A tradition that goes back more than 50 years – each January, Brussels hosts the Brussels Antiques & Fine Arts Fair (BRAFA) and for a highly anticipated ten day period becomes the European capital of the arts. From 21st to 30th January, 130 of Belgian’s finest galleries are joined by a selection of top international dealers to take their place in the magnificent setting of the Tour & Taxis exhibition yard, vying in elegance and beauty to present their most outstanding pieces for visitors. The Museum Mayer van den Bergh, from Antwerp, the guest of honour at this 56th fair, will be exhibiting a selection of masterpieces from its collection.
An event that has won recognition and admiration.
Each year BRAFA becomes a stronger player in the international circle of major events. Its bold 2004 move to the massive, superb halls of the old Tour & Taxis marshalling yard, its warm welcome for exhibitors from other countries and its constant striving to raise the quality standards of the fair are all factors which have helped it to earn its position on the international scene and make its voice heard and respected among events held in Paris, Maastricht, New York and London.
The 130 confirmed exhibitors at this year’s fair will help to reinforce still further its reputation for excellence, eclecticism, and conviviality.
Prestigious new names
The Asiatic arts will be reinforced by the arrival of Christian Deydier and Jacques Barrère (Paris). Furniture and objets d’art are joined by by Steinitz, François Hayem, Alain Marcelpoil, Michel-Guy Chadelaud (Paris), and Dr Tilman Roatzsch. In the field of the primal arts, one of BRAFA’s traditional strengths, the arrival of Adrian Schlag (Brussels), Nasser & Co (New York, USA) and Schoffel-Valluet (Paris) will increase this important field to eight exhibitors.
This year paintings, drawings, and sculptures will be boosted by the participation of Francis Carrette (Brussels), Grippaldi (Monaco), Vincent Lecuyer and Tamenaga (Paris). 20th Century art and design is consolidated by the arrival of David Lévy & Associés (Paris – paintings and drawings), Mathivet (Paris – French Art Déco), Whitford Fine Art (London, UK – modern and cubist painters), and Marcilhac (Paris – decorative arts). Numismatics fans will be pleased to welcome back Tradart (Brussels), and silverware lovers will be happy to see Dario Ghio (Monaco) again. Finally, after a resounding first appearance in 2010, comic books are taking another stride forward with Galerie 9ème Art (Paris) and Champaka (Brussels).
Much anticipated regulars include the great Belgian names who form the backbone of the event, current president Bernard De Leye, Axel Vervoordt, Ronny Van de Velde, Berko Fine Paintings, Epoque Fine Jewels, Vrouyr, and De Wit Fine Tapestries. The fair will once more play host to highly prestigious international galleries Bérès, Jean-Jacques Dutko, Mermoz, Bernard Dulon, Tanakaya (Paris), Phoenix Ancient Art (Geneva / New York) as well as Ludorff (Dusseldorf), and Mayoral (Barcelona).
Half-way between these two categories, the Belgo-French De Jonckheere gallery will be heading the category of Old Masters, alongside Florence de Voldère, Jacques Leegenhoek, Galerie Mendes (Paris), Dr Riedl (Munich), and new participants Theotokopoulos, Antiquedades Linares (Madrid), and Galerie Barrez (Paris).
BRAFA always seeks to provide diversity and every field from antiquities, antique jewellery, curiosities, ceramics, china and porcelain, engravings, old and modern paintings, carpets and tapestries, books ancient and modern, numismatics, to contemporary art will be represented in its highest form.
The guest of honour – the Museum Mayer van den Bergh
BRAFA is keen to promote the heritage of Belgian museums, and this year has invited the Museum Mayer van den Bergh of Antwerp, which has a rich art collection acquired by Fritz Mayer van den Bergh at the end of the 19th century, to form its own exhibition within the fair. A selection of some twenty outstanding works, including paintings, ancient sculptures, gold and silverware will be on display.
Sober, inspired decoration
The design for the fair, sophisticated and elegant as ever, will once again be in the hands of the talented Volume Architecture, with graphic decoration evoking the baroque style of the 17th Century and drawing on themes from Land Art. The highlight will be the fully redesigned entrance with a new grandeur befitting the event.
Reception more elegant than ever
Finally, to enhance the fair experience for the growing numbers coming from abroad, BRAFA will provide an improved reception facility in partnership with the Le Plaza hotel. Featuring a new BRAFA Guide, listing restaurants, hotels, exhibitions, shows, and useful addresses, this will help visitors to Brussels make the most of an extended visit.