Contemporary art adds sparkle to the scene

09.04.2019 - Editorial

Every year, from April to May, contemporary art takes the center stage in Brussels. From Art Brussels and the Wim Delvoye exhibition to the Poppositions art fair, there is no shortage of fairs and shows focused on Belgian and international artists.

Brussels has become a real hub for contemporary art and a fertile creative seedbed. Lots of international artists are being captivated by the city's many beautiful spaces dedicated to art. Collectors from all over the world regularly visit the capital in search of that one piece of work or object that stands out from the rest.

Numerous organisations are playing their part in enriching the artistic scene: the WIELS, BOZAR, the MIMA, the Centrale For Contemporary Art, the CAB Foundation, the Boghossian Foundation - Villa Empain Foundation, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, and not forgetting Kanal - Centre Pompidou. Brussels is sharing-out its passion for art among museums and art centers, galleries and artists’ collectives, fairs and other events.

Here is a preview of the fairs, exhibitions and events, which are taking place in Brussels over the next coming weeks:


Art Brussels

Art Brussels is one the best known and respected European art fairs. For its 37th edition, the fair brings together 148 selected galleries from 32 countries. In addition to the galleries selected, Art Brussels has launched a new INVITED section for 2019, made up of emerging galleries or art spaces that transcend the normal gallery format. This section supports the developing art market and is encouraging a new generation of young international galleries that have never previously taken part in Art Brussels.

Dates: 25 - 28 April 2019
Venue: Tour and Taxis
More info

©Art Brussels


This year, POPPOSITIONS is presenting its 8th edition, entitled ‘Capital of Woke’. POPPOSITIONS aims to revitalise the ways that pieces are hung and presented, by constantly experimenting and discovering ground-breaking ways of selling. It is more than a fair, it is an exhibition involving ongoing critical dialogue, whilst retaining a stand-based layout.

Dates: 25 - 28 April 2019
Venue: The Tour à Plomb Centre
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Brussels Art Summit

Brussels art organisations are working together to establish a city-wide festival, rooted in its dynamic contemporary art scene. The Brussels Art Summit wants to be an impetus to this festival. In the run-up to 2030, a growing number of partners want to see the festival slowly grow into an international art manifestation, a kind of 'documenta' for Brussels.

Dates: 22 - 29 May 2019
Venue: BOZAR
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La Vallée

"SchUss", meaning « shot », is the name given to this exhibition. In the same way as the flexibility of this word, "SchUss" provides an accurate reflection of the elasticity of current artistic practices. Using the media of photography, installation, painting and sculpture, the 20 assembled artists underline the changing nature of young creative trends as being like so many trajectories and traces left behind at great speed on the side of a mountain.

Dates: 24 April – 5 May
Venue: La Vallée
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by Zoë Paul 

In « Despina », Zoë Paul explores the impermanence of life through the lens of ancient mythologies, fertility and femininity. She unites new works and material experiments to construct a narrative with scenes both from the lively territories above the earth and below its surface: the divine yet obscure underworld. Inspired by the name « Despina », meaning « lady » in Greek, she also unfolds a series of associations around the notion of femininity.

Dates: 25 April – 29 June
Venue: La Loge
More info

©Zoë Paul

Ellen Gallagher with Edgar Cleijine: Liquid Intelligence

Ellen Gallagher is a first-rate contemporary painter. She creates a bridge between the organic iconographies based on microbiological forms of oceanography and racialised symbols. She reinterprets everyday images and the black idols of pop culture while confronting history and American culture. Gallagher's collaboration with Edgar Cleijne is enriched by reflections on how landscapes and worlds are transformed.

Dates: Until 28 April 2019
Venue: Wiels
More info

©Ellen Gallagher

Sophie Whettnall – Etel Adnan
The pack ice, the woods and the stars

In 1999, Sophie Whettnall won the Prix de la Jeune Peinture. Until this day she still enjoys international recognition. For the CENTRALE, Sophie Whettnall has chosen paintings, drawings, watercolors and etchings by Etel Adnan. "The pack ice, the woods and the stars" – evokes both the world of the Belgian artist, as well as that of Adnan. A formal dialogue is established between the two artists, a shared vision, intimate and personal, of the landscape, light and its transparencies.

Dates: Until 4 August 2019
Venue: CENTRALE for Contemporary Art
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©Sophie Whettnall - Etel Adnan

Wim Delvoye

Wim Delvoye is known for his humor, his taste for technological experimentation, and his rich and varied artistic output. The exhibition dedicated to him by the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium was devised in close collaboration with the artist. It offers an impressive overview of his work while placing the emphasis on his multidisciplinary aspect.

Dates: Until 21 July 2019
Venue: Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium More info
More info

©Wim Delvoye

Anouk De Clercq with Vessel and Helga Davis

At the invitation of BOZAR, artist Anouk De Clercq is executing a new creation that brings a contemporary touch to the art works of the Bernard Van Orley show: Brussels and the Renaissance. In collaboration with the Institute for Systematic Musicology (IPEM) at Ghent University and the experimental composer Vessel, she creates a sound environment inspired by Renaissance vocal music.

Dates: Until 26 May 2019
Venue: BOZAR
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Look at Me

The relation between photographic images and moving images forms the central point of « Look at Me ». Daguerreotypes – invented in 1839 by Louis-Jacques Mandé Daguerre (1787-1851) and more or less supplanted in 1860 – made an enormous contribution to the popularity of the photographic portrait versus the painted portrait. This development came about due to the relatively low cost, with an exposure moving from a few seconds to several minutes.

Dates: Until 28 April 2019
Venue: Argos Centre for Art and Media
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Ways of Connecting
An exhibition with Evan Roth, Raphaël Bastide & Louise Drulhe

The exhibition shows two pieces alongside one another that reveal and translate new forms of the infrastructures and mechanisms, underpinning our connected environment. They are also characterised by the use of P2P web technologies, as alternatives to the centralised internet which prevails today.

Venue: iMAL
Dates: 25 April – 10 May 2019
More info

©Evan Roth, Raphaël Bastide & Louise Drulhe

Galila's P.O.C. (Passion Obsession Collection) – Brussels
A Collection Made up of Thematic Collections

Galila Barzilaï-Hollander bought her first contemporary work at the Armory Show in New York in 2005 and has grown her collection to several thousand works mainly produced by young artists. Her collection is built around themes such as eyes, books, chairs or concepts such as recycling, among others. To make the works she owns accessible to the public, she has redeveloped an industrial building located in the Forest commune.

Visits by appointment only
More info:

©Photo Nicolas Suk


Le Cerf Vert Dinant