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Art Brussels launched The Art Brussels WEEK, a blend of online and offline viewing experience

Header Image: Vivian Maier, "At the Balaban & Katz United Artist Theater, Chicago, IL", 1961. Gelatin silver print, printed 2018.

As evidenced by Art Basel and Frieze, the art fair scene is slowly but surely restarting. This week, it’s Art Brussels’ turn. Just like most art events these days, Art Brussel is holding a mix of offline and online events to commemorate their return in 2021.

For the 2021 edition of Art Brussels, the fair has decided to collaborate with the art online marketplace, Artsy. From June 1-14, 2021, collectors and art enthusiasts all over the world will be able to view what Art Brussels has to offer through Artsy’s website. The move online is partially fueled by the pandemic, but also because of Art Brussels’ global audience. According to managing director Anne Vierstraete, having an online space will allow galleries to experiment with artworks to introduce to a bigger audience. This online platform will also allow “the galleries participating in the Art Brussels viewing room to reach out to a wider collector base.”

Franz Erhard Walther,"Schichtenzeichnung", 1977-1980. Gouache, watercolor, pencil on paper.

Just like a curated tour at a fair, the online viewing room will also have a few curated lists for visitors to enjoy. These curated lists are made by Guillaume Désanges, a freelance curator and art critic based in Paris; Abaseh Mirvali, an independent curator based in Los Angeles; Joost Vanhaerents, co-owner at Vanhaerents Art Collection (Brussels); and Zoé Whitley, the Director of Chisenhale Gallery (London).

Leyla Aydoslu, "Construction XLIX", 2015. Found objects, clay, epoxy.

Of note is when many of the works shown at Art Brussels was created. Co-director Nele Verhaeren states that “most of the works of art are recent creations; 80% covers the offer of works of art not older than five years while 30% of the works were produced during the pandemic.” The galleries selected for this fair were selected 17 months ago before the pandemic began in full. Half of the participating galleries have created an almost identical experience between their online and offline presence, while the other half decided to vary between the two.

Oli Epp, "Holiday Hat", 2021. Oil and acrylic on canvas.

Art Brussels’ offline experience will be held on June 3-6, 2021. Instead of the traditional art fair booth experience, Art Brussels is holding what they call The Art Brussels WEEK. In this version, white cubical booths are replaced with gallery rooms all across Belgium and Paris. New and established galleries will be showing their art in the cities of Brussels, Paris, Antwerp, and Knokke. Some of the newer galleries for visitors to discover include the Brazilian gallery Jaqueline Martins, Los Angeles gallerist Nino Mier’s new space, and Brussel-based Sébastien Janssen’s Sorry We’re Closed. Art Brussels also features long mainstays of Brussels’ art scene, like Xavier Hufkens, Tim Van Laere, and Patrick De Brock Gallery.

View The Art Brussels Week Online Viewing Room here: http://www.artsy.net/art-brussels

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