The Grusenmeyer Gallery opened in Brussels in 1980 and is now run by the second generation of a family of antiques dealers, represented by Karim and Isabelle Grusenmeyer. Working in association with Damien Woliner since January 2016, the gallery focuses on quality and diversity. Specialising in sculpture, archaeology, jewellery and decorative arts from South-East Asia, China and India, the gallery prides itself on its eclectic mix of pieces that reflect diverse cultures. Particular attention is given to the background and aesthetic interest of each work. The gallery’s clients include museum curators, specialist collectors, professionals, interior designers and art lovers.
Founded : 1992
Associations/ members :
Belgian Chamber of Art Experts
Royal Chamber of Antique Dealers
BRAFA Art Fair
AAB, Asian Art in Brussels
BAS, Brussels Art Square
From early childhood, Karim was submerged in the world of antiques thanks to his father, Stefaan Grusenmeyer, who started his career as a dealer in 1960, and was eventually elected president of the Guild of Flemish Antiquairs. With keen interest, Karim has observed the ever-evolving career of his eclectic father spanning over 50 years and involving the arts of all continents and all periods.
After a maiden voyage to China in 1985, he subsequently studied Sinology (classical and modern Chinese, modern Japanese) at the University of Gent and then spent two years (1988-1990) in Beijing, at the Academy of Fine Arts … while frequenting the Beijing antique markets.
Back in Belgium, Karim taught Chinese Art history at the University of Gent before deciding to pursue a career dealing with objects rather than words.
In 1992 Isabelle and Karim Grusenmeyer-Bilquin opened their gallery of Chinese art specializing in scholar’s art, furniture and archaeology. In 2000, the gallery moved to the Sablon district in Brussels and thus was triggered a vivid interest for the arts of Oceania and Madagascar of which fine examples are continuously displayed, in contrast with the works of Southeast Asian art that remain however, dominant in the gallery’s collection.
Karim Grusenmeyer is a member of the Chambre Royale des Antiquaires et des Négociants en Oeuvres d’Art de Belgique since 1993 (membership supported by Gisèle Croës and Bernard Blondeel). In 2010, with the patronage of Jacques Barrère and Jacques Billen, Karim was elected member of the Belgian Chamber of Art Experts .
Damien Woliner grew up in Paris surrounded with art since a little boy. His passion and curiosity for art and beauty was aroused by his mother, Agnès Woliner, a Tribal Art Dealer based in Paris for over 20 years, and a well known and passionate Parisian dealer-collector Gérard Wahl dit Boyer, aka Bébérose. Being taught the trade by BéBé, Damien acquired solid knowledges in different fields such as African Art, European Archeology, Classic Art and Haute Époque.
Starting in 2002 till 2005 Damien studied History and Art History at the Higher Institute of the Arts in Paris (IESA), parallel to which, from 2002-2007, he worked as a trainee for the Alain & Gérard Gallery (rue de Beaune, Paris 7). Further studies include training in Gemstone Mineralogy at the National Institute of Gemology (ING), Paris.
In 2004 his active business life took off when he took a stand at Saint-Ouen in co-operation with Virgil Wahl Boyer. A next step was taken when he joined the K. Grusenmeyer Gallery in 2007 to specialize in Asian Art. In 2016 Karim and Damien have started a partnership and moved to a new gallery at the Sablon in 2017.
Damien Woliner is a member of the Belgian Chamber of Art Experts since 2018.
As a French national, Lélia was raised in Paris and went to live in Shanghai for four years after high school. Upon her return to France, she studied at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (Inalco) in Paris, graduating in Chinese language and civilization. Additionally, she has achieved a master’s degree in international business. Since her childhood Lélia was immersed in the cultural scene of Paris as well as the art world, in general.
Lélia started her professional career working at the Réunion des Musées Nationaux in Paris, focusing on developing the Chinese market of museum cultural products. In 2014 she moved to Belgium in order to create, in collaboration with her brother Damien Woliner and Karim Grusenmeyer, the online marketplace weart.com which is dedicated to sharing their passion of art with collectors and dealers. Besides supervising weart.com, Lélia manages the daily governance and public relations of the Grusenmeyer-Woliner gallery.
Photo credit : Brice Vandermeeren