Brussels Art Fair (BRAFA): 23 – 30 January 2022

The next edition of BRAFA will take place in person from January 23rd to 30th, 2022, at the Tour & Taxis venue in Brussels. This is the will of its organisers who, with the confirmed participation of 134 exhibitors, will make every effort to present an ambitious and positive 67th edition, in compliance with the measures currently in place. 

BRAFA 2020 – Xavier Eeckhout Gallery – Photo Brafa / Fabrice Debatty

Impatience and enthusiasm are recurring terms in the statements by the organisers of BRAFA, who are aiming to offer the most attractive fair possible, whilst guaranteeing optimal reception conditions for its visitors. This impatience and enthusiasm are also shared by the 134 confirmed art galleries, both long-standing participants and newcomers, who already have their eyes fixed on the appointment in January 2022. We imagine that there is also great impatience on behalf of the customers and visitors, who have been denied “face-to-face” initiatives for so long and who, thanks to the events of this autumn, are gradually able to return to the art fairs. BRAFA is back, for a 67th edition, more determined than ever to move forward! 

GALERIE AB-BA, Hans Hartung (Leipzig 1904-1989 Antibes) T1964-E36, 1964, Acrylic on canvas, 93 x 72 cmSigned and dated lower right, Registered at the Hartung-Bergman Foundation: HH983-0

Seducing and reassuring 

This on-site return to a full and complete Brafa is accompanied by the desire to focus on its participating galleries, the works of art they will present, and on the reception of visitors. “We are aware that this will be a rather special edition. We therefore think it is important to be able to convey a double message: seduce and reassure”, said Harold t’Kint de Roodenbeke, the President of the fair. 

This comeback will not be lacking in ambition nor allure! The ingredients for the success of BRAFA remain unchanged: a rigorous selection of the participating galleries, very high-quality works (which are subject to strict vetting), a flawless organisation, and a friendliness cultivated with a certain “Belgian-style” spirit. More than any other fair, BRAFA is also distinguished by a consummate art of “cross collecting”, thanks to a clever arrangement of styles and eras in a balanced combination of all the specialities. And with good reason: how can we understand modern and contemporary art without reference to ancient art? Are there not parallels between the work of yesterday’s creators and those of today? BRAFA aims to represent the arts in their evolution and in all their diversity in light of this artistic continuity. 

HELENE BAILLY GALLERY, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Limoges 1841-1919 Cagnes-sur-Mer), La Rochelle, circa. 1896, Oil on canvas, 32 x 41 cm, Signed lower left: Renoir

The participating galleries, a reflection of art market trends 

There will be 134 exhibitors at BRAFA 2022, composed of a majority of long-standing participants and a contingent of new names, divided into two categories: those who joined during the 2021 edition in galleries (9) and those for whom it will be a first participation (9). 

Although it is always difficult to identify trends, it is clear that the profile of the galleries at BRAFA reflects the overall evolution of the market. In the recent past, BRAFA has been a pioneer amongst classical art fairs, welcoming creations by comic book authors or dinosaur skeletons and other cinema costumes (pieces redefining the ‘cabinets of curiosities’ in the 21st century). During this edition, the fair will further expand its palette by presenting Himalayan and Islamic art for the first time. Modern classical and contemporary art, having experienced a real boom in recent years, are maintained at their current levels, despite a strong demand for the participation of galleries active in these fields. 

GLADSTONE GALLERY Alex Katz (The United States, New York, 1927). Yellow Tree 2, 2021. Oil on linen. 274.3 x 274.3 cm

The website, a showcase and an essential source of information 

As an essential complement to the physical fair, its website also presents a wide selection of artworks. Above all, it will host an initiative that met with great success during the last edition in the galleries in January 2021: short videos made by the exhibitors themselves. An original, light, sometimes playful and unexpected way to discover some of the most beautiful objects on display, whilst becoming acquainted with the gallery owners… All information related to health provisions will be made accessible, particularly useful at this time, especially for visitors from foreign countries. 

GALERIE BERÈS Fernand Léger (Argentan 1881-1955 Gif-sur-Yvette). Nature morte aux vases, 1928. Oil on canvas, 34 x 46 cm. Signed and dated lower right F. Léger 28

The BRAFA Art Talks, or the pleasure of learning 

Another unmissable event, greatly appreciated by visitors, is the cycle of daily conferences, the BRAFA Art Talks, which will be fittingly inaugurated by a conversation with the Guest of Honour 2022 followed by a signing session, scheduled during the opening on Sunday, January 

23rd. Amongst other topics, the conference cycle will present the discovery of the cult of Mithras, one of the most mysterious and fascinating cults in Roman antiquity (by the Royal Museum of Mariemont); Albrecht Dürer (by Susan Foister, curator of the exhibition “Dürer” at the National Gallery in London, in collaboration with CODART); Paul Klee (in collaboration with LaM, Lille Métropole Museum of Modern Art, Contemporary Art and Art Brut); the loan of works of art (in collaboration with Eeckman Art & Insurance); and a subject relating to the history of art (in collaboration with the RKD – Nederlands Instituut voor Kunstgeschiedenis in The Hague). 

Arne Quinze @BRAFA

Arne Quinze, a colourful Guest of Honour 

Last but not least, the décor of the event will be provided by the Belgian multidisciplinary artist Arne Quinze, this edition’s Guest of Honour. Born in 1971, he began his career in the 1980s as a graffiti artist. His work then quickly evolved from Street Art to Public Art, and he questions the role of our current society through recurring themes such as social interaction and diversity. Internationally recognised, he is the author of numerous projects and installations in cities as varied as Paris, Shanghai, Beirut, Washington DC, Mumbai, São Paulo and just recently, Dubai. He will be present at BRAFA with paintings, drawings, sculptures, sound and video installations, not to mention the design for this edition’s carpet. His colourful and expressive creations will certainly instil a joyful and positive atmosphere at BRAFA. His art, entirely inspired by the beauties of nature, and flowers in particular, encourages us to question our environment, our place in it, and to reconnect with our roots. And it emanates from him, like a light fragrance bringing us back to essential things… 

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