20 unmissable contemporary art galleries in Brussels

27 April 2022

With its specialised national and international art galleries, Brussels is attracting more and more art lovers and collectors.

Situated both uptown and downtown, these numerous galleries all present Belgian and international artists, both emerging and experienced. Whether you’re a curious visitor, an art lover or a discerning collector, a visit to these galleries is an aesthetic, conceptual and even philosophical experience.

To help you navigate your way, here is a list of the capital’s unmissable galleries.

1. Baronian

The Baronian gallery is a must for Brussels contemporary art. Albert Baronian opened his first gallery in Brussels in 1973! It was an immediate success thanks to his exhibitions of artists from the Arte Povera movement. Today the gallery exhibits both experienced names and young emerging artists.

Contemporary paintings by Alain Bilteryst in Baronian gallery, with a view on a small urban garden

2. Gladstone

Gladstone is a major gallery dedicated to contemporary art, founded by Barbara Gladstone in both New York and Brussels. It exhibits the work of more than 35 major international artists such as Kasper Bosmans and Shirin Neshat, alongside work by emerging artists.

3. Xavier Hufkens

Xavier Hufkens is one of the most influential contemporary art galleries in Europe. It is set in a bright, completely renovated house next to avenue Louise and has a second venue, a couple of streets away. The gallery exhibits the work of artists from different generations, with legendary names of contemporary art standing side-by-side with young, up-and-coming creators.

4. Rodolphe Janssen

The Rodolphe Janssen gallery offers two spaces on opposite sides of rue de Livourne and organises interesting exhibitions of paintings, photographs, videos, etc.

Sausage paintings and sculptures by artist collective Sausage Party in Rodolphe Janssen gallery

5. Galerie Felix Frachon

A former dry cleaner's in Ixelles houses Felix Frachon's multidisciplinary gallery, where young artists from so-called emerging countries are given centre stage. A little further down the road, Frachon has opened a second location containing a residency and a library, among other things.

6. Meessen De Clercq

Meessen De Clercq is a gallery that exhibits work from a group of established international artists. The gallery stretches over three floors of a house built in 1911 and includes a video projection room.

Contemporary paintings by Benoît Maire in Meessen De Clercq gallery

7. Almine Rech

Almine Rech is a Parisian gallery with an impressive location close to avenue Louise, in which it invites artists to express themselves freely. Big names of the contemporary art world exhibit here, making it a must-see in Brussels’ galleries district.

8. Michel Rein

After spending years collecting pieces for himself, Michel Rein decided in 1992 to open a gallery. Eight years after opening in the French town of Tours, he moved it to Paris, where his list of exhibited artists became longer and more interesting. He gave his gallery brand a European dimension with the opening of a second location in Brussels in 2013.

9. Daniel Templon

Daniel Templon is one of the French pioneers of contemporary art. In 2013, he decided to open a new gallery next to avenue Louise. He aims to promote a dialogue between the contemporary art world’s various generations of artists.

10. La Patinoire Royale - Galerie Valérie Bach

The Valérie Bach gallery passionately supports artists living in Belgium, and brilliantly represents foreign, emerging and experienced artists, whether they are painters, sculptors, plastic artists or photographers. The gallery also has an illustrious neighbour: the former Patinoire Royale (Royal ice-skating rink), a jewel of Brussels heritage.

11. Stems Gallery

Guillaume and Pascaline Smets transformed a classic Brussels mansion into Stems Gallery, an exhibition space of over 100m². Their concept: an intuitive laboratory for emerging artistic talent, with a soft spot for American artists.

Paintings and sculptures by Allison Zuckerman in Stems Gallery

12. Pierre Marie Giraud

Pierre Marie Giraud specialises in ceramics, glass and silver, mostly unique pieces and limited editions. An special collection of emerging artists from Europe, Japan, North America and Africa regularly appear here in themed or solo exhibitions.

13. Alice Gallery

Alice Gallery has gained a reputation by supporting both emerging and established contemporary artists working in all media : sculpture, painting, photography and new media. The gallery represents artists who share an aesthetic that combines the codes of contemporary art with those of subcultures.

14. C L E A R I N G

C L E A R I N G is a gallery based in Brooklyn and in Brussels. In April 2017 it opened a magnificent venue next to the WIELS. It offers a fresh and dynamic programme with young, internationally-renowned artists.

15. dépendance

Dépendance gallery was founded in 2003. Since it opened, it has exhibited pieces that are as specific, individual and diverse as the artists who created them.

Sculptures 'Softies' by Peter Wächtler in dépendance gallery

16. Greta Meert

Housed in a magnificent Art Nouveau building, the Greta Meert gallery is a must in Brussels. It showcases minimal and conceptual art from the 1970s, along with a selection of prospective artists specialising in the plastic arts.

17. Ballon Rouge

Istanbul, London, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, Paris, New York… Ballon Rouge began as a nomadic gallery but eventually set up shop on place du Jardin aux Fleurs in 2019. Besides its own exhibitions, Ballon Rouge also receives exhibitions from international galleries.

18. Harlan Levey Projects

Harlan Levey Projects can actually be found both uptown (Ixelles) and downtown (Molenbeek-Saint-Jean), but the 250m² space in Molenbeek is by far the larger of the two. This atypical gallery's core business is artistic research within a broader social debate.

Massive clothing sculpture by Marcin Dudek in Harlan Levey Projects 1080 gallery

19. Jan Mot

For the latest developments in conceptual art, Jan Mot in Brussels - or their Mexican location - is the place to be. Their programming is eclectic and puts both Belgian and foreign artists in the spotlight, hosting names like Francis Alÿs, Sven Augustijnen and Mario Garcia Torres.

20. Galerie la Forest Divonne

Parisian gallery La Forest Divonne opened its doors in 2016 under the Art Deco glass roof of a superb building in Saint-Gilles and presents a wide range of contemporary artists from all disciplines (photography, painting, sculpture...). On its walls, you can expect to come across the works of established artists such as photographer Lucien Hervé or painter Alexandre Hollan and emerging talents such as Tinka Pittoors or David Décamp.

Want to stay updated?

To browse the full list of all the exhibitions and opening nights in contemporary art galleries, please visit the NECA website (New Exhibitions of Contemporary Art).

You can also sign up for free to the newsletter or get your hands on the NECA pamphlet available from most galleries and numerous cultural venues in Brussels.

NECA is edited by the Fondation pour les Arts (Foundation for the Arts) in collaboration with visit.brussels.