Six artists to discover during Art Brussels

28.04.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Cover Image: Autour de nous huile sur bois de Karine Rougier, 103 x 93 cm, 2018

Brussels is increasingly becoming one of the most refreshing European cities in which to discover art. Young spaces like collective Ballon Rouge and the collaborative La Maison de Rendez-Vous are opening new spaces and giving a new dose of oomph to the scene. Last week’s Art Brussels, an annual fair in its 37th edition with 148 galleries, was not too big, not too small – the goldilocks porridge of fairs. Here were six artists worth only a Eurostar away.

Merve Iseri

Turkish painter Merve Iseri was both a focus’ at Balon Rouge’s beautiful peach painted booth at the fair and the subject of a solo show at their downtown space. Her graphic large scale paintings touch on the body and landscape, balancing the figurative with a strong sense of abstraction and colour. An off-modernist breath of fresh air.

vision of holding a star in motion, Merve Iseri
Night Walk, Merve Iseri

Kayode Ojo

One of the NYC’s hottest current artists, Ojo originally emerged from a photographic background which he still balances with a glamorous and intelligent take on sculpture. His mirrored, misused furniture works covered with diamante jewellery or lame dresses were perfectly paired at Martos Gallery’s booth with a sexy large scale images of a trans model.

Boohoo Plus Verity Slinky Plunge Split Maxi Dress, Kayode Ojo
Balenciaga Bootcut, Kayode Ojo

Anicka Yi

Outside of the fair, the highlight of gallery night on Wednesday was Anicka Yi’s incredible show at Gladstone Gallery. Aiming to dissolve the boundaries between the human, animal, and vegetable, the show included sculptures that played with the living and kinetic. Its central room was filled with small animatronic moths flickering inside bulbous sculptural balls accompanied by a flickering electronic sounds.

Anicka Yi: We Have Never Been Individual
Anicka Yi: We Have Never Been Individual

Rubem Valentim

Mendes Wood DM devoted their booth at Art Brussels to Brazilian artists on their roster. It included some stunning paintings and a wood carved sculpture by the late Rubem Valentim, a self-taught artist who fused modernist ideas with the geometry, religion and aesthetic of Brazilian cultures. His Afro-Brazilian references were intentionally political, and the results exude vibrant energy.

Emblema 78, (1978), Rubem Valentim
Emblema-Relevo, (1980) , Rubem Valentim

Hoda Tawakol

It was impossible not to love Egyptian artist Hoda Tawakol’s sculptures at Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde’s booth. Made from tights, synthetic hair, rice, wadding and resin, these fetish-like small nudes are strongly rooted in the legacy of feminist 1970s art and the use of textiles as a loaded material. These gorgeous little fat figures questioned the representation of femininity.

Nude #20 (2019), Hoda Tawakol
Nude #20 (2019), Hoda Tawakol

Karine Rougier

Another off-fair highlight was Karine Rougier’s incredible detailed show at the young Fondation Thalie. Born in Malta and based in Marseille, this show brought together every element of her practise from scrapbook collages to tiny found object sculptures to her surreal miniature paintings. The work was filled with disembodied hands, doses of sex and horror and a dreamlike fantastical brilliance.

Soulever les Frissons, Détail, 38 x 45 cm, huile sur bois, Karine Rougier, 2019

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Three Welcome Returns at BRAFA

26.01.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

How does the art world decide what is hot? Often it is something emerging from institutions and curated shows, reflecting cultural change, politics and the contemporary moment. At other times the litmus test of a great artist is coming from the commercial world. Brussels fair BRAFA is like the Chanel of art fairs. It is classic, classy and daydream worthy. What was so fascinating at this year’s 65th fair is how across multiple booth three 20th century artists emerged as hot tickets. All three of these artists are worth rediscovering.

BRAM BOGART                                                                                                            

One of Brussels own, the Belgian expressionist painter Bram Bogart made textured, chunky paintings that look like sculptures on walls. Affiliated with the playful avant garde. COBRA group, Bram’s pieces mixed media from concrete to chalk in colourful, inventive, thick waves. He represented Belgium at the Venice Biennale in 1971 and died in 2012.
Bogart’s work is also on show now at the Tate Modern in a room devoted to paintings made with the colour white. At BRAFA you could spot him at least four booths, including stand out pieces at Rodolphe Janssen and Whitford Fine Art.

Bram Bogart, Russian-way, 1993 at Rodolphe Janssen

SERGEI POLIAKOFF


Born in Moscow in 1900, Poliakoff left home age 12 to be a musician, enrolled himself in art school age 19 and spent years playing guitar in cabarets across Europe – from Constantinopole to Vienna, Belgrade to London. After meeting Kandinsky and Sonia Delaunay in the 1940s, he began to make art seriously. Based in France, he became a very
successful painter in the 1950s and 60s but fell out of fashion in recent years. Poliakoff’s beautiful painterly interconnecting shapes are now having a welcome return. You could spot him at Zurich’s Galerie Von Vertes and Axel Veervordt among other booths at BRAFA.

Serge Poliakoff, Composition abstraite, 1966 at Galerie Von Vertes

PIERRE ALECHINSKY


Another Belgian COBRA artist, Alechinsky’s scrawled colourful abstract canvases were all over BRAFA. He work at first has a lot in common with the wildness of Dubuffet and contemporary hot Norwegian painter Ida Ekblad definitely has been eyeing up Pierre. In the 1950s, he began fascinated by Japanese calligraphy, was the Paris correspondent for the
Japanese ink magazine Bokubi and moved there with his wife. Later back in Europe, he taught at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in the 80s and hung out with surrealist pioneer Andre Breton. BRAFA was loving him with work at Die Galerie, Samuel Vanhoegaedern and a stunning early piece at Rodolphe Janssen.

Pierre Alechinsky, Untitled at Rodolphe Janssen
Pierre Alechinsky, Le Point du Jour, 1966 at Die Galerie

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Discover Condo 2017

24.01.2017 | Art | BY:

Started by Vanessa Carlos of Carlos/Ishikawa, Condo Art Fair sees 15 London-based galleries host 21 international galleries, joining together to create collaborative exhibitions across the city. Although only in its second edition, the fair has already almost doubled in size, adding prominent galleries such as Sadie Coles and Maureen Paley to its line up this year, alongside emerging galleries, such as Emalin and The Sunday Painter.

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Londoners have a month to discover the spaces alongside each other, more than enough time to revel in the wide range of artists exhibiting in one city. The refreshing unification and generosity between the participating galleries allows for an enjoyable community atmosphere but also embraces individuality, with every artistic alliance creating an entirely distinct and original experience. Consider your new year cultural schedule sorted.

Condo runs 14 Jan – 11 Feb 2017. Find out more here.

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WE COULD NOT AGREE

07.10.2014 | Art | BY:

Frieze is one of the largest art fairs around, attracting many collectors, buyers and art aficionados to the city which in turn causes many shows to pop up around town. Geoff Leong has once again joined forces with artist-curator duo Vanya Balogh & Cedric Christie to support and exhibit over 100 artists in the circular 20,000 Sq ft multi storey Q-Park car park beneath Cavendish Square. Whilst unusual in terms of location, this annual event likes to challenge, entice and entertain all art lovers and visitors.

Featuring a range of mediums such as sculpture, film, photography, painting and as well as performative talks and live presentations from both emerging and established artists. This year, the show also includes a marble sculpture by Andy Elton in the gardens of Cavendish Square.

The exhibition runs daily 12-8pm, from 14-19 October 2014. 

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