Art, art and art in Brussels, fashion and plant culture in Antwerp, and much more. See you there!
Art fair frenzy I: Art Brussels at Tour & Taxis
From 22 to 24 April Brussels
This week it’s all about art in the Belgian capital when the 34th edition of Art Brussels rolls into town, and this time the annual highlight of the Belgian art calendar is awaited with maybe even more curiosity: how will the fair play out in its new location at Tour & Taxis? After the motto ‘less is more’, the number of participating galleries has been visibly reduced in an attempt to keep quality high. Plus, the fair is divided in six different sections, making your visit more varied and easier to navigate. We’re especially looking forward to the solo booths and the brand new Rediscovery category, dedicated to art from 1917 to 1987, which presents living or deceased artists, that are under-recognised, under-estimated or forgotten. See the full programme here.
Art fair frenzy II: Independent at Vanderborght building
From 20 to 23 April Brussels
Art Brussels is getting a competitor: the most hotly anticipated event of the week is most definitely the very first edition of New York’s Independent art fair in Brussels. The announcement of Independent’s arrival in the Belgian capital stirred quite some attention in the art world, and confirmed the city’s standing as an essential player in the international art scene. The exhibitor list reveals that a number of major galleries has already made the move from Art Brussels to Independent, and with its alternative concept and free entrance it might really become a serious rival for Art Brussels.
Art tour: Brussels Gallery night
Wednesday, 20 April Brussels
With all the art folk coming to town, the week is also essential for Brussels’ galleries, which of course try to attract collectors and art fans with tailored exhibitions and special openings. To make it easier for visitors to discover the local gallery scene, there’s a gallery night planned for Wednesday evening, when a certain number of galleries offer longer openings times and a shuttle service. Stay tuned for our selection of the exhibitions you should not miss this week!
Art fair frenzy III: Poppositions at La Vallée
From 21 to 24 April Brussels
As every year Poppositions offers a critical alternative to the established art fairs, boldly experimenting with the art fair format. Accordingly, this year’s edition is named “The Wrong Side”, as a reference to being “on the wrong side” of the art market. The programme features an exciting mix of international high-quality project spaces and galleries ranging from Brussels’ Deborah Bowmann to Vienna’s Pony Project and London’s Waterside Contemporary. Additionally, there’s a reading room, various performances and discussions awaiting you: see here for the full programme.
Fashion: La Fille d’O at Felix Parkhuis
From 22 to 23 April Antwerp
Belgian underwear brand La Fille d’O with headquarters in Ghent takes over Antwerp’s Felix Pakhuis this week for a special two-day stock and samples sale. If you like it kinky but comfortable at the same time, make sure to get your hands on one of these gorgeous pieces. And if you can’t make it, have a look at the La Fille d’O online shop here. By the way, it’s all part of the Belmodo Fashion Days: see the full programme here.
Art fair frenzy IV: YIA at Louise 186
From 21 to 24 April Brussels
And we’re still not done with this week’s art fair programme: for the first time French art fair YIA leaves its hometown Paris to make its international debut in Brussels, taking over six stories of new Brussels art hotspot Louise 186. YIA stands for Young International Artists, and accordingly the project wants to promote young and emerging artistic talents from all over the globe. Don’t forget to stop by the gorgeous rooftop restaurant.
Art fair frenzy V: Off Course at Le Dynastie
From 21 to 24 April Brussels
Off course fair offers a platform to the art world’s youngest: here you can discover the work of graduates from Belgium’s leading art schools and get a glimpse of who might be the stars of tomorrow. A great opportunity to detect new talent.
Concert: Wild Shelter at Botanique
Friday, 22 April, 20h00 Brussels
A little while ago we interviewed Adrien (27) and Alex Waeyenbergh (29) , the inseparable brothers who founded the fairly new Brussels band Wild Shelter. They had caught our attention with their dreamy debut EP “All Is Bright”, mixing electronica, pop and rock. This Friday you can finally discover the newbies live on stage at Botanique!
Opening: Orchestrating the Borrowed at Tique
Thursday, 21 April Antwerp
While the focus is no doubt on Brussels this week, we shouldn’t forget about the rest of Belgium. At Antwerp’s Tique for example “Orchestrating the Borrowed” opens this week, an intriguing show featuring the work of Taiwanese artist Hou Chien Cheng. Here, he presents video essays and installations based on his very own novel “Green”, whose protagonist Albert Green takes on the role of a transgender, although that’s not who he really is.
Greenery: Plant market at Desingel
Saturday, 23 April Antwerp
If you feel like escaping Brussels and its art circus this week, Desingel’s plant market is a great option. Dive into the jungle to get your hands on palm trees, cacti and more to bring some nature into your home. The event is part of Botanik, a free festival on urban gardening and greenery initiated by Labeur Local and Les Odettes.
Refugees welcome: Pop up factory at Micromarché
Saturday, 23 April, 17-20h00 Brussels
Earlier this year coworking space Transforma Bxl hosted a so-called Hacketon for refugees, inspiring Belgian creatives to develop concepts that are designed to help integrating refugees into the local communities and improve their lives in general. The winning project puts its ideas into practice this Saturday, organizing a pop up factory bringing together local artisans and refugees to design and build furniture pieces together, share stories and build relationships. At the end of the day everyone interested is invited to discover their creations and have a drink. Great initiative!
Night out: Catclub – The Art Edition at Galerie Ravenstein
Saturday, 23 April Brussels
Even the must-attend party of the week is, of course, art-related. As every year legendary Belgian party series Catclub throws the unofficial official Art Brussels after party, this time in a new majestic venue that will offer a magnificent background for the artsy party crowd: Galerie Ravenstein. Behind the decks: Sweden’s Robert Parker, Kong, Fais Le Beau, and others.
Photography: Eva Donckers at Gouvernment
Thursday, 21 April, 18h00 Ghent
“An Anthropology of The Tourist” opens in Ghent this week, a show featuring the work of young Belgian photography talent Eva Donckers. The fascinating series depicts her journey though the US, during which she observed tourists in their habitat whilst also commenting on the marketing strategies of commercial tourism. There’ll also be concerts and a performance.