The new art district of Brussels – Galerie Rivoli
The Bascule straddles Uccle and Ixelles – a vibrant place full of shops and restaurants, located between the Ecole de La Cambre and the Bois de la Cambre. Here, you find one of the most beautiful buildings in Brussels, which for the past two years has been used as a centre of contemporary art: Le Rivoli.
The Rivoli was built in the late seventies, and its architect, Victor Demeester, designed it as a luxury dwelling and shopping centre. Its arcades are a striking sight in the Bascule district. The building originally consisted of forty spaces, which were later combined to form bigger dwellings. In 2013, a new generation of owners started renovation works, in order to give the building a new lease of life and to make it more of a whole. A team of young architects took on the project and the result is something to behold.
Since the beginning of 2015 various galleries have moved into the building and art events are organised regularly. Pop-up galleries and cleverly dressed windows add a playful touch.
In total, Le Rivoli houses some 18 galleries and exhibition spaces. Add the 13 galleries within 500 metres from Le Rivoli and it is clear that this area is becoming the most important centre for contemporary art in Brussels.
LE RIVOLI / CHAUSSEE DE WATERLOO 690 – 1180 BRUSSELS
Le Rivoli houses 18 galleries and exhibition spaces. We selected five of the various art projects that are staged there:
Victor Hunt tries to find the story behind design art, an art that is something between industrial design, architecture, sculpture, conceptual art, installation and daily objects. The gallery invests in up-and-coming designers and in established names in this form of art.
200 metres from Galerie Rivoli stands one of the best know galleries specialising in contemporary art.
Xavier Hufkens is an established name in the European art world. He shows work by amongst others Robert Mapplethorpe, Willem De Kooning and Tracy Emin. The gallery helped establish Le Rivoli and now divides its exhibitions between the two buildings.
JAP (Jeunesse et Arts Plastiques) was founded in 1959 to enhance awareness and inform people about modern and contemporary art. They try to do this through workshops, conferences and exhibitions and by publishing art books. In Galerie Rivoli, JAP has a window with work by young artists.
Francesco Rossi established this gallery in 2008 and after the renovations he moved into the Rivoli building. Rossicontemporary represents Belgian artists or artists who live in Belgium, all of them from the world of contemporary art. Various art forms are exhibited here in three exhibition spaces.
Some spaces in the gallery are given to guest galleries who stage exhibitions for a limited amount of time. Earlier this year, it showed work that had been selected by the Antwerp Valerie Traan gallery and Jacques Cerami gallery from Charleroi. As befits the concept, the previews are always organised together. The guest galleries enable people to constantly discover new influences.
PICTURES BY GALERIE RIVOLI
WORDS BY STEPHANIE DE SMET