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BRAFA 2023

Jan 20, 2023

The 68th edition of BRAFA opens on January 29th in the Brussels Expo at the Heysel Halls 3 & 4. Expect an engaging week of events, talks and exhibitions around art and design of many genres, with a special focus on Art Nouveau for 2023.

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Text by TLmag

The 68th edition of BRAFA returns in 2023 to its traditional January dates, launching the European art fair season. From Sunday, January 29th to Sunday, February 5th at Brussels Expo at the Heysel in Halls 3 and 4, 130 exhibitors from 15 countries will be taking over the entire space. The positive feedback from exhibitors and visitors of this new venue during the June 2022 edition made it clear that it should be the site of the 2023 edition as well.

As Harold t’Kint de Roodenbeke, the Chairman of BRAFA, explains: We had a kind of trial gallop with a first BRAFA outside of our usual standards, since we proposed an event in a new space and at a different time due to a disrupted schedule. January will therefore be both a return to normality in terms of dates and also the writing of a new page in our history with Brussels Expo. Our current goal is to get back to our rhythm and our loyal customers, whilst developing the potential of the space.”

Brussels has a deep connection with Art Nouveau and in 2023, there is a city-wide celebration of this movement to highlight and promote its importance in art, design and architecture. In coordination with this celebration, BRAFA has chosen Art Nouveau as a theme for this year’s fair with special exhibitions, events and collaborations; The King Baudouin Foundation and some galleries specialised in this field will be presenting exceptional Art nouveau pieces. The creation of the BRAFA 2023 carpet will be based on original drawings by Victor Horta, and art lovers will be able to attend two “BRAFA Art Talks” devoted to Art Nouveau. One will be led by Professor Werner Adriaenssens, Curator of the Twentieth-Century Collections at the Art & History Museum, and the other by Benjamin Zurstrassen, Curator at the Horta Museum.

BRAFA continues to develop its international presence with 65% of the galleries being based abroad. “For over sixty years, BRAFA has stimulated the development of participating galleries, first at the national level, and then on the international scene. The Fair, which began as a local event, has been able to find the right tone over the years, making it possible to extend contacts with international customers,” notes Christian Vrouyr, Secretary-General of BRAFA.

Diversity and eclecticism continue to be part of the ongoing mission of BRAFA, which includes artworks and object that range from the Old Masters to contemporary art, by way of jewellery, sculptures, silverware, design and tribal art.

Maintaining a high standard of excellence is also part of the mission of BRAFA. For two days prior to the opening of the Fair, the paintings, furniture, art objects, jewellery and sculptures will be analysed by more than 80 experts from around the world, studied by a scientific laboratory and monitored by the Art Loss Register. “Diversity and high standards are essential impulses that drive any healthy and dynamic society, simultaneously living up to its core values and projecting itself into the future in a visionary way,” states Vrouyr.

The 68th edition of BRAFA takes place from Sunday, January 29th to Sunday, February 5th, 2023.

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Emile Gallé (Nancy, 1846-1904), Art Nouveau ceramic vase, circa 1889, H 23 cm. Courtesy Dr. Lennart Booji Fine Art & Rare Items
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Avaritia (Avarice, one of the seven vices), 1558, Engraving by Pieter van der Heyden (1530-1572), published by Hiëronymus Cock (Antwerp, 1518-1570), 29.6 x 22.5 cm. Courtesy Chambre Professionelle Belge de la Librarie Ancienne et Moderne (CLAM)
Lluís Masriera i Rosés, Art Nouveau pendant, Enamel, diamond, sapphire, gold, Spain, circa 1909. Courtesy Epoque Fine Jewels
Eugène Vallin, Art Nouveau sofa, circa 1900, Walnut, H 120cm x W 150 cm. Courtesy Galerie Mathivet, Paris
Jean Lurçat, Aube de nuit, circa 1950, Aubusson tapestry, woven in the Tabard Frères et Sœurs workshop, Wool, 150 x 296 cm. Courtesy De Wit Fine Tapestries
Karel Appel, Untitled, 1968, Oil on canvas, 162 x 129.5 cm. Courtesy Galerie des Modernes
HyperFocal: 0 José Zanine Caldas, Table, 1978, Pequi wood, 80 x 120 cm. Courtesy Axel Vervoordt
Nam June Paik, Robot Child, 1989, Mixed Media, H 233 x W 85 x D 140 cm. Courtesy Guy Pieters Gallery
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Brafa Art Fair has opened its 67th edition. On view through June 26th, the esteemed fair that focuses on ancient art up through contemporary, will be open to the public at Brussels Expo.