What to see in Brussels during Art Brussels

In the run-up of the 39th edition of Art Brussels, we share our selection of Brussels exhibitions taking place during - and after - the fair.

Less is More - Redefining the Kunstkamer
19 April - 30 April

COLNAGHI - one of the oldest commercial art galleries in the world and one of the leading galleries in Old Master paintings - is presenting Less is More: Redefining the Kunstkamer, a pop-up exhibition from April 19 to April 30, 2023. A temporary space will redefine the concept of Kunstkamer, which appeared in Flanders in the early 17th century, and contrasting with the aesthetic canons of today. 

In a minimalist architecture, works by old masters (such as Frans Francken, Bartolomeo Cavarrozzi, Willem de Poorter, Massimo Stanzione) and modern masters (such as Léon Spilliaert and Cy Twombly) are displayed, along the masterpiece by the Antwerp baroque painter Cornelis Norbertus Gysbrechts After the Falcon Hunt.

More information here

Baronian ​
Charlotte vander Borght ​
19 April - 27 May

Baronian presents its first solo exhibition by Belgian artist Charlotte vander Borght (1988, Brussels).

Whether sculpture or photography, Charlotte vander Borght’s work focuses on the materiality of industry and architecture. Design is imbued with ideology, whether it be in the furniture that surrounds us or the architecture that we inhabit. 

For her first solo exhibition at Baronian gallery, the artist chooses subjects that directly relate to forms of utopian thinking such as the miracle of public transport.

More information here

CENTRALE for Contemporary Art ​
Mehdi-Georges Lahlou & Candice Breitz ​
20 April - 17 September

For this exhibition, envisaged as a space of celebration and encounters, Mehdi-Georges Lahlou presents a whole new body of works including sculptures, drawings, engravings, reworked archive photos, as well as installations and videos. 

Mehdi-Georges Lahlou has invited the Berlin-based artist Candice Breitz (1972, Johannesburg) as a guest artist. Born and raised in South Africa during the era of apartheid, Breitz has consistently sought to grapple with whiteness in her work. Breitz’s journeys into the violent terrain of whiteness often feature the artist herself and are strikingly auto-ethnographic, offering a compelling counterpoint to Mehdi-Georges Lahlou’s body of work, in which self-portraiture again and again opens onto some of the most urgent political conversations of our times.

The two artists work with (self-)portraits, as well as with images taken from the media and from popular or ancestral/traditional cultures. They examine the way in which identity and image are shaped and echo each other, whether within the local and familial microcosm, or within the wider national and international macrocosm.

More information here

Xavier Hufkens
Milton Avery
20 April - 10 June

Xavier Hufkens presents Forms from Nature, the gallery’s first solo exhibition of works by the American master, Milton Avery (1885-1965). It is also the first monographic presentation of Avery’s work in Belgium.

Focusing on his affinity with the natural world, the artist’s most enduring source of inspiration, this exhibition charts the development of Avery’s practice over a span of three decades—from the 1930s to the 1960s. These selected works—oils, watercolours, and line drawings—highlight the artist’s distinctive approach to colour, light, and composition.

Avery’s emphasis on simplified forms and colour as a primary vehicle of expression won him the admiration of numerous younger artists starting in the 1930s, such as Mark Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb, and Barnett Newman, all of whom became lifelong friends. 

More information here

Xavier Hufkens
Roni Horn / Danh Vō
Until 6 May

American artist Roni Horn is presenting Recent Drawings, her fifth exhibition at Xavier Hufkens. The presentation emphasizes the primacy of drawing in the artist’s practice and highlights the new directions in which she is taking the medium. Horn has been creating innovative and technically complex works on paper for almost four decades. Describing drawing as her ‘primary activity’ and ‘a kind of breathing activity on a daily level’, it is the only medium that she has consistently worked in throughout her extensive career.

Alongside Roni Horn’s Recent Drawings, Danh Vō will present an in-situ installation that employs elements of autobiography and collective experience to examine larger historical, social and political themes. Both artists are attentive to the conceptual underpinnings of their work and seek to challenge traditional exhibition models. Poetry and the malleability of identity are also key elements common to their influential, respective practices. 

More information here

Schönfeld Gallery
Christina Zimpel
Until 29 April

Schönfeld Gallery is presenting the first solo exhibition at the gallery by the Australian artist Christina Zimpel (°1961, lives and works in New York).

In The I's Inside, Christina Zimpel presents a series of enigmatic portraits of women. They suggest diverse interests and sources of inspiration. Zimpel's often intense, non-realistic use of colour and her flat, simplified shapes betray a fondness for the work of German Expressionists, and Fauvists like Henri Matisse. The frequently used pink colour is not soft and feminine, but rather subversive and fluorescent – as she knows it from the punk of her youth. In turn, the hairstyles with the hair twisted in a dot recall the seductive female figures of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and the shadow silhouettes in black ink are reminiscent of the street photography of Vivian Maier, among others.

More information here

Until 6 May

MANIERA is currently presenting the first exhibition in its new gallery space. The Belgian design gallery has moved into the Hôtel Danckaert, also known as Villa Dewin, a fine and rare example of a preserved art deco building in Brussels. The house was designed in 1922 by the Belgian architect Jean-Baptiste Dewin, for Jean Danckaert, an industrial engineer. The building and the rose garden are listed as heritage sites and the interior furnishings and decoration of the Villa were developed by the famous Ateliers d’Art De Coene.

For the inaugural show, fifteen new pieces by artists and architects of the gallery enter into a dialogue with the building, making it an integrated whole. 

More information here

Centre for Fine Arts (Bozar) ​
Swedish Ecstasy ​
Until 21 May

Bozar is presenting the ambitious exhibition project Swedish Ecstasy: Hilma af Klint, August Strindberg and other visionaries, curated by Daniel Birnbaum.

The exhibition reveals an aspect of the country that is somewhat surprising and less known. This exhibition brings together some 130 works by Swedish artists who found inspiration in the spiritualand who expand the orders of spiritual consciousness in their art. 

A central figure in the exhibition is Hilma af Klint (1862-1944), a pioneer of abstract art. She secretly developed a radical oeuvre that was far ahead of its time and that was only discovered after her death. In recent years her work has been a revelation in the international art world and can now be viewed for the first time in Brussels, together with the exceptional VR experience of her "temple."

More information here

Centre for Fine Arts (Bozar) ​
Michel François
Until 21 July

Bozar celebrates the fortieth anniversary of the artistic career of the Belgian artist Michel François. For the occasion, he has created a 'total work of art' tailor-made for the exhibition halls of the Centre for Fine Arts in his home town of Brussels.

Contre nature offers a broad overview of his work, from his first works to the new creations he has made for this show. His work deals with sensitive current themes such as the frail and beauty of living beings, on which destructive forces may be exerted. Using sculpture, photography, video, painting and installation, the artist creates a web of shifting connections between his artworks. The exhibition is a unique concept in which the 'total artwork' is central and the exhibition space becomes an extension of his studio.

More information here

Local Heroes
Until 28 May

The MIMA - the Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art - is transformed into a boxing temple on the occasion of the exhibition Local Heroes. ​ 

Inspired by Ancient Greek gymnasiums, “Local Heroes” offers not only exercise for the body but also exercise for the mind. The exhibition includes a programme of boxing fights and training, next to audiovisual installations and theatrical and artistic interventions, making each visit a unique experience. The exhibition also presents photographs, drawings, posters and specifically designed combat clothing.

For the physical sports performances, the MIMA is working together with the local community formed by the two boxing associations in the city centre, BBA and IBP. The artists present in the exhibition are also local and Brussels-based.

More information here

Jewish Museum of Belgium
Four Sisters
Until 27 August

Through the work of four artists - Chantal Akerman, Marianne Berenhaut, Sarah Kaliski and Julia Pirotte - the exhibition Four Sisters addresses the themes of destruction, emancipation, transformation, desire and memory.

Chantal Akerman, Marianne Berenhaut, Sarah Kaliski and Julia Pirotte are artists. One makes films, the other sculptures. Another is a painter, the last a photographer. Four Jewish women. Coming from different generations, they emigrated or were born of stateless parents who fled Eastern Europe and the persecutions of the 1930s. All four lived in Brussels and have in common that they lived - directly or through their relatives - through the Occupation, that they saw and suffered deportations, that they lived through the disaster. ​ 

More information here

The artwork as a living system
Until 24 September

iMAL is presenting The Artwork as a Living System, a retrospective on the pioneering work of Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau since the early 1990s. The exhibition connects a traditional subject – art and nature – with the most innovative artistic techniques employed in virtual, sentient, interactive projects. 

The display is made up of 14 interactive installations, the majority of which have won awards at the principal festivals of art, science and digital culture worldwide. The presented works offer an intimate and tangible approach to concepts such as quantum physics, the theory of complex systems, genetics, molecular nanoscience or artificial life.

More information here

Please let me know if you would like more information or if you want ​ to schedule a visit to (one of) these exhibitions.


Micha Pycke
Club Paradis
+32 (0)486 680 070
[email protected]





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