Brussels
Art Guide

Brussels art galleries, exhibitions, news and editorial.

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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
23 September–5 November 2022
Giorgio Griffa

Luce buio

Xavier Hufkens View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Giorgio Grifa, Luce buio, Xavier Hufkens, Van Eyck, Brussels (23 September–5 November 2022). Courtesy Xavier Hufkens.
Contemporary art exhibition, Giorgio Griffa, Luce buio at Xavier Hufkens, Van Eyck, Belgium
Current Exhibition | Brussels
9 September–15 October 2022
Joe Bradley

New Paltz

Xavier Hufkens View Exhibition

Exhibition view: Joe Bradley, New Paltz, Xavier Hufkens, St-Georges (9 September–15 October 2022). Courtesy Xavier Hufkens. Photo: HV-studio.

Contemporary art exhibition, Joe Bradley, New Paltz at Xavier Hufkens, St-Georges, Belgium
Current Exhibition | Brussels
9 September–12 November 2022
Trong Gia Nguyen

In Perpetuity

La Patinoire Royale | Galerie Valérie Bach View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Trong Gia Nguyen, In Perpetuity, La Patinoire Royale | Galerie Valérie Bach, Brussels (9 September–12 November 2022). Courtesy La Patinoire Royale | Galerie Valérie Bach.
Contemporary art exhibition, Trong Gia Nguyen, In Perpetuity at La Patinoire Royale | Galerie Valérie Bach, Brussels, Belgium
Current Exhibition | Brussels
9 September–12 November 2022
Leo Orta

Why Do Clouds Cry?

La Patinoire Royale | Galerie Valérie Bach View Exhibition
Leo Orta, Fauteuil Oiseau (armchair), (2022). Courtesy La Patinoire Royale | Galerie Valérie Bach.
Contemporary art exhibition, Leo Orta, Why Do Clouds Cry? at La Patinoire Royale | Galerie Valérie Bach, Brussels, Belgium
Current Exhibition | Brussels
9 September–27 November 2022
Lucy + Jorge Orta

Vita Extremis

La Patinoire Royale | Galerie Valérie Bach View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Lucy+Jorge Orta, Vita Extremis, La Patinoire Royale | Galerie Valerie Bach (9 September–12 November 2022). Courtesy La Patinoire Royale | Galerie Valérie Bach.
Contemporary art exhibition, Lucy + Jorge Orta, Vita Extremis at La Patinoire Royale | Galerie Valérie Bach, Brussels, Belgium
Current Exhibition | Brussels
8 September–8 October 2022
Seulgi Lee

SLOW WATER

Mendes Wood DM View Exhibition
Courtesy Mendes Wood DM. 
Contemporary art exhibition, Seulgi Lee, SLOW WATER at Mendes Wood DM, Brussels, Belgium

Brussels In Ocula Magazine

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Current Exhibitions In Brussels

View All Exhibitions (15)

Ocula Member Galleries In Brussels

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Almine Rech contemporary art gallery in Brussels, Belgium
Almine Rech Aspen, Brussels, London, New York, Paris +1
Gladstone Gallery contemporary art gallery in Grote Hertstraat, Brussels, Belgium
Gladstone Gallery Brussels, New York, Seoul
Mendes Wood DM contemporary art gallery in Brussels, Belgium
Mendes Wood DM Brussels, New York, São Paulo
Templon contemporary art gallery in Brussels, Belgium
Templon Brussels, New York, Paris
Xavier Hufkens contemporary art gallery in Rivoli, Brussels, Belgium
Xavier Hufkens Brussels
Xavier Hufkens contemporary art gallery in St-Georges, 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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