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Art Brussels 2016: A shift to include more established, international artists

Art Brussels 2016: A shift to include more established, international artists

At Art Brussels this year, we saw an intentional shift to showcase more mid-career and established artists on an international level. The size of exhibitors was also reduced from 191 to 140 to follow current market trends focusing on quality, not just quantity. A common theme when speaking with gallery exhibitors was their desire to not only attract serious collectors but expand by bringing work that reaches a more international audience.

A good amount of the panel discussions reinforced this idea as well. Topics included the Politics of Collecting, which centered around ideas of how the need for a broader network affect the processes of inclusion and exclusion when making collections.

We saw a number of established artists debuting slight new directions in their work, albeit staying true stylistically to previous pieces. Polish artist Paul Czerlitzki’s large-scale abstract work advances his concept of shifting parameters to use the canvas as a performative transfer material where acrylic penetrates a top layer of canvas to leave a conditional influence on the result.

Additionally, there was a lot of buzz around brand new pieces from Peter Halley. Compositionally in-line with his well-known geometrical abstractions, Halley’s new works incorporate actual metallic pigment, producing a sensual and unconventional radiance.

Work by Artist Peter Halley ArtBrussels
Work by Artist Peter Halley

We also saw a strong presence from artists in under-represented areas of the globe. For example, Columbian artist Camillo Restrepo’s mixed media work reinforced the fact that his entire career has focused on his experience in the city of Medellin. Restrepo’s work specifically leverages web searches to tap into the visual images that we all share, despite our location.

All in all, Art Brussels 2016 showed a refreshing range between artists with a hyper-local perspective and a strong international influence. This level of variety proves today’s collectors should be casting a wide net when looking for new acquisitions.

Most importantly, in the next few days and weeks we’ll be reviewing some of the standout works from Art Brussels in much more detail. Be sure to check out Le Journal for in-depth looks at the work of Peter Halley and some other very exciting artists including; Gao Xingjian, Colin Penno, Marco Tirelli, Marsha Cottrell, and more…