Riding on the wave of a record 48,000 visitors in 2013, BRAFA is setting its sights even higher for its next edition (January 25th -> February 2nd 2014), aiming to reach, and even exceed the 50,000 visitor mark. More than ever, the 131 Belgian and international exhibitors gathered in the vast listed halls of Tour & Taxis will be striving to present the very highest quality examples of ancient, modern and contemporary art in sophisticated displays. The Guest of Honour in 2014, the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, will add a vibrant note to the heart of the European capital, strengthening Brussels’ dominant position in the field of primitive arts.
As the first gathering of the year for the international art market, BRAFA is always eagerly anticipated, attracting the interest and curiosity of many collectors and art professionals. The 2014 event will bring together 131 exhibitors, consisting of 51 Belgian exhibitors (38%) and 80 international exhibitors (62%) from more than a dozen countries: Germany, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Spain, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the USA.
Each event provides an opportunity to discover new galleries, with this year’s new arrivals including James Bauerle Kunsthandel (Copenhagen), Carpenters Workshop Gallery(London), Cité de la Céramique (Sèvres), Yann Ferrandin (Paris), Foundation Fine Art SVB(Montreux), Willy Huybrechts (Paris), Kovacek Spiegelgasse (Vienna), Lux Art Consulting(Luxembourg), Robertaebasta (Milan), Kunstberatung Zürich AG (Zürich), Pierre Segoura(Paris), not forgetting Costermans (Brussels) which will be celebrating its 175th anniversary during BRAFA. Visitors to the fair will also be delighted to see the return of the galleries Michel Descours (Lyon), Bernard Dulon (Paris), Jan Roelofs (Maastricht), Schoffel-Valluet (Paris),Seghers (Ostend) and Tradart (Geneva – Brussels).
Observing the 20 or so specialities represented, including archaeology, antiques, primitive arts, furniture, paintings and drawings, sculptures, silver/gold ware, Asian arts, carpets and tapestries, antique books, ceramics and porcelain, not forgetting numismatics and curios, an overall trend towards stabilisation is apparent among their various representatives. However, there is a slight strengthening in the fields of Old Masters and 20th century design, which are attracting an increasing following, while primitive arts specialists will no doubt gain a great deal from the presence of the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren.
Keen collectors at BRAFA will find many galleries that are regular exhibitors at other leading events in the market, in Paris, London or Maastricht, reputed for their very high standards of quality. This is the result of a long-term policy introduced several years ago, placing top priority on the quality of exhibits, ensured by rigorous vetting days conducted by around 100 independent experts. BRAFA is also appealing to new generations of collectors, in search of works and objects offering potential added value in the future.
The ‘Singular Collections’ of the Royal Museum of Central Africa in Tervuren.
For many years, Brussels has enjoyed a reputation as a leading force in the rapidly growing primitive arts market. To further strengthen this reputation, the Guest of Honour at BRAFA 2014 will be the prestigious and internationally renowned Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, before it closes its doors until 2017 for extensive renovations. Under the banner of ‘Singular Collections’, masks – including some extremely rare examples and items never before exhibited – statues, jewellery, totems and ethnographic objects from the museum’s vast collections will demonstrate the extent of the influence of African art on modern and contemporary works.
New for 2014
The 2014 event will also feature several important new additions, including the launch of a new design based on the acronym and lettering ‘BRAFA’, now standing for the ‘Brussels Art Fair’. These updates reflect a desire to encompass the increasing diversity and quality of the specialities represented at BRAFA, while simplifying the message conveyed to all audiences, including those who are not yet familiar with the event or unaware of its full scope. This same focus on simplification applies to the new website, which is now more practical and easy to use while at the same time offering more content. Mobile applications (now also available to Android users), various “news” items broadcasted through the website, Facebook and Twitter, complete the fair’s spectrum of communication channels.
Every day, at 2.30 pm, BRAFA 2014 will also be featuring a new series of talks. Admission to these events, by internationally renowned speakers and covering a wide variety of inspiring topics, will be free of charge for all visitors. Finally, the new ‘BRAFA Privilege Card’ will allow galleries to offer their best clients a range of benefits at temporary exhibitions, museums, restaurants and hotels in Brussels.
Also, the inaugural evening ‘BRAFA Exclusive’ of Friday, 24th, Jan. will celebrate the Belgian-French friendship and will be placed under the Honourable Patronage of Mr Bernard Valero, Ambassador of France in Belgium.
For the 2014 edition, the innovative designers behind all the decoration at BRAFA for many years, Nicolas de Liedekerke and Daniel Culot (Volume Architecture), have opted for a light, fluid theme with a modernist feel, using wires tightly strung or suspended along the aisles to evoke a feeling of transparency and a third dimension. For the floor covering design, a competition was launched at the Ecole Nationale des Arts Visuels de La Cambre (National School of Visual Arts of La Cambre): around fifteen very creative and accomplished projects have been submitted. The lucky winner will have the great privilege of seeing their work admired by all visitors to BRAFA!
BRAFA’14 – Brussels, Tour & Taxis.
From 25 January to 2 February 2014, 11 am to 7 pm.