Civilisations - Art in Brussels Introduction
For decades, the Sablon district of Brussels has been host to numerous art events, as well serving as a well-recognized meeting place for collectors and dealers. “CIVILISATIONS – art in Brussels” is a fresh concept arising from previous events and focusing on the ever evolving eclectic taste of our international clients and collectors. The fair also aims to seal the continuity of our important Sablon heritage, known worldwide as a the district of art and antiques.
“CIVILISATIONS – art in Brussels” wants to nurture the relationships with collectors and their cross collecting interests by fully utilizing the new possibilities offered by advances in communication. We are striving to seek out the most desirable universal qualities shared by the art traditions of different civilisations with a selection of artworks provided by serious and professional dealers with experience and expertise.
“CIVILISATIONS – art in Brussels” encompasses Asian Art, Tribal Art and Ancient Art. Please check our online catalogue, available on this website, as well as our Instagram account (civilisations.brussels) to discover artworks for sale throughout the year.
Organisation The board
At the age of 8, Arie discovers the world of Japanese art thanks to an ivory netsuke given to him by a neighbour. In the years that followed, his passion for Japanese art grew steadily and made him read books on the subject. Very quickly he frequented the merchants specializing in Asian art and some of them took care to train him and help him in his quest for knowledge. Although he wanted to start a gallery, he first decided to become confident in business management. He began his career as a finance and tax consultant, before specializing in executive management services. His passion for Japanese culture also led him to help Japanese companies to integrate into Europe and to overcome cultural barriers. In 1998, Arie finally decided to enter the world of Japanese art as a dealer and created his company Kitsune. In 2013 he moved to the Sablon in Brussels and became founding member of Asian Art In Brussels, of which he took presidency from 2015 onwards. In addition to his activity as a gallery owner, Arie also joined the Belgian Chamber of Experts in Works of Art as a board member. He has been exhibiting at major international art fairs.
From early childhood, Karim was submerged in the world of antiques thanks to his father, Stefaan Grusenmeyer, who started his career as a dealer in 1960, and was eventually elected president of the Guild of Flemish Antiquairs. With keen interest, Karim has observed the ever-evolving career of his eclectic father spanning over 50 years and involving the arts of all continents and all periods. After a maiden voyage to China in 1985, he subsequently studied Sinology (classical and modern Chinese, modern Japanese) at the University of Gent and then spent two years (1988-1990) in Beijing, at the Academy of Fine Arts … while frequenting the Beijing antique markets.
Back in Belgium, Karim taught Chinese Art history at the University of Gent before deciding to pursue a career dealing with objects rather than words. In 1992 Isabelle and Karim Grusenmeyer-Bilquin opened their gallery of Chinese art specializing in scholar’s art, furniture and archaeology. In 2000, the gallery moved to the Sablon district in Brussels and thus was triggered a vivid interest for the arts of Oceania and Madagascar of which fine examples are continuously displayed, in contrast with the works of Southeast Asian art that remain however, dominant in the gallery’s collection.
Karim Grusenmeyer is a member of the Chambre Royale des Antiquaires et des Négociants en Oeuvres d’Art de Belgique since 1993 (membership supported by Gisèle Croës and Bernard Blondeel). In 2010, with the patronage of Jacques Barrère and Jacques Billen, Karim was elected member of the Belgian Chamber of Art Experts .
Carlo Cristi has been actively collecting and dealing in the field of asian art since the early 80's. His interests in Himalayan art date from the early 70's when he travelled and resided in India, Nepal, Philippines and Indonesia. Sculptures in bronze, wood, terracotta, paintings ( tangkas ) and illuminated manuscripts are among his main interests along with early textiles from Central Asia and China. Several private collectors and museums are among his clientele. Since 1998 he has participating regularly to Asian Art Fairs around the world. Carlo Cristi is founding member of Asian Art In Brussels and part of the organizing committee.
Jo De Buck
Jo has been a dealer of international repute based in the Sablon district of Brussels since 1996. For more than 20 years, he has exhibited and provided expertise for major tribal and antique art shows around the world. He is recognized in his field of specialization both by colleagues and collectors, and has always placed an emphasis on authenticity and how to recognize it. He is very interested in placing ethnographic objects in their historic context to understand the function of the art. The publications he made on the Emile Lejeune collection and on the legacy of Hendrik Elias are wanted tools for this purpose. You are welcome to contact him for advice on objects or curating your collection. He speaks Dutch, French, English and German.
Rut Van Caelenbergh
Rut grew up among African art. From early childhood she was fascinated by the many masks and images that her father brought from Africa. After several visits to the museum of Tervuren (now Africa Museum) as well as the many galleries of African art in Brussels, she was convinced to dedicate her professional life to tribal art. Finally, in 1995 she opened her own gallery at the Sablon in Brussels covering both African and Oceanic art. Rut is also known in Flanders from “Rijker dan je denkt”, a television programme quiet similar to the Antiques Road Show. She speaks Dutch, French, English and German.