Is Brussels the hub of contemporary art scene in Europe? Can successful art fairs contribute to the positive city branding? Art Brussels is making waves internationally – the 35th edition welcomed 144 galleries from 28 countries. It took place in the historic Tour & Taxis building – the former customs warehouse where it had moved for the 2016 edition.

Many global magazines and art portals shared their impressions from this years edition and claim that the fair, together with other initiatives contributes the new artistic image of our city.

Belgian capital’s art scene is experiencing a new surge of momentum. Across Art Brussels, dealers echoed the city’s resurgent spirit and reported overall satisfaction with sales. Art Brussels’s own billing as a fair for discovering new artists, whether young, emerging talents or older artists that have been overlooked. In many ways, Art Brussels is still very much a regional fair, but, increasingly, as galleries look closely at their expenditures, it’s regional fairs that are delivering the strongest returns. To read the full review What Sold at Art Brussels on Artsy website, click here.

Wallpaper* magazine also wrote a story in which they note the following: “Art Brussels has proven itself to be no ordinary fair … Art Brussels has carved out a role as one of Europe’s leading discovery fairs, attracting collectors from countries further afield, including Australia and Turkey”. To read more see the following link.

Finally, the Forbes magazine wrote a piece about the fair, claiming that Brussels leads the contemporary art scene in Europe this year.

Politics, mussels and chocolate are all obvious associations with Brussels while contemporary art isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the Belgian capital and the administrative centre of the EU. In fact, the city hosts Art Brussels, the world’s third oldest contemporary art fair (after the Venice Biennale and Documenta) and next year the fair will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

In order to keep things interesting and to compete with the other fairs that have sprung up in Brussels in recent years (the Independent fair, the offspring of Independent New York, is particularly interesting), Art Brussels presents non-commercial projects as well. As Anne Vierstraete, the Managing Director of Art Brussels explains, we “have no interest in simply being a marketplace; we are known as a discovery fair”

As in any city with a successful art fair, other fairs spring up around it, and visitors to the main fair take the time to visit others, as well as the established galleries and museums. Wiels Contemporary art centre, housed in a former brewery, shows temporary exhibitions from Belgian and international artists and was celebrating its tenth anniversary during our visit.
To read the full article from Forbes head to their website.

If you want to stay up to date with the news from Art Brussels, we recommend following their Facebook page.

Photo credits: Art Brussels website.