INSIGHTS | Isabella Ritter (LambdaLambdaLambda & La Maison de Rendez-Vous)

The DISCOVERY section of Art Brussels features booths with a one-artist show or an interesting dialogue between two artists who are not yet known in the European context, and whose practice constitutes a real ‘discovery’. Last week Art Brussels announced the members of the DISCOVERY Committee for the 38th edition of the fair in 2020. They are Iwona Blazwick, Director of Whitechapel (London), Michael Callies, dépendance (Brussels), Laurence Dujardyn, C L E A R I N G (Brussels, New York), and Isabella Ritter, LambdaLambdaLambda (Prishtina) & partner at La Maison de Rendez-Vous (Brussels). For Art Brussels Insights, we spoke with new committee member Isabella Ritter.

Interview with Isabella Ritter (owner of LambdaLambdaLambda, Prishtina & partner at La Maison de Rendez-Vous, Brussels)
By Louis-Philippe Van Eeckhoutte.

LambdaLambdaLambda (LLL) started in 2015 as the first international gallery for contemporary art in Prishtina. As of this year, you are also in Brussels with La Maison de Rendez-Vous (LMDRV). How does that work?
LLL consists of two people, one living in Prishtina, one in Brussels. LMDRV includes four galleries: Lulu, MISAKO & ROSEN, Park View/Paul Soto and LLL, who alternate their exhibitions. The gallery space here in Brussels allows us all a constant presence, although only one gallery has an exhibition running at a time. However, our collaboration already extends beyond the physical space here in Saint-Gilles.

What inspires you in contemporary art?
Our spectrum of artists provides us with that which allows us to experience our time and the world in so many different ways – the beauties as well as the beasts.

La Maison de Rendez-Vous just opened a new show as part of the Brussels Gallery Weekend. What are you showing?
This show is organized by LLL, with a solo exhibition by Brussels-based artist Hana Miletić, entitled Retour au travail. We are presenting a new body of Hana’s work, including a hand-tufted carpet entitled RAD, as well as new works from her on-going Materials series that she had also presented at Beurschouwburg (2016) and Wiels (2018).

As part of the Art Brussels INVITED section, what was your first Art Brussels like?
It was a good way to be introduced to the Belgian public, since it had the novelty factor. Last year, the section highlighted young galleries or spaces that mostly work quite differently from one another. I think it was a good idea to bring these kinds of galleries together in one section.

You are now part of the DISCOVERY Committee for the 38th edition of the fair, which will feature galleries that actively support emerging international artists. What will you be looking for?
Galleries and artists that embrace the current discourse around contemporary art and who preferably have non-conventional approaches.

What are your favourite places in Brussels?
There are many. Brussels is full of discoveries, every day. In terms of cafes, I like the Le Verschueren in Saint-Gilles, as well as Chez Richard in Sablon and Jane’s in Ixelles, the two latter ones serving natural wines and beers. In terms of non-commercial art spaces, I like the usual suspects, such as Wiels, Beurschouwburg, Etablissement d’en face, etc., and I would like to point out a recent initiative, called Level Five, in the city centre. It comprises artist’s studios, Kantine, an artist-run exhibition space, as well as a communal area that is open for different projects. It conveys an open-mindedness that I think reflects the spirit of the young Brussels art scene very well.

What is your advice for young collectors?
Try to be within your time. From a historical perspective, the collections we think of as crucial today were accumulated within their own time, with artists and collectors having been contemporaries. This kind of collecting not only creates dialogue, but also fosters a healthy ecosystem wherein the support of collectors has a direct impact on artists’ careers and their supporting galleries. And I think it’s exciting for collectors to be a part of this process.

Images in order of appearance:
Isabella Ritter, credit Marlie Mul
Hana Miletić, Materials, 2019, Hand-woven textile (brown-grey raw wool, golden metal yarn), 25 x 19 x 1 cm.
courtesy of the artist, LambdaLambdaLambda and La Maison de Rendez-Vous, Brussels. Photo: Isabelle Arthuis
Exhibition view, Hana Miletić, Retour au travail, organised by LambdaLambdaLambda, La Maison de Rendez-vous, Brussels, 2019.
courtesy of the artist, LambdaLambdaLambda and La Maison de Rendez-Vous, Brussels. Photo: Isabelle Arthuis
La Maison de Rendez-Vous booth at Art Brussels 2019.

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