The enthusiasm has been palpable at this new edition of BRAFA. Since opening its doors on Sunday, January 29th, 2023, the Fair has won over many visitors from Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, England and the United States.
Harold t’Kint de Roodenbeke:
there is a real sense of general enthusiasm. We put all of our energy into the preparation of this 68th edition of BRAFA, to make the necessary improvements on the last edition in June. In light of the compliments we have received over the past few days, it seems we are on the right track
This 68th edition has been met with great appreciation by collectors and art lovers, for the quality of the 130 international participating galleries, the beauty of the stands, the juxtaposition of specialities in the aisles, the Fair’s carpet inspired by Victor Horta’s drawings and the pleasant atmosphere that reigns. This has been illustrated by the exchanges and contacts created by the galleries, and by the many sales which have already been made.
On the Belgian side, the Costermans & Pelgrims de Bigard gallery (BE) parted with a painting by Frans Francken the Younger, Moses strikes the rock, late 16th – early 17th century. Cédric Pelgrims de Bigard is delighted with this BRAFA 2023:
we are delighted to see that many visitors come. Everybody is enthusiastic, we have heard nothing but compliments
Francis Maere (BE) sold a sculpture by Eugene Dodeigne, Figure, 1966, in Soignies stone, a piece by Christian Dotremont, Le temps est une harpe qui joue toujours autrement la même chose, 1972, Indian ink on paper, for approximately 100,000 euros, as well as a still life by Rik Wouters, Interior aquaforte, circa 1911, for about 300,000 euros.
A pair of Sgabello’s 16th-century carved chairs was sold for between 30,000 and 40,000 euros by Gallery Desmet (BE) and at De Wit Fine Tapestries (BE) several tapestries, including its centrepiece Chasse au cerf, dating from the late 16thcentury, were acquired by collectors.
Röbbig München (DE), specialised in Meissen porcelain and 18th-century furniture, paintings and art objects, sales have included A lady playing the spinet, with cavalier, in Meissen porcelain, 1741, produced by the great Johann Joachim Kaendler, which was bought by a collector for 220,000 euros.
Galerie Pascal Cuisinier (FR), a new exhibitor specialised in 1950s design, sold a rare lamp by Robert Mathieu from 1952, the only currently-known example of this type. Pascal Cuisinier, a first-time exhibitor, has been particularly appreciative of the atmosphere of the fair:
we received an incredible welcome. We are getting very positive feedback on our work from visitors and neighbouring galleries. It’s a real pleasure to be here
At the Galerie de la Présidence (FR) several pieces by Geer van Velde attracted collectors, including a large-format oil on canvas entitled Composition, circa 1954, which sold for approximately 150,000 euros. A three-panel screen by Max Ernst, Le Grand Ignorant, circa 1974, was sold to a collector by the Galerie Berès (FR).
Dalton Somaré Galerie (IT) specialised in tribal art, sold one of its key pieces: the mukudj mask, Punu, Gabon, late 19th – early 20th century. Tomaso Vigorelli is very satisfied with this 68th edition:
we came to BRAFA to meet new collectors and we are always happy to be able to win over new audiences who have no interest in tribal art to begin with and who end up discovering a new speciality
The contemporary art gallery Nosbaum Reding (LUX/BE) present at BRAFA for the second time, has sold a work by Fatiha Zemmouri, Jennah, 2022, in earth and pigments on wood.
For its first participation, the Galerie Van den Bruinhorst (NL), specialised in historical design and art objects from the interwar period, devoted its stand to the De Stijl movement and Modernism. The exhibitor sold a decorative ceramic plaque from the exclusive ceramic collection of Bart van der Leck, a member of De Stijl, to a major American museum, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas.
In terms of the British galleries, Stairs, a sculpture by Lynn Chadwick from 1990, was sold by Osborne Samuel Gallery (UK) for more than 400,000 euros.
Stern Pissaro Gallery (UK) sold a piece by Yayoi Kusama, Glass, for a similar sum of approximately 450,000 euros.
Finally, the King Baudouin Foundation acquired a set of chairs by Victor Horta from Thomas Deprez Fine Arts (BE) for the Art & History Museum of Brussels.