Gladstone chooses Brussels for European gallery

Belgian capital offers tax advantages; dealer opens second space in New York

PARIS. New York dealer Barbara Gladstone is to open a gallery

in the heart of Brussels in October. The director will be Natacha Van Deun, great-niece of the artist Paul Delvaux and a director at Christie’s in Brussels for nine years. The gallery will open with a group show. “We have many European artists and clients in Belgium,” said Maxime Falkenstein, Gladstone Gallery’s co-director. “We visited other cities, but Barbara didn’t want to follow other galleries. Brussels seems to have a distinct atmosphere; the location seemed ideal to us. Many artists live there, it’s central and easy. We wanted the gallery to have a European identity.”

Other galleries in Brussels welcomed the arrival. “A new gallery in London or Berlin doesn’t add anything to those cities. But in Brussels, we have yet to achieve critical mass and each addition creates a new centre of attention. Competition wakes up the market,” said dealer Xavier Hufkens.

Ms Gladstone would have difficulty opening in London where three-quarters of her artists are already represented by Lisson, White Cube and Sadie Coles. In Berlin, picking up new collectors is rare, and she would have been competing with the glut of new galleries that have opened over the past two years. And despite the success of Marian Goodman, Paris remains a difficult and expensive city for galleries.

Opening in Brussels presents other advantages: not least its tax deductions for equity invested in Belgian companies, including art galleries. On top of this, a New York client buying from Europe would not have to pay the 8.25% local sales tax imposed on transactions in New York, and there is no import duty imposed on art shipped into the US.

Meanwhile, in New York, Gladstone Gallery is to open a second exhibition space on 12 May with a show of new work by Anish Kapoor (see interview with the artist, p48). The new 8,500 sq. ft space is on West 21st Street and is designed by architect Annabelle Seldorf.

Roxana Azimi

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