Design fair Collector’s item: names, galleries and exhibitions you should not miss

In 2020, Collectible was the last trade show that could still take place before our country was completely locked. In 2021, she had to switch to a digital variant at the last minute. This year, Collectible makes up for it with a festive fifth edition. These are our highlights.

01 Experiment

Experiment For its five-year anniversary, Collectible is expanding with a new section called ‘The Editors’. Here, nine young or niche-designed brands exhibit seeking a balance between artistic freedom, serial production and collectibility. They often make small editions or limited editions. There is also room to experiment, for example with new materials and techniques.

From the label Transnatural: chairs by Jólan van der Wiel.
© Etage Knaapen

In addition to new brands like Parisian Theoreme, which has just launched another collection, there is also Transnatural. That brand has been producing successful products for almost 15 years, such as the oxidized mirrors by Lex Pott and the magnetic stools by Jólan van der Wiel.

The Southern French Gallery 13 Desserts presents the cabinet series ‘Crotto’ (2022)
© Clement Rougelot

The discovery in this new section for us is 13 desserts from Hyères in the south of France. In addition to the award for the most original gallery name, it also deserves the award for the most colorful. Just watch the ‘Crotto’ cabinet series by Thomas Defour. It has something of an amoeba, but is inspired by the technique used to make violins. His outdoor armchair ‘Grand Ribaud’ with steel frame and nylon mesh also offers a colorful touch.

02 Beginners

In the ‘main section’ you will inevitably find work by designers represented by local and international galleries. Among the 35 exhibitors this year, there are more than 15 newcomers. Plus a long line who make their physical debut after their first participation at the digital fair last year. These are our favorites.

The new collection of metal tables by Maria Scarpulla, also at Atelier Ecru.

What started as a furniture and interior design store developed into a full-fledged gallery at the crossroads of art and design: Atelier Ecru from Ghent. Last year, she participated digitally for the first time in Collectible. It now overtakes the Atelier Ecru with a double position. In addition to the new collection of metal tables by Maria Scarpulla, she presents the young Belgian Jumandie Seys, who is inspired by architectural forms. He based his ‘Arch’ collection on the round arch. Spectacular piece is the desk made of patinated leather.

Also on Objects with Narratives: the ‘Atlas’ pouf (2020) by Pietro Franceschini.
© Lodoclick

The Swiss gallery does not come to Brussels unprepared. She immersed herself clearly in our art history and proposes the performance ‘Surrealistic Fictions’, inspired by surrealism and especially the Belgian painter René Magritte. You will discover works by, among others, Lukas Cober, Studio ThusThat, Pietro Franceschini and Supertoys Supertoys.

For these ‘Explosions’, the Copenhagen studio Tableau collaborated with designer Laurids Gallée.
© Michael Rygaard for TABLEAU

Tableau from Copenhagen is Julius Værnes Iversen’s multidisciplinary studio, which mixes design, art and plants and regularly visits other artists. For Collectible, the Dane works with the Australian designer Laurids Gallée, who lives and works in Eindhoven. This time he shows a small variety of ornaments, inspired by flowers and other shapes from nature.

03 Extra walls

Under Collectible, you can also spot designs outside the four walls of the Vanderborght building in Brussels. The off-program includes several museums and galleries at the fair.

‘Cycle Tension’, a painting on burnt canvas by Stéphane Abitbol.

‘Ticking on the Horizon’: that’s the name of the design fair in Cloud Seven, a brand new coworking area on Handelskaai, not far from Kanal. Six months ago, you read in Sabato about this project by art collector Frédéric de Goldschmidt, a Frenchman who has lived in Brussels for 15 years. At the time, it was still a shipyard, and he set up a temporary exhibition with over 300 works from his private collection.

Now Cloud Seven is done. In addition to De Goldschmidt’s own apartment, there are three floors for colleagues, meeting rooms and a gym. Lots of space in this 1500 m² large building from 1820. The design fair opened on Thursday on the first floor, between the workplaces. In it, curator Leo Orta lets De Goldschmidt’s art collection enter into a dialogue with, among others, arte povera and a selection of new designers. ‘The works are far beyond my comfort zone of what I usually collect. But that is also the meaning: art is here not to enjoy passively, but to evoke reactions’, says De Goldschmidt.

Designer, artist and curator Leo Orta.

Orta, who is not only a curator but also an artist and designer, has brought together Belgian and international names such as Brussels’ Antoinette d’Ansembourg and Canadian Miles Greenberg. A mix of performance, sculpture and design. Or ‘functional art’ as he calls it.

The exhibition consists of two parts: air and earth. Two opposites: both visually and conceptually. With earth tones and oxidized textures on one side and poppy colors and plastics on the other. In the air category, we fell for ‘I Need You’ by Chan Chiao Chun and ‘Labor (bleu outremer)’ by Didier Marcel. Notable in the ground section is ‘Cycle Tension’ by Stéphane Abitbol.

Chan Chiao Chun makes colorful sculptures like this ‘I Need You’.
© Donghwan Kam and Morph Collective

“The earth is somewhat fragile, while the sky is elusive,” Orta explains. ‘I caught that paradox in the title:’ Ticking on the Horizon ‘. You can never reach the horizon. While people used to think that there was a sheer abyss behind it, it could now be a burning planet. ‘

Until June 3, cloudseven.be

Collector’s item, 20 to 22 May, Vanderborght building, Brussels, collector’s item.design

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