In spite of scheduling conflict with a major Berlin art event for the second year in a row (this year, abc), 34 gallerists in Brussels combined forces to stay open the entire weekend for the fourth edition of the Brussels Art Days. Organized by dealer Elaine Levy and former art dealer Frederic Desimpel, participation at the gallery weekend—admittedly a copy of Berlin’s hugely successful Gallery Weekend Berlin—was a steal at roughly $2,500, compared to over $10,000 at the original.
Established galleries—Xavier Hufkens, Baronian Francey and Rodolphe Janssen—and downtown newbies alikes—Tulips & Roses, Elisa Platteau & Cie and Ricou–put special effort into their openings. Participating gallerists hosted a joint dinner and party. “We want to attract the Flemish collectors, who don’t come to Brussels often,” Levy told A.i.A., although it was only a minor success: “It seems that many collectors had weddings this weekend.”
Top Brussels art collector Alain Servais was there, however, singing the praises of the organizers, and admiring their efforts at “copying and perfecting an originally German idea—the Gallery Weekend.” Occasional buyer Sebastien Mazella di Bosco from London missed collector-friends, but found it “refreshing to see different faces for a change.” Barbara Gladstone missed out, opting to host a private dinner for her collectors the night before; Nathalie Obadia dined in Paris; and artist Richard Prince, who opened a museum-sized show at Almine Rech, was only present in the run up to the Brussels Art Days.
Behind the scenes rumors imagined Brussels teaming up with the nearby cities of Düsseldorf and Cologne, who, for the first time this year, held a joint open gallery weekend. Could this make Berlin’s abc obsolete?
Photo of Olafur Eliasson by David Ulrichs