Brussels Gallery Weekend 2022 is celebrating two things this week: The return of the art season as well as its 15th birthday. This year, a record number of 47 galleries and 11 institutions are participating in the four-day art marathon, whose headquarters will be located at the newly transformed L’Imprimerie, the modernist former printing premises of the Belgian National Bank. Besides a myriad of exhibitions, 12 of which focus on Belgian artists, there is a lively program of performances, book launches, guided tours, an NFT platform, and parties to be discovered. We’ve scouted the gallery jungle for the 9 exhibitions you really shouldn’t miss this week. See you there!
Written by Sarah Schug
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1 TR Ericsson at Harlan Levey Projects
From 8 September to 17 December
“Tom and Sue” is a mixed-media double portrait of the artist himself and his mother, created over the course of decades. The show at Harlan Levey Projects 1080 is a very intimate and personal affair, touching upon universal themes in human relationships such as love, grief, and joy. Ericsson skillfully not only demonstrates that portraits can transcendent the individual but also underlines that there is more to portraiture than paintings focusing on likeness, revealing a more interior identity instead.
2 Sofia Pashaei at Ballon Rouge
From 8 September to 23 October
“Meaning in the off hours” at Ballon Rouge is Swedish artist Sofia Pashaei very first solo show, after previously having made a name for herself as an animation director. On view are a series of intimate, narrative paintings full of symbols, radiating a distinctive calming aesthetic while revolving around subjects such as identity, home, and relationships.
3 Generation Brussels & Sculpture Factory at L’Imprimerie
During Brussels Gallery Weekend 2022
Brussels Gallery Weekend’s vast headquarters in the beautiful L’Imprimerie is also the host of two must-see exhibitions. “Generation Brussels”, aiming to highlight young artist not yet represented by galleries and organized by a different curator every year, tackles the notion of “Care”. It offers great insight into the emerging Brussels scene as seen through the lens of curator Maud Salembier. Giving carte blanche to various galleries and artists, “Sculpture Factory” provides a platform for monumental artworks, which have enough room to breathe in the 20.000 square meter large modernist space.
4 Verweven/Entrelacés at Schönfeld Gallery
Runs until 22 October
Curated by textile designer Marie Mees, 14 different artists come together for Verweven/Entrelacés, an exhibition that is an ode to interdisciplinarity and the richness of material and matter. Embroidery, lace, crochet, and tapestries can look back on a long tradition in Belgium, and textile art has made a comeback in recent years. Leyla Aydoslu, Willem Cole, Veerle Beckers and many others interact with or show their contemporary take on the ancient craft at Brussels’ Schönfeld Gallery.
5 Leo Gabin at 10N
From 8 September to 28 October
Ghent artist collective Leo Gabin has been working together since the year 2000. Brussels art space 10N, at home in a gorgeous modernist villa, now presents a brand new video work as part of an immersive installation that was specifically created for the exhibition. “Hearsay” shines a light on various aspects of the trio’s multidisciplinary practice, including painting, sculpture and video art.
6 Sophie Kuijken at Galerie Nathalie Obadia
From 8 September to 15 October
Belgian artist Sophie Kuijken, whose work had remained undiscovered for 20 years, first brought out of the shadows in 2011 by Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, feels most at home when retreating to the inner world of her studio. Nathalie Obadia now brings her latest paintings into the spotlight, once again a marvellous demonstration of her portraiture skills merging classical influences with her highly contemporary artistic approach. Captivatingly uncanny.
7 Jeff Wall at Greta Meert
From 8 September to 5 November
Greta Meert Gallery last exhibited influential photographer Jeff Wall in 1991. More than 30 years later, he’s back at the Brussels gallery with an expansive exhibition spanning three floors and four decades. The Canadian is best known for his large-scale mise-en-scènes, which often reference significant art historical works while engaging with the pictorial form in different ways, from lightboxes to silver gelatin prints.
8 Johnson Eziefula at Maruani Mercier
From 8 September to 22 October
Another artist who will make his solo debut at the occasion of Brussels Gallery Weekend 2022: Nigerian-born painter Johnson Eziefula, whose practice is all about capturing the essence of the human condition. Accordingly, “From Time to a Time” explores themes such as memories, grief, and the power of loss. The autobiographical, hyper-realistic paintings exhibited at Maruani Mercier are dedicated to the artist’s late brother who passed away in March.
9 Aryo Toh Djojo at Stems Gallery
From 8 September to 12 November
It doesn’t surprise that Aryo Toh Djojo was born and raised in Los Angeles: His dreamy universe, now on view at Stems Gallery, has something profoundly cinematic and Californian to it. The artist’s paintings, created with an airbrush technique, are hazy, blurry, oscillating between dusk and dawn, reality and fantasy.
Brussels Gallery Weekend 2022
From 8 to 11 September
Cover photo Louisa Gagliardi, on view at Rodolphe Janssen gallery