonialism and resistance. At Steve Turner (Los Angeles) in DISCOVERY, Jingze Dus black and white paintings represent the artists status as an immigrant.
Also at DISCOVERY, several artists are highlighting concerns around the environment and climate change. Ronan McCreas work at Green on Red (Dublin) centres on the controversial Dublin Waste-to-Energy facility; Chris Soal at WHATIFTHEWORLD (Cape Town), creates sculptures with disposable objects such as toothpicks and bottle tops to comment on ecological concerns; whilst at Axel Vervoordt (Antwerp, Hong Kong) and Laurent Godin (Paris) in PRIME, Peter Buggenhouts unpolished sculptures are created from industrial waste, horsehair, entrails and house dust.
The influence of technology and social media on society is addressed by a number of artists. At DISCOVERY, ASPN (Leipzig) presents Katarína Dubovská whose installations use images that are dragged and twisted until all the cells are disintegrated; and House of Chappaz (Barcelona, Valencia) and Joey Ramone (Rotterdam) present a shared booth with works by Momu & No Es that criticize hyperconnectivity and express distrust towards the use of new reality technologies. In PRIME, Charlot (Paris, Tel Aviv) displays among others Quayola who merges classical aesthetics with software and algorithms.
Art Brussels is known as a hotbed of young talent, and a number of artists aged under 30 are exhibiting in the DISCOVERY section including: Rose Barberat (1994) at PACT (Paris); James Collins (1992) at Claas Reiss (London); Megan Dominescu (1997) at Anca Poterasu (Bucharest); Afra Eisma (1993) at No Mans Art Gallery (Amsterdam); Brandon Lipchik (1993) at Robert Grunenberg (Berlin); and Charlotte Vandenbroucke (1993) and Loïc Van Zeebroek (1994) at Dauwens & Beernaert (Brussels). Awarded in recognition for their work nurturing emerging artists, the best DISCOVERY presentation will be awarded with the Discovery Prize supported by Moleskine - with the winning gallery receiving 5,000.
In PRIME Michel Rein (Paris, Brussels) Romanian artist and peace activist Dan Perjovschi will unveil a new series of original black and white drawings, criticising the invasion of Ukraine. He has also created a series of five pins that will be on sale at the fair, inviting visitors to show their support for the country. The entire purchase price of the pins will be donated to the charity Ukraine 12-12.
New initiatives for 2022 include 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. A series of talks hosted off-site in collaboration with the fairs institutional partner iMAL the pioneering centre for digital cultures and technology in the Brussels brings together major players in the artworld and crypto/NFT experts, building bridges between the two worlds.
New commissions and special projects include My, Our, Yours by artist Valérian Goalec, curated by Maud Salembier and presented by Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, which uses the often clinical and standardised dimension of art fairs as a backdrop to explore personal space and conversational distance in communication, and LAir, a new performance by Myrthe van der Mark, which will be presented every two hours during the fair.
LOeuvre et son Double in the Stibbe Lounge is an exhibition that unites the work of several artists participating in this years Venice Bienniale. Curated by Sam Steverlynck, the title is a reference to Le Décor et son Double, the installation conceived by Daniel Buren for the iconic exhibition Chambres dAmis, curated by Jan Hoet in 1986, which invited 50 artists to exhibit their work in private houses in Ghent. Buren went a step further, also realising a reconstruction of the room in a museum. Playing out the contrast between copy and original, the private and the public, the installation functions as a metaphor for the exhibition where a number of artists will show works which derive from those shown at Venice, while others play with the notion of double, copy or mirror image. Artists include: Ignasi Aballí, Francis Alÿs, Mirella Bentivoglio, Mariana Castillo Deball, Latifa Echakhch, Jane Graverol, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Louise Lawler, Rosana Paulino, Solange Pessoa, Carol Rama, and Sandra Vásquez de la Horra.