Fairs and Events

Art Brussels Returns for Its 40th Edition:
Curated Highlights by Josée Gensollen & Edouard Vermeulen

Josée Gensollen & Edouard Vermeulen - Art Brussels 2024
Josée Gensollen & Edouard Vermeulen

By Adam Hencz

This year, Art Brussels – a landmark event of the international spring art calendar – is celebrating its milestone 40th edition. For 2024, the leading contemporary art fair gathers 177 galleries from 31 countries representing over 800 artists, with a significant 60% of returning galleries and notable newcomers.

The forthcoming edition focuses on innovation, diversity, and inclusivity, with a curated program of 5 sections including special artistic projects, an outdoor sculpture exhibition, and an OFF Program brimming with events, offering visitors a fresh experience of today’s international art scene. Guests will meet a diverse and influential line-up in Halls 5 and 6 of the iconic Art Deco venue Brussels Expo until Sunday, April 28th, or online on Artland, where the booths’ digital presentation will be available through May 5th.

For this special iteration of the fair, renowned collector Josée Gensollen and Edouard Vermeulen, fashion designer at Maison Natan, have previewed the booths and curated a rich and diverse selection of artworks not to be missed.

Featured Artworks from Art Brussels 2024

Yasmina Assbane: Untitled

Anca Poterasu Galleryvisit the booth here.

Selected by Edouard Vermeulen

Anca Poterasu Gallery from Bucharest presents a solo show by Brussels-based Romanian artist Yasmina Assbane. The work of Assbane is notable from the ways she questions the dominant way women’s bodies are viewed and objectified. “Yasmina Assbane’s ‘female’ collection embodies the essence of uniqueness,” shares Vermeulen. “Everybody is distinct. And it is a notion we at Natan also embrace.”

Thu Van Tran: Trail Dust #2

Almine Rech Galleryvisit the booth here.

Selected by Josée Gensollen

Drawing from history as well as her personal experience as a Vietnamese woman living in France, Thu Van Tran addresses the themes of physical and cultural displacement, colonialism, language, and identity, working across a wide variety of media. Her recent works are poignant explorations of the colonial history between France and Vietnam rooted in her personal trajectory as a refugee and her desire to develop her own language. Josée Gensollen has selected a piece from the artist’s Trail Dust series, drawings made from graphite on Canson paper, that confront the legacies of a U.S. military operation intended to clear the Viet Cong’s hiding spots in the jungle using chemical agents.

Ignasi Aballí: Translation of a Japanese Dictionary of Color Combinations (Book I)

Galeria Vera Cortêsvisit the booth here.

Selected by Josée Gensollen

Ignasi Aballí, the Barcelona-based artist who exhibited at the Spanish Pavilion at the 2022 Venice Biennale subverts traditional pictorial practices in painting, photography, and video to explore new and unorthodox methods of artistic production. Selected by Gensollen who recollects the aphorisma linked with influential architect Mies van der Rohe, ‘Less is More’, the piece from the series Translation of a Japanese Dictionary of Colour Combination consists of collages that faithfully reconstruct the color combinations characteristic of 20th-century Japanese painter and costume designer Sanzo Wada.

Maude Maris: I Asked The Grass

Praz-Delavalladevisit the booth here.

Selected by Edouard Vermeulen

“Maude Maris’ two-dimensional paintings resonate with sculptural influences, mirroring the fusion of form and dimensionality,” explains Vermeulen. Working from her studio in Normandy, the French artist recently chose to follow a freer, more painterly approach, liberated from her sculptural models. “Similarly, we draw inspiration from sculpture and architecture to craft creations that transcend mere garments.”

Detanico Lain: Palavras Compostas (bref/long)

Galeria Vera Cortêsvisit the booth here.

Selected by Josée Gensollen

Brazilian artists Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain have been working together since 1996 making their mark on the international artistic scene with their sound, graphics, text, video, and other media installations.

Benoit Maire: Tête

Galerie Nathalie Obadiavisit the booth here.

Selected by Josée Gensollen

With a strong philosophical background, the work of Paris-based artist Benoît Maire is in a permanent dialogue between art and metaphysics. He questions thoughts and concepts established in protean and often collaborative plastic works, making it to Josée Gensollen’s curated selection.

Rinus Van De Velde: Pierre and Claude have gone to the village…

Tim Van Laere Galleryvisit the booth here.

Selected by Edouard Vermeulen

“This work of Rinus Van de Velde transports me to memories of vacation, reminiscent of a painting that captures the allure of La Colombe d’Or, one of the most exquisite destinations in the South,” reminisces Vermeulen. Spanning various media from drawing and painting to installation and film, Belgian artist Van de Velde is known for his witty commentary and meticulous use of charcoal on large-scale canvas.

Jean-Luc Moulène: Plongement 3, Marseille

Galerie Greta Meertvisit the booth here.

Selected by Josée Gensollen

Throughout his work, Jean-Luc Moulène has been exploring the nature of artistic labor and what it means to “author a work of art”. He sets out to remove the boundaries between heterogeneous worlds: art and media, art objects and mass-produced objects, utility value, and artistic value.

Sam Durant: Open Your Eyes

Praz-Delavalladevisit the booth here.

Selected by Josée Gensollen

Sam Durant’s work has long reframed social and civic issues from the more complex sides of history: colonialism, surveillance, and slavery among others. This piece belongs to the series of drawings of protesters by the American artist, realized in graphite and shot with blasts of bright spray paint.

José María Sicilia: La locura del ver

Meessenvisit the booth here.

Selected by Edouard Vermeulen

José María Sicilia is a Spanish artist known for his evocative paintings which investigate the relationship between presence and absence through light and matter experimentations. “José María Sicilia’s profound exploration of shape, space construction, and the interplay of light serves as a testament to artistic depth,” shares the Belgian couturier. “Like his works, our garments are always form-fluid.”

Atelier Van Lieshout: Vulture

Galerie Ron Mandosvisit the booth here.

Selected by Josée Gensollen

Van Lieshout’s works revolve around recurring themes, motives, and obsessions including systems, power, autarky, life, sex, and death. His work has sparked movements in the fields of architecture and ecology. The vulture, depicted here in the bronze sculpture chosen by Josée Gensollen, is often compared by Van Lieshout to artists as they are often viewed with suspicion by society and metaphorically devour everything that might serve as inspiration.

Lieven De Boeck: The border is a state of mind. Pattern #4

Meessenvisit the booth here.

Selected by Josée Gensollen

Lieven De Boeck’s work can be seen as research about language and space, spanning literature, art, architecture, and urbanism to the different strategies of organizing, distributing, and handling information. The series The border is a state of mind reflects on the theme of individual and national identities.

Sandro De Alexandris: Il velo dell’aria XVIII

10 A.M. ARTvisit the booth here.

Selected by Edouard Vermeulen

A constant questioning of painting and its identity: this is the ultimate meaning attributable to the work of De Alexandris. “This Italian artist embodies minimalism and tranquility, qualities we continually strive to infuse into our creations,” explains Vermeulen.

Yelena Popova: Cosmologists to H Bomb

Philipp von Rosen Galerievisit the booth here.

Selected by Josée Gensollen

Yelena’s work often reflects her upbringing in the Urals and is also influenced by Russian Constructivism, trying to capture the continuous industrial development and the landscape of contemporary capitalism. Growing up in a secret Soviet nuclear settlement, she often turns her attention to nuclear history and heritage.

Juan Uslé: Soñé que revelabas (Indigirka)

Prats Nogueras Blanchardvisit the booth here.

Selected by Josée Gensollen

Juan Uslé began in 1997 the first work that would lead to the homonymous series Soñé que revelabas, one of the most prominent series by the Cantabrian artist. In it, he refers to the world of dreams and, at the same time, to the photographic process, the darkroom.

Enrique Ramírez: Radicante : here

Galerie Michel Reinvisit the booth here.

Selected by Josée Gensollen

Artwork by Enrique Ramírez presented at Art Brussels 2024
Enrique Ramírez: Radicante : here, 2023. 6 Elements: handwritten text in ink, oil, and resin on wood, 18 x 13 x 1,5 cm (each) Courtesy of the artist and Michel Rein, Paris/Brussels

For Enrique Ramírez, the sea represents a pre-symbolic whole. The Chilean artist constructs his ontological vision there, using it as a metaphor to explore the depths of existence, death, and rebirth. Through the sea, Ramírez navigates and connects people and territories, weaving together our collective histories. His handwritten wood plates are among Josée Gensollen’s favorite selections at Art Brussels 2024.

About Edouard Vermeulen & Josée Gensollen

Edouard Vermeulen is a Belgian fashion designer celebrated for his creations under the label Maison Natan. In 1983, Vermeulen founded Maison Natan, which would soon become synonymous with timeless elegance, sophistication, and impeccable craftsmanship. His unique blend of classic aesthetics with modern sensibilities earned him a loyal clientele that includes royalty, celebrities, and dignitaries. Today, Vermeulen remains at the helm of Maison Natan, continuing to redefine luxury fashion with his timeless designs and unwavering commitment to excellence.

Josée Gensollen and her husband and fellow psychiatrist, Marc Gensollen, have built up a collection of conceptual art displayed at La Fabrique in Marseille over the past 40 years. Josée has been a Founding Patron of CIMAM (International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art) since 2005 and a member of the acquisition commission of CNAP (the French National Centre for Visual Arts). She has also participated in the selection process for prestigious fairs and prizes across Europe, including Artissima in Turin, Artorama, Paréidolie, and Mécènes du Sud in Marseille, Officiel FIAC and Prix Marcel Duchamp in Paris, and Loop Barcelona.

Relevant sources to learn more

More articles from Artland Magazine you may like:
The Year Ahead: the Art World in 2024
Art Paris 2024: Between Increased International Gallery Participation & New Curatorial Focus
The Wrong Biennale: Editor’s Picks
Curated Selection from Art Antwerp 2023: Gil Bronner & Heidi Ballet Present Their Favorite Booths
From Antiquity to Modernity, How Art Fairs Became A Cultural Mainstay

Other relevant sources:
Browse Art Brussels online on Artland
Visit Art Brussels’ website

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