Place du Grand Sablon 40
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Contact: Olivia Roussev
Since Pierre Bergé launched the auction house of the same name just six years ago in Paris, things have moved at lightning speed. The ambitions of this nearly eighty year-old entrepreneur are boundless: be it art or fashion, borders are only there to be crossed. The auction house has opened in Brussels in June 2006, immediately turning Pierre Bergé & associés into the biggest player in Belgium. “Belgians are to design and ethnic art what the Italians are to fashion,” said vice-president Frédéric Chambre, when he described Brussels as the ideal operations base for becoming an international market leader in these fields. The impressive and historically valuable premises in the heart of the most prestigious art district in Brussels, the Sablon, has developed into much more than just an auction house, being ‘a multicultural centre’. A new challenge for 2008: Part of the ground floor has been turned into a white box and 200m2 gallery that will be exclusively devoted to monographic and thematic exhibitions on contemporary and American vintage design.
Since Arne Quinze stepped out of anonymity in ‘99 with his Primary Pouf, a seating object of which the simplicity is only exceeded by its renown, he’s never been out of the news. His ambition is also boundless: be it art, architecture or design, borders for this thirty-year-old jack-of-all-trades are only there to be crossed. Quinze describes himself as the leader of a Hardcore Rock Band. At his headquarters in a historically important and entirely renovated industrial complex of 10 000 m2 in Kortrijk, Belgium, he employs more than 60 people. Comprising a gallery and showroom, next to the offices and production units of Quinze & Milan, he has surrounded himself with architects, urban developers, product and graphic designers, and artists. Even by international standards the Arne Quinze Studio is unique and moves across a large range of fields – from footwear to interior architecture to branding, from Nigeria to Norway. No challenge is too great for Quinze. He even dreams of creating his own city. Meanwhile, people can still visit his Cityscape, a giant sculpture, frantically built from nothing more than wooden slats and nails, which is breathing new life into the centre of Brussels.
In view of all this, it’s hard to imagine a more suitable artist and designer to open the Galerie Pierre Bergé & associés. In a soundscape spécially created for the event, Quinze presents some 30 new pieces – one-offs and limited editions, signed and numbered – partly referring back to the Mutagenesis exhibition he built a few months ago in Verona, but also including work exclusively created for this one-man-show: Stilt Houses, Walking Light Houses, “Love gun” paintings, porcelain vases, and a set of table and chairs in polyuréthane.
In the months to come, the Galerie Pierre Bergé & associés will also mount one-man-shows of leading design figures such as Edward Wormley and Jürgen Bey, thus offering Brussels the international platform it deserves as a design capital. The capability has always been there; it was just a question of ambition.