“Harold t’Kint de Roodenbeke”

Respecting the Balance

Like most collectors flocking to BRAFA, Harold t’Kint de Roodenbeke likes the month of January. President of the fair for the sixth consecutive year, he reveals to AMA the key points of the strategy for the Brussels-based fair. Verbatim.   With nearly 25,000 artifacts and works of art, presented by 135 exhibitors, BRAFA is an event not to be missed. Considered one of the top five global art fairs, it takes place in January and is also the fair which sets the pace for the art market. Following the Paris biennale in September, Frieze Masters in October in London and shortly before the Maastricht TEFAF in March, BRAFA is a key date in the diary for all lovers of fine art. A major European event held at the stylish brick and wrought iron Tour & Taxis site, BRAFA signals the return to trading for the year. It is important to keep in mind that on this international stage whilst 30% of traders are Belgian, the bulk of those in attendance come from the other 15 countries represented, from Canada to Japan. The key characteristic of BRAFA is its atmosphere; it has the ambiance of a general, rather classic fair, which has managed to combine a certain old-fashioned spirit with a moment of timely relaxation. With more than 60,000 visitors expected, the fair covers four millennia of art history, spanning 20 different segments, from pre-Hispanic art and design, Golden Age furniture and comic strips, not to mention a trendy tribal art segment, driven by serious experts in the field. Here is the best kind of eclecticism, combined with a median position and consolidated by the amplitude of the price range. The heavily carpeted aisles are lined with the (mainly European) collectors which constitute the fair’s regular clientele, all with smiles...

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BRAFA, at the heart of the art market

In Brussels this January, over four thousand years of art will be making their way to BRAFA. From archaeology to contemporary creation, this is not only a major European event, but a place to sound out the art market as a new year begins. In January, after getting back from New Year’s Eve at Saint-Barthélemy, when nothing else seems to quite make the grade, not even a little omelette dotted with Alba white truffles, a quick dash to Brussels is just the thing! Why favour a Flemish destination, you might well ask? A yearning for the Belgian touch in the heart of winter? The timeless charm of the Place de Brouckère? Let’s put it this way: at the start of the year, the chicest rendezvous — one month after Art Basel on the coast of Florida in December, and shortly before the Armory Show in New York in March — is obviously BRAFA. Also known as the Brussels Art Fair, one of the oldest art and antiques fairs in the world. So much to say, the most stunning Brussels invention… just after the Délirium Café and its 3,000 beers. So let’s sum up: after its fine fare and brilliant beer, Brussels, from Saturday 21 to Sunday 29 January, can also offer you what is undoubtedly the very best in terms of antiques. Of course, some may well be inclined to say that nothing beats the Biennale des Antiquaires, that going shopping in Paris in September is the height of sophistication. Or that for fine-arts lovers, Frieze Masters in October in London is a genuine revelation, an aesthetic shock that will keep you hyped up and buzzing until Christmas… In short, for too long people have looked down at BRAFA — take the blasé collector who describes the Belgian fair...

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61st Edition of the Brussels Art Fair

From 23 to 31 January 2016, the BRAFA- Brussels Art Fair- will welcome 137 galleries, including 20 new exhibitors. Founded in 1956, BRAFA is one of the most prestigious art and antique fairs in Europe. The exhibition is installed in the enormous space of Tour & Taxis, and offers a variety of both antiquities and twenty-first century works including archeology, Asian art, jewellery, ancient and modern paintings, contemporary art, sculpture, tapestries, comics and photography etc. With the support of the floral festival, Floralies of Ghent, Guest of Honour of this 61st edition, the canopies of Tour & Taxis will resemble a greenhouse, in which all the different artistic styles and eras will be mingled together. At the BRAFA ART TALKS conference, museum curators, collectors, restorers and experts from the art market will share their knowledge and expertise. “The Brafa wants more than ever to maintain its eclecticism, mix its treasures, and demonstrate the richness of its blends. That is why we advocate a mixed installation of stands…We want visitors to take time to have fun”, spoke Harold t’Kint de Roodenbeke, President of the...

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BRAFA 2013, the rise of archaeology

Brussels, 31 January 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). All are unanimous in recognising that with this 58th edition, the BRAFA has largely established itself in the landscape of shows, with standards so high that many refer to it as the little Maastricht, but deem the fair is too long! Twelve days (from 19 to 27 January with previews from 16) when other fairs concentrate an event in four or five days. As a result, collectors do not feel any urge and return several times without making any decision. A real reluctance especially to the most expensive pieces, although increasing attendance testifies the enthusiasm for this new fair: 48,135 visitors, for 46,096 in 2012. The white coat of ice and snow that covered Brussels the first week only stopped visitors for a few days – although some have actually forfeited – and caught up on the last week end, peaking to 7,000 visitors on the last day. Last criticism: the fair is too close to the TEFAF (from 15 to 24 March), which participates in hesitation towards for big budget items, collectors saving themselves for the inescapable! The triumph of archaeology This new edition is under the sign of Belgium artists, essentially purchased by collectors: a lot of classics as Eugène Verboeckhoven (1799-1881) at Berko Fine Paintings (a rare seascape sold for €280,000) or at Jan Müller, Sheep and Shepherd for €80,000, Rodolphe de Saegher (1871 – 1941), with a series of pastels at Francis Maere, but also the remarkable series of drawings by Spillaerts at the OFFA Gallery of Knokke-Zoute (about €50,000), presenting those five works on paper by Magritte exceptionally gathered (€200,000). But the most remarkable was the true rise of archaeology galleries: thirteen galleries for seven non-European arts galleries, the latter specialty being in its stronghold in...

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