Tim Van Laere opened his Antwerp gallery back in 1997 when he was only 27. Since then, the gallery’s made a name for itself on the art scene in Belgium and abroad, with artists from all over the world and all genres taking up space inside. We spoke with the gallery owner about his upcoming show at Art Brussels, this weekend’s talk-of-the-town event.

How long have you been working on your show for Art Brussels?

We started preparing everything nine months ago. Many artists make new works especially for Art Brussels, like Tomasz Kowalski for example, so they need some time to work on it. At fairs, it’s always nice to show something exciting and fresh.

What are you going to show at Art Brussels this year?

Our booth is about fifty square metres and we’re planning on showing around fourteen artists that are represented by our gallery. What we want is a booth that fits, that is exclusive and coherent, where the artworks confronts each other and create a dialogue between them. Our show this year has a lot of energy, with a certain expressionism.

Is there a main artist that you can tell me more about?

There’s Gelitin, for example, a collective of four artists who exhibit a lot of freedom and like to play with different materials. There is also Kati Heck, who exhibits the same sense of freedom in her work. And of course we have Jonathan Meese, who promotes his idea of a dictatorship of art in place of democracy. They have all created their own personal language and vision, which is somehingthey have in common.

How many times have you exhibited at Art Brussels?

We’ve done Art Brussels several times, on and off. Now we’re really going for it again. Art Brussels has grown and it’s becoming very nice. It’s the fifth time we’re participating.

Why is it important for your gallery to participate in Art Brussels and fairs in general?

I see fairs as a ‘necessary evil’, if you will. Art should be shown in a different setting, this is not how it’s supposed to be. But it’s very important to meet new curators who might include our artists in their group shows or find galleries abroad for our young artists, to make them more well-known. It’s essential for the promotion of their work.

How important is Art Brussels on an international scale?

It’s becoming more and more significant and well-respected. One reason is that Brussels as a city is becoming more important, after all it’s the capital of Europe.

What are you looking forward to at the fair?

I can’t wait to see people’s reactions to the booth, how the pieces will look together in reality. I’m hoping for good promotion opportunities, as always. I especially hope to be able to do something for our young artists, it’s an important platform for them to get established internationally.

What’s next for you after Art Brussels? 

We’re preparing a solo show of Dutch artist Aaron van Erp which will open in May. It’s the first time for us working with him. We’re also working on the catalogue of  the exhibition. And in September there will be Jonathan Meese‘s exhibition.

Aaron van Erp
From 10th May to 30th June
Tim Van Laere Gallery, Verlatstraat 23-25 – 2000 Antwerp