Brussels
Art Guide

Contemporary art exhibitions, news and editorial from Brussels.

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At the heart of Europe, Brussels is a bustling, ever-changing city with a unique and highly active fine art scene. Over the centuries the Belgian capital has drawn European masters from Pieter Bruegel to Auguste Rodin, René Magritte, and Paul Delvaux. Heritage and UNESCO sites ranging from the medieval Grand-Place to 17th-century guild halls, a 19th-century stock exchange, iconic Art Nouveau and Art Deco town houses, and the futuristic Atomium building, amidst multiple green spaces define the urban landscape of this cosmopolitan cultural centre.

For a city at the heart of European politics and bureaucracy, Brussels' contemporary art scene is highly anarchistic and anti-authoritarian, defying categorisation and standardisation. Highly decentralised and diverse, there is no principal art district; instead, networks and groupings of various migrant and local contemporary artists and their collectors are scattered across the city's districts in all manner of spaces. Empty and abandoned spaces across the city have been transformed into places of art, with even major institutions such as Kanal—Centre Pompidou occupying former industrial spaces.

The city's contemporary art museums and institutions—the Musée Modern (Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium), the Kanal, Wiels Contemporary Art Centre and Centrale for Contemporary Art—give just a small sample of the Brussels art world. An abundance of independent and alternative exhibition spaces and contemporary art galleries help Belgian and migrant artists find their own path. Galleries in Brussels like Templon, Xavier Hufkens, Galerie Greta Meert, Almine Rech, Office Baroque, and Rodolphe Janssen, as well as non-profits such as La Loge and Complot, and independent institutions such as the Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art and the Boghossian Foundation (based in Villa Empain) act as the backbone to the city's contemporary art scene.

With one of the highest concentrations of collectors in Europe and a large number of galleries and independent art organisations that offer support and stability to newer artists, Brussels attracts a wealth of international artists, evident across the multi-cultural collaborations and exhibition spaces dotted across the city.

Major exhibitions are sometimes held at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, though rarely do all art circles converge in this manner. The principal exception is the Art Brussels contemporary art fair (established in 1968), when artists, galleries, and art lovers from all over Brussels and overseas converge in one place. Other smaller alternative art fairs have arisen in recent years, including Art Truc Troc, the Affordable Art Fair, Independent, and Poppositions. These independent efforts attempt to alter gallery hierarchies and provide further space for emerging talent.

Image: Grand Place 1-7 during civil twilight, Brussels. Photo: Trougnouf (Benoit Brummer) (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Featured Current Exhibitions In Brussels

Current Exhibition | Brussels
7 May–6 June 2021
Jacques Calonne

Musique en Signes radieux

La Patinoire Royale – galerie Valérie Bach View Exhibition
Musique en Signes radieux
Current Exhibition | Brussels
24 April–22 May 2021
Group Exhibition

Breakfast Club

rodolphe janssen View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Group Exhibition, Breakfast Club, rodolphe janssen, Brussels (24 April–22 May 2021). Courtesy rodolphe jassen. Photo: HV photography.
Breakfast Club
Current Exhibition | Brussels
22 April–22 May 2021
Daniel Buren

Géométries colorées

Xavier Hufkens View Exhibition

Daniel Buren, Prismes et miroirs : Haut-relief - DBPF-17, travail situé (2020). Acrylic, vinyl sticker on aluminium Alucobond. 225 × 225 × 39.15 cm. Courtesy the artist and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels. Photo: HV-studio. 

Géométries colorées
Current Exhibition | Brussels
22 April–6 June 2021
Antonio Obá

Outros Ofícios

Mendes Wood DM View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Antonio Obá, Outros Ofícios, Mendes Wood DM, Brussels (22 April–6 June 2021). Courtesy Mendes Wood DM. 
Outros Ofícios
Current Exhibition | Brussels
21 April–28 May 2021
Michael Kagan

How We Remember

Almine Rech View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Michael Kagan, How We Remember, Almine Rech, Brussels (21 April–28 May 2021). Courtesy the Artist and Almine Rech.
How We Remember
Current Exhibition | Brussels
21 April–28 May 2021
Group Exhibition

Resting Point of Accommodation Organized with Bill Powers

Almine Rech View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Group Exhibition, Resting Point of Accommodation Organized with Bill Powers, Almine Rech, Brussels (21 April–28 May 2021). Courtesy Almine Rech.
Resting Point of Accommodation Organized with Bill Powers

Brussels In Ocula Magazine

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Current Exhibitions In Brussels

View All Exhibitions (271)
Contemporary art exhibition, Jacques Calonne, Musique en Signes radieux at La Patinoire Royale – galerie Valérie Bach, Brussels
7 May–6 June 2021 Jacques Calonne Musique en Signes radieux La Patinoire Royale – galerie Valérie BachBrussels
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Breakfast Club at rodolphe janssen, Brussels
24 April–22 May 2021 Group Exhibition Breakfast Club rodolphe janssenBrussels
Contemporary art exhibition, Daniel Buren, Géométries colorées at Xavier Hufkens, Rivoli, Brussels
22 April–22 May 2021 Daniel Buren Géométries colorées Xavier HufkensRivoli
Contemporary art exhibition, Antonio Obá, Outros Ofícios at Mendes Wood DM, Brussels
22 April–6 June 2021 Antonio Obá Outros Ofícios Mendes Wood DMBrussels
Contemporary art exhibition, Michael Kagan, How We Remember at Almine Rech, Brussels
21 April–28 May 2021 Michael Kagan How We Remember Almine RechBrussels

Ocula Member Galleries In Brussels

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Almine Rech contemporary art gallery in Brussels, Belgium Almine Rech Aspen, Paris, Brussels, London, New York, Shanghai
Mendes Wood DM contemporary art gallery in Brussels, Belgium Mendes Wood DM São Paulo, Brussels, New York
rodolphe janssen contemporary art gallery in Brussels, Belgium rodolphe janssen Brussels, Knokke
Templon contemporary art gallery in Brussels, Belgium Templon Paris, Brussels
Xavier Hufkens contemporary art gallery in St-Georges, Brussels, Belgium Xavier Hufkens Brussels
Xavier Hufkens contemporary art gallery in Rivoli, Brussels, Belgium Xavier Hufkens Brussels
Xavier Hufkens contemporary art gallery in Van Eyck, Brussels, Belgium Xavier Hufkens Brussels

Contemporary Institutions In Brussels

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Wiels contemporary art institution in Brussels, Belgium Wiels Brussels

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