Belgium

Brussels Art Guide

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.

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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.


Current Exhibition | Brussels
18 June–1 August 2020
Sterling Ruby

A RELIEF LASHED + A STILL POSE

Xavier Hufkens View Exhibition
Courtesy Xavier Hufkens.
A RELIEF LASHED + A STILL POSE
Current Exhibition | Brussels
13 June–18 July 2020
Group Exhibition

EnormousBalls

Mendes Wood DM View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Group Exhibition, EnormousBalls, Mendes Wood DM, Brussels (13 June–18 July 2020). Courtesy Mendes Wood DM. 
EnormousBalls
Current Exhibition | Brussels
12 June–1 August 2020
Group Exhibition

Water Always Moves On

Almine Rech View Exhibition
Courtesy Almine Rech Gallery.
Water Always Moves On
Current Exhibition | Brussels
28 May–31 July 2020
Will Cotton

The Taming of the Cowboy

Templon View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Will Cotton, The Taming of the Cowboy, Templon, Brussels (28 May–31 July 2020). Courtesy Templon.
The Taming of the Cowboy
Current Exhibition | Brussels
26 May–25 July 2020
Pierre Guyotat
Xavier Hufkens View Exhibition
 Exhibition view: Pierre Guyotat, Xavier Hufkens, 107 rue St-Georges, Brussels (26 May–25 July 2020). Courtesy Xavier Hufkens. Photo: Allard Bovenberg.
Pierre Guyotat
Current Exhibition | Brussels
26 May–29 August 2020
Group Exhibition

Ce mouvement qui déplace les lignes

La Patinoire Royale – galerie Valérie Bach View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Group Exhibition, Ce mouvement qui déplace les lignes, la Patinoire Royale – galerie Valérie Bach, Brussels (26 May–29 August 2020). Courtesy La Patinoire Royale – galerie Valérie Bach.
Ce mouvement qui déplace les lignes
Current Exhibition | Brussels
12 May–18 July 2020
Cindy Ji Hye Kim

Riddles of the Id

rodolphe janssen View Exhibition

Exhibition view: Cindy Ji Hye Kim, Riddles of the Id, rodolphe janssen, Brussels (2 May–18 July 2020). Courtesy the artist and rodolphe janssen, Brussels. Photo: HV photography.  

Riddles of the Id
Current Exhibition | Brussels
12 May–18 July 2020
Jacqueline de Jong

WAR paintings from 1991 to 2014

rodolphe janssen View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Jacqueline de Jong, WAR paintings from 1994 to 2014, rodolphe janssen, Brussels (2 May–18 July 2020). Courtesy rodolphe janssen. Courtesy the artist and rodolphe janssen, Brussels. Photo: HV photography.
WAR paintings from 1991 to 2014
Upcoming Exhibition | Brussels
3 September–17 October 2020
Katinka Bock

Fermata

Galerie Greta Meert View Exhibition
Courtesy Galerie Greta Meert
Fermata
Upcoming Exhibition | Brussels
3 September–17 October 2020
Liam Everett

Steel your face right off your head

Galerie Greta Meert View Exhibition
Courtesy Galerie Greta Meert.
Steel your face right off your head
Upcoming Exhibition | Brussels
3 September–24 November 2020
Abdelkader Benchamma

Signes

Templon View Exhibition
Courtesy Templon.
Signes

Current Exhibitions In Brussels

View All Past Exhibitions (204)
Contemporary art exhibition, Sterling Ruby, A RELIEF LASHED + A STILL POSE at Xavier Hufkens, Brussels
18 June–1 August 2020 Sterling Ruby A RELIEF LASHED + A STILL POSE Xavier Hufkens44 rue Van Eyck, Brussels
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, EnormousBalls at Mendes Wood DM, Brussels
13 June–18 July 2020 Group Exhibition EnormousBalls Mendes Wood DMBrussels
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Water Always Moves On at Almine Rech, Brussels
12 June–1 August 2020 Group Exhibition Water Always Moves On Almine RechBrussels
Contemporary art exhibition, Will Cotton, The Taming of the Cowboy at Templon, Brussels
28 May–31 July 2020 Will Cotton The Taming of the Cowboy TemplonBrussels
Contemporary art exhibition, Pierre Guyotat, Pierre Guyotat at Xavier Hufkens, Brussels
26 May–25 July 2020 Pierre Guyotat Xavier Hufkens107 rue St-Georges, Brussels
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Ce mouvement qui déplace les lignes at La Patinoire Royale – galerie Valérie Bach, Brussels
26 May–29 August 2020 Group Exhibition Ce mouvement qui déplace les lignes La Patinoire Royale – galerie Valérie BachBrussels
Contemporary art exhibition, Cindy Ji Hye Kim, Riddles of the Id at rodolphe janssen, Brussels
12 May–18 July 2020 Cindy Ji Hye Kim Riddles of the Id rodolphe janssenBrussels
Contemporary art exhibition, Jacqueline de Jong, WAR paintings from 1991 to 2014 at rodolphe janssen, Brussels
12 May–18 July 2020 Jacqueline de Jong WAR paintings from 1991 to 2014 rodolphe janssenBrussels
Contemporary art exhibition, Katinka Bock, Fermata at Galerie Greta Meert, Brussels
3 September–17 October 2020 Katinka Bock Fermata Galerie Greta MeertBrussels
Contemporary art exhibition, Liam Everett, Steel your face right off your head at Galerie Greta Meert, Brussels
3 September–17 October 2020 Liam Everett Steel your face right off your head Galerie Greta MeertBrussels
Contemporary art exhibition, Abdelkader Benchamma, Signes at Templon, Brussels
3 September–24 November 2020 Abdelkader Benchamma Signes TemplonBrussels

Ocula Member Galleries In Brussels

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Almine Rech contemporary art gallery in Brussels, Belgium Almine Rech Brussels, London, New York, Paris, 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
Templon contemporary art gallery in Brussels, Belgium Templon Paris, Brussels
Xavier Hufkens contemporary art gallery in 6 rue St-Georges, Brussels, Belgium Xavier Hufkens Brussels
Xavier Hufkens contemporary art gallery in 107 rue St-Georges, Brussels, Belgium Xavier Hufkens Brussels
Xavier Hufkens contemporary art gallery in 44 rue Van Eyck, Brussels, Belgium Xavier Hufkens Brussels

Contemporary Institutions In Brussels

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Wiels contemporary art institution in Brussels, Belgium Wiels Brussels

Brussels In Ocula Magazine

View All (5)
German Galleries Reopen After Lockdown Ocula News German Galleries Reopen After Lockdown London, 23 April 2020

Galleries in Germany have cautiously reopened their doors, while those in other parts of Europe expect to remain closed for weeks to come.

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Golden Jubilee: Art Brussels Ocula Report Golden Jubilee: Art Brussels By Denis Maksimov, Brussels

At the entrance of the fiftieth anniversary edition of Art Brussels (19–22 April 2018), Iván Navarro 's Sediments (2017) at Galerie Templon's booth offered an appropriate 'welcome' into the bottomless world of an art fair—a world map rendered in lights that infinitely stretch into a void by way of an illusion created with mirrors. At La...

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Fair Play: Reflections on Art Brussels, 2016 Ocula Report Fair Play: Reflections on Art Brussels, 2016 By Stephanie Bailey, Brussels

The Independent art fair launched in Brussels this year, concurrent with Art Brussels, one of Europe’s oldest fairs, and it was a fitting disruption to Brussels ’ art week. Art Brussels, after all, was founded as Art Actuel in 1968, just one year after Art Cologne launched the first modern art fair as Kunstmarkt Köln. The same year...

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David Noonan Ocula Conversation David Noonan By Anna Dickie, London

A recent exhibition at Xavier Hufkens, Brussels saw the presentation of large-scale, screen-printed linen collages by Australian born, but London based artist, David Noonan. As with Noonan’s sculptural and film works, the linen collages presented at Hufkens are re-configurations of both abstract and figurative imagery, which he gleans...

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