Affordable Art Fair Brussels is opening its doors next week and Fair Director Blythe Bolton reveals her top artwork picks.
Friday 17 September, 2021
The last 18 months have been emotional, haven’t they? There’s been a lot of ‘not knowing’ going on.
Comfortingly, experiencing art and revelling in the joy of collecting it, are pursuits not about ‘knowing’ but about FEELING! We don’t need to know why the artist chose pink over blue, paint instead of pencil, or what a canvas might be worth in 50 years time in order for us to feel, in our hearts, like we want to take it home with us.
The pleasure in organising an art fair, however, is found a little bit more in knowing:
Knowing that after a 552-day delay, we’ll soon be opening the 12th Edition of Affordable Art Fair Brussels (22 – 26 September, Tour & Taxis)!
Knowing that our team and exhibitors will be able to greet visitors with unmasked smiles.
Knowing that countless artworks will find new owners and new homes to radiate their magic within.
So, finally knowing all of this joy to come, here are a selection of some of the artworks I’m most looking forward to seeing. In real life. Finally. At the fair…
Nothing soothes my soul like the sight of a skyline.
I’ve been lucky enough to take a look at KEAN’s paintings when passing by Galerie Duret in Châtelain over the summer and they are exquisite examples that show light and tone. When employed, as KEAN does, with such purity of purpose, they create a sense of The Sublime. Further, a beautiful reminder that the canvas is a place where the sun can rise and set at the same time.
L Gallery will be presenting works by Lille-based artist Grégory Valentin, which I’m eager to get a closer look at. Created with the text of Le Lion by Joseph Kessel, every drop in the ocean is a word to be enjoyed. It looks like a wonderful place to take the mind for a swim.
Speaking of the ocean, my next two picks, from Galerie Christine Colon and BLNAC, are anchored in the theme of sea-faring. Art is always personal and as someone from a family passionate about sailing and nautical engineering, these works pull irresistibly at my heart-strings.
I’m full of awe and admiration for Laurent Chabolle’s ability to perfectly capture the flying grace of harnessing wind-power, especially using such a dense material like metal. Full of texture and intricate forms, these wall mounted sculptures are always the fair’s most impressive fleet.
Working with watercolour and ink, this detail-filled work by Peer Kriesel of BLNAC, uses an antique North Sea fishing chart as it’s foundation. Combining free flowing passages of paint with the rigour of geometry, this fantastical work feels like it could be a map through a dream.
The elemental materiality of the following two works stood out to me as poetic expressions for the heaviness of Nature.
This energy-filled painting from Stefano Casati at Dilbeek-based, Nationale 8 Gallery, captures an epic sense of natural force. I can’t wait to get up close to the surface of this deep, rushing passage of blue.
Galerie Albane will be presenting stunning figurative mixed-media work from Camile Thibert and this one really caught my eye. In combining the figurative pencil drawing with the segment of tree, this Atlas-type figure offers a timely reminder that tree and man alike are both natural matter. Perhaps not a fact to be worn lightly..
Chalky hues and connection with environment are themes present in different forms below in these next pearls from new Amsterdam-based gallery Art_020 and Parisian Photography specialists, Aperture Contemporary.
Characterised by his central motif of ‘the model with branch’, mixed-media artist Peter Peereboom’s work investigates the contact point between figure and environment. I love the calming equilibrium of Peter’s minimalist, textural aesthetic.
With its breath-taking landscape and the sun-bleached, pastel palette, this photograph, ‘The Other Side of Something’ by Patrick Lajoie, intrigues me with it’s a memory-like, almost spooky quality. Plus, who doesn’t love the sight of cute, content-looking ponies?
BOLD AND BRIGHT
Finally, to close, a trio of colourful treats from locals Art Unity Gallery and ACID Gallery and Luxembourg-based newcomer, Ruth Gallery!
A complex riot of forms, textures and vivid colours, come together with atomic effect in the amazing works of Damien Demaiter. Full of vitality, there’s always so much to enjoy looking up close at these incredibly dynamic works.
Laurent Laporta’s, new sculptures, for me, strike the perfect balance between sophistication and fun! In his work, ‘El Dorado’, all the panels of colour meet like friends. This treasure will look great anywhere and everywhere.
Emmanuel Aziseh’s art proposes a hopeful vision of the world. In combining child figures, positive gestures and dazzling saturated colours, he hopes to inspire viewers to share in his dreams for a world of unity and tolerance; where people with different ideologies, racial and religious differences, can live together harmoniously.
What a beautiful sentiment to end on, right?
For whatever inspiration you might be seeking, we hope you will come and join us at Affordable Art Fair Brussels at Tour & Taxis 22-26 September. I look forward to seeing you there all