This past week, the European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF) welcomed tens of thousands of visitors to the inaugural edition of TEFAF Online, marking the first time the full breadth of TEFAF’s exhibitor community and their strictly-vetted works were
available for sale on a single digital platform. The Fair, which offered just one masterpiece from the diverse collections of each of its almost 300 specialist exhibitors, yielded several important multi-million dollar sales and unprecedented exhibitor engagement. Dealers reported an exceptionally positive fair experience in which they connected live with new and established collectors alike.
"TEFAF Online has proven an outstanding experience for the more than 30 thousand art lovers and collectors who visited the Fair from around the world, resulting in prominent sales and connections,” said Charlotte van Leerdam, Managing Director, TEFAF. “Translating our signature environment of quality and splendor to a digital platform, this inaugural Fair brought collectors along on an exciting TEFAF journey of discovery. We are enormously gratified that so many people have been able to engage with TEFAF in a meaningful way, during this time when in-person fairs are not possible.”
“We feel it was a very smart (and brave) decision on the fair’s part to limit the offering from each gallery to one piece. As a dealer it forced us to distill our vision for the fair and the way in which we wished to represent the gallery,” said Juliet Burrows of Hostler Burrows. “[...] the unique place that TEFAF holds in the art world brought focus to this artist in a way that might not have occurred had we been offering a full stand of material.”
“A healthy and vibrant art market benefits the entire arts ecosystem, with particular opportunities in the digital realities of today. TEFAF’s digital initiatives this autumn are proof that a virtual fair, bolstered by virtual programming, can enrich and enliven in fresh ways,” said Tom Loughman, Director & CEO of Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. “It was our pleasure to share part of the digital doorstep of the Wadsworth Atheneum with a global audience.”
Applicat-Prazan featured Karel Appel’s Le petit bonhomme du désert (Woestijnmannetje), 1950, which sold at the Fair. “Tefaf Online is the perfect virtual venue: highly focused, vetted, diverse, dedicated to quality works by great artists or makers, introduced by selected top international dealers from all over the world, from ancient times to modern and contemporary,” said Franck Prazan of Applicat-Prazan. “We are happy with the sale of our important pure CoBra Karel Appel painting.”
Much like TEFAF Maastricht, 7,000 years of art history was represented in the sweeping selection and sales at TEFAF Online, crisscrossing millenia and media. Due to TEFAF’s elite institutional following, among global museum curators, directors, and acquisition groups, some negotiations are ongoing, with conversations and sales taking place privately and over time.
Examples of impressive sales from the Fair include Di Donna Galleries’ $5 million sale of Vilhelm Hammershøi’s Interior with a Woman Standing, 1913; Hostler Burrows’ work by Torbjørn Kvasbø, Stack (Red Glazed), 2014; and Endlich Antiquairs’ rare Dutch book-cover, 1600. Additionally, ArtAncient sold a significant work, Bust of a Young Herakles, from the Late Hellenistic period, circa 1st century BC. Borzo Gallery, specializing in Minimalist and Conceptual art, sold its highlight from Jaap Wagemaker Mur vivant, 1959. Walter Padovani sold the beautiful terracotta piece, Rinaldo Rinaldi’s Justice and Peace Embrace, 1845. These, among many other sales, provide a window into the diverse and exciting success of participating exhibitors.
TEFAF Online will continue to evolve in collaboration with our dealers and will return in 2021. TEFAF also looks forward to welcoming its community in-person to TEFAF New York Spring, May 7-10, 2021.