Art market Magazine January 2017

 
EVENT 
 
Brafa, a winter warmer 
 
i 
 
n the deep…
EVENT

Brafa, a winter warmer

i

n the deep midwinter, while the little world of art briefly dozes, the Brafa (21-29 January) is giving a wake-up call. This year is
decidedly dynamic and colourful, as the Brussels art fair pays homage to the Argentinian artist Julio Le Parc. After an exhibition at the Emmanuel Perrotin Gallery in New York this autumn, the maestro of kinetic art, co-founder of the GRAV (Visual Art Research Group) in the 1960s, is in the spotlight until 19 March next year at Miami's Perez Art Museum. Four of his works will be found at the Brafa in a special staging, featuring a huge red sphere and a vast mobile seen at the Palais de Tokyo's 2013 retrospective in Paris. This should certainly whet the appetites of visitors to this 62nd edition (who totalled 58,000 last year). They will be able to explore 132 stands in the former customs brick warehouses at the (heated!) site of Tour & Taxis, on the edge of the town centre. There is a loyal following for this event, which has an unrivalled niche in the calendar of events specialising in art and antiquities. Some call it one of the best fairs in Europe. Others see it as a "little Tefaf" – a way of saying that it is similar to without

equalling it. Some of the exhibitors also participate in the Maastricht fair, in fact. But in truth, the Brafa is like no other fair. It has its own particular character: elegant, friendly and welcoming. Its often highly cultivated visitors readily linger to chat with dealers. In cultural terms, it is a Belgian fair, far closer to the spirit of France than the Tefaf, with its distinctly Dutch feel. It is mainly hosting Belgian and French galleries, together with a few from Switzerland, the UK and Germany, one from Canada and another from Hungary. "The Brafa appeals because of its diversity and its wide range of prices, between €5,000 and €5 million," says the Ghent dealer Francis Maere, one of the fair's two vice presidents – the other being his colleague Didier Claes. Alongside works by the Belgian expressionists Constant Permeke, Emile Claus and Rik Wouters, the latter's stand is focusing on Eugène Dodeigne, who died in 2015. "One of the great sculptors of the 20th century", this Belgian artist featured in two exhibitions at the Musée Rodin in Paris, and his works adorn the impressive sculpture parks of Middelheim in Antwerp and Kröller-Müller in the Netherlands. One

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Deletaille Gallery, Brafa 2016.
© Emmanuel Crooy

Art Market Magazine January 2017
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