Closing of Art Brussels 2015
Art Brussels closed on a high after receiving collective praise for the exceptionally high standard of work in the booths and museum-quality artistic programming. This was reflected in strong sales and the notable attendance of significant local and international collectors as well as key international museum professionals. The fair also announced the exciting news of its relocation in 2016 to Tour & Taxis, a key historic building in the heart of Brussels.
The 33rd edition of Art Brussels hosted 191 galleries from 33 countries, including 57 newcomers, one new section (DISCOVERY) and a new programme (ARTISTS’ MUSIC).
Out of the 57 newcomers at Art Brussels 2015, most were featured in the fair’s YOUNG section.
In YOUNG, G262 Sofie Van de Velde (Antwerp) sold works to international collectors as well as local collectors at prices up to 19,000 EUR. Other galleries in the section included New York’s Martos gallery, whose booth sold out. Niklas Schechinger (Hamburg) stated that Art Brussels 2015 had exceeded his expectations, “the atmosphere on the fair was really great—relaxed but concentrated…I’ll definitely be back!” New York’s Eleven Rivington, whose Director Augusto Arbizo is on the fair’s selection committee, almost completely sold out.
Less artworks per booth allowed galleries to create a more comfortable experience; all agreed that this was a significant factor in their increased sales, most notably in PRIME. Newcomers James Cohan (New York) reported the sale of Bill Viola’s critically acclaimed Fire Martyr to a Belgian family foundation for 190,000 EUR, and to another collection, Xu Zhen’s painting, Under Heaven – 1136NH1409. On the preview day of the fair Brussels’s Meessen De Clercq sold over 20 works, and on Saturday sold a painting by Claudio Parmiggiani for 80,000 EUR. Other galleries in this section who sold exceptionally well were Galerie Bernard Ceysson (Paris, Luxembourg, Geneva, St-Etienne) who said it was “by far our best edition of the fair: sales and contacts alike. See you next year Art Brussels!” Michel Rein (Brussels, Paris) sold works by Didier Faustino, Sophie Whettnall and Farah Atass, and Almine Rech (Brussels, London, Paris) sold works by artists including Mark Hagen, Genieve Figgis, and Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille. Daniel Templon sold 20 works including a neon sculpture by Ivan Navarro, priced at 150,000 EUR and by Kehinde Wiley at 180,000 EUR.
Claudia Cargnel of Bugada & Cargnel (Paris) stated she was “very happy with this edition of Art Brussels. All our works by Claire Tabouret were sold during the first hours of the fair to really great American, French and Belgium collections.”
New Art Centre, Salisbury (UK) who represent the estates of Barbara Hepworth and Sir Antony Caro sold important work by Caro for 150,000 EUR along with an iconic Hepworth drawing on the opening day of the fair. Director of the gallery Stephen Feeke said, “collectors were very taken by the younger generation of artists we represent. We sold a major piece by Conrad Shawcross (Royal Academician), and had particular success with young German ceramicist Johannes Nagel. We sold almost every work on the stand. All in all, we were very pleased and look forward to next year.”
The section also included an eccentric display by Antwerp’s established gallery Axel Vervoordt, whose SOLO booth performance by Sadaharu Horio (Osaka, Japan) saw visitors queue for hours to get their hands on a 1 EUR artwork available from the artist’s Art Vending Machine.
NEW Section: DISCOVERY, supported by Anglo Belge Special Risks
Galleries exhibiting at Art Brussels for the first time in the fair’s new DISCOVERY section also reported good, consistent sales. Galleries included UK’s Division of Labour, whose booth was co-curated by Will Lunn, Director of London’s Copperfield gallery; and Paris-based Galerie Allen. As a result of their presence at the fair, Berlin-based KOW gallery had inquiries from curators about holding museum exhibitions for both Tobias Zielony and Renzo Martens.
Art Brussels would like to express its sincere thanks to its main sponsor, ING, as well as to all the other partners that contributed to the success of the fair.
Winners YOUNG PRIZE, in memory of Karen Renders
La Veronica arte contemporanea—Italy
Winner SOLO PRIZE, supported by Van Den Weghe
Honoré d’O (Kristof De Clercq—Belgium)
Germaine Kruip (G262 Sofie Van De Velde—Belgium)
Dates 2016: 20–24 April 2016—Tour & Taxis