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Bruges is a city that is so picturesque that you would almost think it came out of a fairytale. Mouth-watering chocolate, handmade lace, romantic boat trips and elegant 16th century buildings are all part of the city’s landscape. But Bruges is also home to many interesting art galleries that promote the best of Belgium’s contemporary art. This article will explore the top ten contemporary art galleries to visit in Bruges.
Ceramics, glass art, graphics and design are Art O Nivo’s main interests. The art centre often holds innovative exhibitions that will enchant any art lover. In 2014, they decided to explore the links between architecture and art; therefore, they invited talented artists from the Netherlands, France, Wallonia and Flanders to exhibit their photographic, graphic and architectural works and also glass sculptures. Four outstanding glass sculptors — namely Han de Kluyver, Etienne Leperlier, Chantal Delporte, and Warner Berckmans — together with architects, an architectural photograph, and an etcher are part of the 2014 programme. Art O Nivo is perfectly located, close to the main square, and is also home to a café with a terrace.
Art O Nivo, Wollestraat 25, Bruges, Belgium, +32 51 24 33 88
Specialising in graphics and art on paper since the early 1980s, the Graphic Koen Broes gallery aims to promote the work of contemporary artists by focusing on their talent rather than on big names. As such, the gallery run by Carine and Koen Broes offers a wide choice of gorgeous prints, artists, and techniques. They are passionate in their work and believe in the aesthetics but also the technicality of the field. Every print is unique, even when there are multiple copies, with differences in intensity, colour, texture and colour. And every print has received their backing. New artists are encouraged to get involved.
Graphic Koen Broes, Simon Stevinplein 12, Bruges, Belgium, +32 50 33 37 74
The Absolute Art Gallery is an international contemporary art gallery located in the heart of Bruges. The gallery aims to promote the artwork of young and talented Belgian artists, but also of international artists. Impressive paintings, sculptures, installations and photographs can all be admired at the gallery. The work of excellent artists such as Christine Comym, Mauro Perucchetti, Marc Lagrange, Peter Zuur, Wim Ricourt, Carlos Mata and many more, are exhibited there. Absolute Art Gallery also offers a wide collection of art books that art lovers can buy at the gallery as well as online.
Absolute Art Gallery, Dijver 4-5, Bruges, Belgium, +32 50 49 10 12
Manna Kunsthuis is not only an impressive gallery from the inside, it is also an old and beautiful house in the heart of the city. Inside this house, calligraphy, sculptures and paintings are exhibited. There is also a shop where you can find little works of art and books. However, Manna Kunsthuis aims to be more than just an art gallery or shop. They want to be an oasis of beauty that is open and welcoming to everyone, where you can just step in to enjoy the beauty of art and be inspired. Sabine Deroo, Yon Nicolas, Marc Roos, Yves Leterme, Werner Schneider, Franc Ranson and Godfried Theunynck are names of artists that you will encounter in Manna Kunsthuis.
Manna Kunsthuis, Heilige-Geeststraat 3, Bruges, Belgium, +32 50 33 50 60
PINSART is a contemporary art gallery located in Bruges that regularly holds exhibitions. In a city where ancient art is the norm, this is a place influenced by modernity which offers light and space to put contemporary works on display. The gallery aims to promote a variety of styles of art work. The exhibited pieces can range from sculpture installations, to multi media expositions and paintings. Artists such as Peter Jonckheere, Sylvie Crutelle, and Johan Lingier have had their works put on display in these premises.
Johan Lingier and his grotto installation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGltWD2H2x0
PINSART, Genthof 21, Bruges, Belgium, +32 50 67 50 66
Pavel and Annie own a guesthouse and an art gallery. After exploring the world and living in seven different countries, they agreed that the prettiest city was Bruges, and set up their gallery-guesthouse there. ARtist Pavel allows guests to enjoy breakfast in his atelier and gallery and are more than welcome to explore it too. The house, ‘Jacquemine’, is a historical house from the 13th century and is named after its first owner. Pavel is a creative contemporary artist aiming to explore the non-physical world, play with ideas, and journey in the land of dreams to find his inspiration.
Jacquemine Art Gallery, Hoogstraat 34, Bruges, Belgium, +32 478 37 56 96
Born in Bruges in March 1954, Paul Van Hecke has always been passionate about art. While he was searching for deeper meanings and understanding of his inner self, he met up with various masters in India and in the Himalayas. It is through his meditation sessions that he came to realise the power of colours and shapes. This realisation is now apparent on his paintings. Art for Paul Van Hecke has to come from within first. In 1999, the artist started his atelier in his beautiful hometown, Bruges. The art gallery Groeninge is a must see now for every art lover visiting the city.
Art Gallery Groeninge, Nieuwe Gentweg 27, Bruges, Belgium, +32 50 3418 36