The New York-based collectors Susan and Michael Hort have been making the rounds of Europe's art centers in search of worthy additions to their extensive collection—first in Cologne and Berlin, and now Brussels. Here, they share their favorite works from this year's Art Brussels fair and the booming local gallery scene, as well as some reflections, below, on their experiences in a city still recovering from last month's terrorist attacks.
Thursday morning we went to the Brussels art fair by metro. We had a map from the hotel, but when we got off at the Ribaucourt station we were not sure which direction to go in. We walked a few blocks and began to think that we were going the wrong way. At a small furniture store, we stopped in and asked a man to help us. He tried to explain the correct directions, which were very confusing. He finally said, "My truck is across the street—I will drive you." He turned off the lights in his store, locked the door, and drove us in his furniture truck to the fair.
In the course of our conversation with him, we learned that we had been in the middle of Molenbeek. Our friend told us that he was Muslim, and that "not all Arabs are bad." He also said that half of the young Muslims who graduate from high school cannot get a job.
Later, at the fairs, we were told that we were the only Americans who had come to Brussels. Three days after we arrived, most of the art that we asked about was still available.
We did not believe he could get better, but he did—the work is tougher.
Lyles and King
He opened up this painting more than the recent ones we own. Unfortunately it was sold to a great European collector. He continues to do his magic behind the canvas.
Marco's colorful paintings are very expressive and mysterious. This is our fifth painting of his.
He does gestural paintings like this one, in which a giant dollop of paint is plopped down and his fingers smear the paint. He also does more geometric paintings. He is married to Trudy Benson, who also has a great painting at Bernard Ceysson gallery at the same art fair.
Bugada & Cargnel
We love these new new images of hers—they are still beautifully painted, but tougher. You need to see them up close to get the full impact of the amazing brush work.
D+T Project Gallery
It looks like a 15-foot Gandalf from The Lord Of The Rings. It's made out of lights, and is unfortunately too big and too much electricity for us, but it's very cool.
James is a young New York artist we met in Dubai. He is a master at working with light to get emotional results. He just had a great show in Chelsea at Jane Lombard.
We discovered this British artist in Cologne and fell in love with this painting at the Brussels art fair. This one comes out of his visit to L.A..
We discovered Matt when he did his MFA at Yale. It was a great class that included among others Keltie Ferris, who had an amazing show we saw a couple of days ago in Cologne, and Tala Mandani. Still waiting to be offered a new painting.
La Loge (not-for-profit space)
He's an amazing young sculptor. This piece has a classic and contemporary look—he created it together with his father in his studio in France. He does all the foundry work, glass, and soldering himself.
Part of a series of beautifully painted paintings with lots of movement. We loved living with his installation two years ago, and are happy to find another.
Brennan and Griffin
He creates small sculptures, which he uses in his performances and which are a point of reference for his paintings. We have five of his paintings up in our current installation.
Her small Pop, Warholian objects will look great with the paintings we have up in our home.