TOUR & TAXIS
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
21 – 29 JANUARY 2017

Over the years, BRAFA has established itself as one of Europe’s unmissable cultural events in January. For its next edition, it will bring together 132 galleries and original art dealers from 16 countries, including 13 new names, figures that remain consistent with the previous edition. Archaeology, jewellery, paintings, sculptures, furniture, design, ceramics, porcelain, clocks, objets d’art, glassware, antique frames, original cartoon plates and other contemporary creations will retrace more than four millennia of art history from across the continents.

The 2016 edition achieved a new record of attendance with more than 58,000 visitors welcomed, a sign of an expert and demanding audience, with the satisfaction displayed by the exhibitors bearing witness to the stamina of a market that remains strong when it comes to high quality art.

The aim of the organisers was not to do more, but to do it better; it’s not about equalling or exceeding this record, but improving the overall quality of the event on several levels.

To meet this challenge, 132 exhibitors confirmed their participation, a figure comparable to the previous edition. “While we have a rather long waiting list, it is not currently possible to welcome more galleries without sacrificing a certain level of comfort, or accepting smaller stands, which is not what we want. On the contrary, many of our exhibitors request larger spaces, but we are constrained by the physical limits of the building, that we really do use to its full extent – and more!” explains Harold t’Kint de Roodenbeke, President of the event for the 5th consecutive year.

Among these 132 exhibitors, there are 13 new names that stand out: Galerie Anne Autegarden (Brussels – 20th century decorative art and design); Belgian Fine Comic Strip Gallery (Luxembourg – original plates by Hergé); Galerie de la Béraudière (Geneva, Brussels – 19th and 20th century paintings); Bernier/Eliades Gallery (Athens, Brussels – contemporary art); Brenske Gallery (Munich – icons); Patrick De Brock Gallery (Knokke – contemporary art); Bernard de Grunne Tribal Fine Arts (Brussels – tribal art); Rodolphe Janssen (Brussels – contemporary art); La Mésangère, Albert Vandervelden (Liege – European furniture and Belgian silverware from 17th and 18th century, paintings and sculptures from 15th and 18th century); Galerie Seghers (Ostend – paintings, sculptures and works on paper from the end of 19th and 20th centuries); Pierre Segoura (Paris – paintings, drawings, objets d’art, antique furniture, photographs); Galerie Sismann (Paris – European sculpture 1000 – 1800) Omer Tiroche (London – contemporary art).

“We are very proud to once again be able to present such a panel of internationally renowned specialists in a variety of different areas. When we look at the references for our participating galleries, we can see that they exhibit at the largest fairs in the world, and BRAFA is now a part of that” adds Harold t’Kint.

The now well established tradition of welcoming a guest of honour will be respected but this year it will take a new shape, in the form of an homage to Argentine artist Julio Le Parc, born in 1928. Laureate of the Grand Prize in painting at the 33rd Venice Biennale in 1966, he was a particular pioneer in kinetic art, a movement which will largely inspire the decoration of the fair, entrusted to the duo Nicolas de Liedekerke and Daniel Culot of Volume Architecture.

Another distinguished guest of the fair is the Roi Baudouin Foundation, who will schedule the daily conferences, Brafa Art Talks, as part of the 30th anniversary of its heritage fund, centring on themes such as public/private partnerships to highlight national heritage, archaeological science or patronage in the field of heritage.

Brussels is brimming with museums and cultural treasures, sometimes unknown outside of its borders. In order to highlight and particularly try to entice foreign guests, a veritable VIP programme has been established, offering around twenty exclusive guided tours of various sites in the capital.

The final new feature of the 2017 edition is the launch of a new website with a fully redesigned look and new navigation.

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Image: FRANCIS MAERE FINE ARTS @ BRAFA 2016 © EMMANUEL CROOŸ