Parisian gallerist Almine Rech has gained a name for herself as a risk taker, becoming successful through her dedication to and eye for art. Rech first established this reputation on the male dominated Parisian art scene, opening her first gallery with a light installation by previously unknown artist James Turrell. Despite gaining success in Paris, Rech took a further gamble by uprooting her family to Brussels, where she opened a second gallery in 2007. Alongside works by more established artists, the Brussels gallery also shows works by young artists, demonstrating Rech’s personal approach to discovering new talent. In particular, the gallery has carved a niche for itself as being one of the best in Brussels for minimal and conceptual art.
Almine Rech Gallery, Rue de l’Abbaye 20, Brussels, Belgium +32 2 648 56 84
Jan Mot is the typical Brussels gallerist. Originally an art historian, Mot had not envisioned himself opening up a gallery, but his passion for collecting artwork and the difficulty of making it as a curator in a city with few contemporary art museums pushed him to open a small space in 1996. Though the gallery has since been moved to a larger space, Mot continues to work on a personal basis with the artists he exhibits in his gallery, crafting long-term relationships. The gallery also helps to promote the work of its artists through its bi-monthly newspaper and participation in art fairs and cross gallery collaborations. The friendlier and smaller scale art community in Brussels has been essential in allowing for smaller, more pesonalised galleries to thrive. Mot also recently opened another gallery in Mexico City, signaling the chance for increasing collaboration with emerging Mexican artists in the future.
Jan Mot, Rue de la Régence 67, Brussel, Belgium, +32 2 514 10 10
In 2007, entrepreneur and collector Walter Vanhaerants opened his private art collection to the public. Over the years, the Vanhaerents Art Collection grew into one of the best places in Brussels to view contemporary artworks from a wide selection of international artists. Another unique aspect of the exhibition space is that his collection features artists from the 1970s as well as more modern day creators. This allows guests to view the works of famous artists such as Andy Warhol and Bruce Nauman, alongside up-and-coming figures. The exhibitions shown at Vanhaerents are also illustrative of the influence of the 1960s and 70s on the owner; one example was Disorder in the House, which featured the work of young artists continuing the legacy of pop art.
La Loge was created in 2012 along with a recent wave of alternative, non-profit art spaces in Brussels. The artist collective was founded by architect Philippe Rotthier as a space to foster dialogue and experimentation. Performances, screenings, lectures, and at least five exhibitions are organized each year, allowing artists, curators, and the public to discuss topics pertaining to contemporary art and architecture. As part of its policy, La Loge never shows already-existing pieces, but rather invites artists to create new works and projects. As the gallery focuses on promoting cultural dialogue rather than sales, Director Anne-Claire Schmitz proudly proclaims that the space is “the opposite of a White Cube gallery.”
From shocking works by artists such as Betty Tompkins to thought-provoking pieces by Walead Beshty, Rodolphe Janssen has gained a reputation for being the best place to find work by up and coming artists. Pieces by artists from all over Europe and the US have been displayed at the gallery. Having opened in 1991, it is one of the oldest and most active galleries on the Brussels art scene, having participated in the Art Brussels fair fifteen times. A Belgian native, Janssen describes Belgian culture as unpretentious and friendly – characteristics that have had a considerable impact on the growing success of the city’s galleries. Since its inception, the gallery has organized over 120 exhibitions, with plenty more to come.
Radolphe Janssen, Rue de Livourne 35, Brussels, Belgium, +32 2 538 08 18