Champagne Art, Playful Miro, Cool Beethoven: Brussels Weekend

Alela Diane
American folk singer Alela Diane will perform on May 1 in Brussels accompanied by her new band at the Ancienne Belgique music hall. Photographer: Chloe Aftel/Ancienne Belgique via Bloomberg

Join the black-clad horde roaming the streets tonight as many galleries stay open until 10 p.m. as part of Art Brussels, the contemporary fair.

Among uptown galleries, Xavier Hufkens is showing a smart, seductive selection of works by, among others, David Altjmed, Latifa Echakhch, George Condo and Robert Mapplethorpe. Almine Rech’s vast space hosts sculptures and paintings by Tom Burr and Johannes Wohnseifer, while Aeroplastics Contemporary features Gavin Turk. Downtown, Greta Meert displays photos and sculptures by Jean-Luc Moulene and photos by Inaki Bonillas. Galerie VidalCuglietta shows Edith Dekyndt’s mysterious, austere photos and videos.

La Meilleure Jeunesse, an intimate haunt for the uptown culture crowd, has walls crammed with artworks and a terrace overlooking the gardens of a medieval abbey. Try the monkfish roasted in black sesame. Information:

Resto Henri draws downtown fashionistas with its bustling ambience and imaginative chef. Specialties include braised lamb with cauliflower mousseline, broad beans and chorizo crumble. See


About 170 galleries from more than 25 countries are taking part in Art Brussels, which features a mix of so-called emerging artists and established stars. An array of offshoot activities also takes place around the city -- the Saturday night party hosted by Lady Jane and Catclub sounds intriguing.

Gladstone Gallery is showing works by Roe Ethridge and Anish Kapoor; Rodolphe Janssen has Balthasar Burkhard and Wim Delvoye; Yvon Lambert displays Douglas Gordon and Shilpa Gupta; Zeno X features Michael Borremans and Marlene Dumas; Galerie Lelong has Pierre Alechinsky and Rebecca Horn; Galerie Thomas Zander shows photos by Lothar Baumgarten and Mitch Epstein; Lisson Gallery has Marina Abramovic and Julian Opie.

The fair is at Brussels Expo, Palais/Paleis 1 and 3, through May 1. Food and drink are available, and the Champagne bars are meeting points. Information: The Art Brussels main partners are ING Groep NV and Belgacom SA.

Saturday Night

Soothe your art-soaked senses with sublime music by Schumann, Shostakovich, Beethoven and Grieg performed by the chic duo of cellist Gautier Capucon and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. The recital is in the 19th-century Conservatoire’s concert hall, which has creaky floors but is ideally suited for chamber music.

The concert is at 8 p.m. Royal Conservatory, 30 Rue de la Regence/Regentschapsstraat. Information:

Orphyse Chaussette, a bistro in a nearby cobblestone street, serves savory dishes from southwest France. The wine list boasts many magical bottles from the Languedoc region. Information: +322-502-7581.


Miro isn’t only being feted at Tate Modern. ING has filled its exhibition space with a joyous show devoted to the “painter poet.” Some 150 works -- paintings, drawings, sculptures, etchings -- illustrate the Spanish artist’s development of his unique language of signs. Miro’s book illustrations are among the highlights of this enchanting exhibition, which runs through June 19. Espace Culturel ING/ING Cultuurcentrum, 6 Place Royale/Koningsplein. Information:

Sunday Night

Campfire girl Alela Diane, a star of the flourishing -- and often quirky -- New Folk scene will perform with her band. Dylan Leblanc opens, and Norwegian singer-songwriter Moddi gives an after-concert gig in the small upstairs club room.

The concert is at 8 p.m. Ancienne Belgique, 110 Boulevard Anspach/Anspachlaan. Information:

Across the road, cosy Le Petit Boxeur -- think wood, candlelight, mirrors and starched white tablecloths -- serves a rich risotto with scallops and truffles. Information:

(Jim Ruane is an Editor-at-Large for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)

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