With the current health measures in place, do you also miss the feeling of wandering around in an art gallery? Do you wish you could experience it without worrying about your safety? Even though art fairs might seem impossible in 2021, that is only true if you think about conventional art fairs! One of the world’s oldest and most prestigious art fairs, BRAFA, decided to reinvent itself. This year, they offered an alternative version combining onsite exhibitions with online presentations made directly by the participating galleries.
If you’re intrigued by the idea but are not familiar with this art fair, let me give you some background information. BRAFA first started in 1956 and, for more than 60 years, it has showcased artworks of the highest quality, rigorously selected by an international committee of experts. It is usually located at the Taxis & Tours venue in Brussels, chosen for its richly artistic scene and cosmopolitan personality.
The fair includes artworks by 133 leading galleries representing 14 countries and the variety is incredible! It covers 20 specialities ranging from classical archaeology and tribal art, to furniture, jewellery and Asian art; it includes art objects dating from the Middle Ages to today, old and modern paintings, contemporary art and design, sculpture, ceramics, contemporary glass and porcelain, carpets and textiles, drawings, original cartoons, rare books, photography and autographs…it’s safe to say that you will definitely find something to match your taste!
With some galleries opening their doors to clients and collectors, where possible, and others virtually exposing their artworks on BRAFA’s website, the fair managed to adapt to these difficult times. And, even though this year’s BRAFA is already over, you can still browse the galleries and watch their videos through the online catalogue. Try filtering by country or city and explore the artworks you like the most!
To give you some inspiration on where to start your online visit, here are some of my favourites galleries from Brussels:
- Baronian Xippas and Meessen de Clercq for modern and contemporary art
- Dr. Lennart Booij Fine Art & Rare Items for Art Deco with a strong focus on Lalique and Picasso
- Brame & Lorenceau for impressionist art
- De Jonckheere for old master and modern paintings, including a Lucio Fontana
- Didier Claes and Grusenmeyer – Woliner for tribal art
- Chambre professionnelle belge de la libraire ancienne et moderne for antiquarian books and prints
- Morentz and Gokelaere & Robinson for 20th century design
But there is no need to limit your exploration to Brussels! With artworks from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the USA and more, this art fair really succeeded in staying true to the philosophy behind the event:
“Since you can’t come to BRAFA, BRAFA will come to you!”
Instagram photo: Costermans Fine Art Brussels