Art Brussels celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, making it the second oldest (if not continuously running) contemporary fair in Europe, after Art Cologne, writes The Art Newspaper. The Art Newspaper brings an interesting story about Art Brussels and explains the importance of this fair for our city as well as the reasons for its success.

That longevity, says the fair’s managing director, Anne Vierstraete, is down to the strength of the collector base that underpins the city’s art scene.

Thanks in part to fortunes derived from industry and textiles, Brussels has long boasted a substantial number of serious buyers, which in turn has fed what Vierstraete describes as a “rich and vibrant” art community. “The contemporary art scene has developed over the past 50 years, building on a tradition of collecting that distinguishes Belgium as a country, which is said to have one of the highest number of collectors per capita in the world,” she says.

Founded as Foire d’Art Actuel with 11 dealers in 1968, Art Brussels has championed contemporary art from the start. This year, 147 dealers will fill the historic Tour & Taxis building, an industrial customs house built in 1904. Twenty dealers who previously participated are returning after a hiatus.

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One of the main draws for the adventurous Brussels audience, Vierstraete says, is the Discovery section, which this year features 33 galleries showing recently created work by emerging talents. To read the full article, visit The Art Newspaper.

Art Brussels hosts an extensive talks programme from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 April.

The discursive programme will take place in the Talks Room in Hotel de la Poste, from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 April. Belfius organises also a series of talks in the Belfius Lounge. No registration required, open to everyone with a valid entrance ticket. The talks will also be streamed live on the fair’s Facebook page.