The Brussels Art Fair (BRAFA) will take place from 29 January to 5 February 2023, traditionally the first major art fair of the year to visit. A strong and rich line-up of 130 international art dealers offers an eclectic array of great quality with works spanning art history, from applied classical to contemporary fine art.
With 67 editions to look back on, BRAFA has more than established itself as a major meeting place for art collectors from all over Europe. Thanks to rigorous vetting, the art fair has met the highest expectations of collectors and art lovers over the years. For the first time in BRAFA’s history, a record number of ten Dutch galleries will participate in the fair. Besides familiar faces, visitors can meet newcomers Van der Meij Fine Arts, VKD Jewels, Delaive Gallery and Galerie Van den Bruinhorst.
A walk along ten pioneers in art history
At Old Masters specialist Floris van Wanroij Fine Art (Dommelen), an ice scene with golf players by the important landscape painter Aert van der Neer (1604-1677) catches the eye. The Dutchman became best known for his remarkable nocturnal landscapes and his ice scenes, of which this is a fine example.
Norwegian artist Christian Krohg (1852-1925) is one of his country’s most important 19th-century painters and is widely recognised as a pioneer of social realism. His surprising perspective, a view of fields past a green creeper in the foreground, is offered by Van der Meij Fine Arts (Amsterdam).
The Belgian neo-impressionist Theo van Rysselberghe (1862-1926) is among the artists who played a key role in the European art scene of the late 19th century, partly for his active involvement in the rebellion against outdated, prevailing academism. Studio 2000 Art Gallery (Blaricum) presents his atmospheric 1906 ‘Setting Sun near Veere’.
Pioneering design is on show at Galerie Van den Bruinhorst (Kampen). The gallery provides an avant-garde crate table from the 1930s by Utrecht designer and architect Gerrit Rietveld (1888-1964). This simple furniture of the free carpentry method, consists of genuine construction in which nothing is hidden and preferably remains unpainted.
At colleague MORENTZ (Waalwijk), a rare cabinet is on display with a subtle decorative character. Conceived by Italian designer and architect Paolo Buffa (1903-1970), it embodies a surprising modernity for the 1940s. The front is composed of vertical and horizontal slats placed on top of each other.
Intrigued by how quickly he could create ceramic works and the idea that they were both aesthetic and functional, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) made a breath-taking collection of original ceramics between 1946 and 1973. His 1958 vase shaped like a proud tawny owl is a highlight at Dr Lennart Booij Fine Art & Rare Items (Amsterdam).
Good contrast provides the colour explosion of Karel Appel (1921-2006), whose 1974 oil painting is shown by Gallery Delaive (Amsterdam). The Dutch painter is known worldwide for his turbulent, colourful and semi-abstract compositions and as a co-founder of the 1948 COBRA group of Northern European expressionists.
Frank Stella (*1936) is best known for his work in the field of minimalism and post-painterly abstraction. Baronian gallery (Brussels) exhibits one of his twelve Had Gadya etchings, on the traditional Jewish Passover song, which emerged from Stella’s fascination for the eponymous gouaches by the Russian avant-garde artist El Lissitzky (1890-1941).
Marisa Merz (1926-2019) is one of the central figures and the only woman artist involved in the Arte Povera movement. She employed unusual materials to create sculptures and drawings that reflected a poetic sensibility, while also challenging the elite status associated with artworks in the consumer culture of modern capitalism. Discover her work at Bernier/Eliades Gallery (Athens/Brussels).
A masterpiece of antique Qianlong porcelain can be seen with Galerie Bertrand de Lavergne (Paris). The large, three-dimensional animal sculpture from ca. 1750-1770 is a naturalistic representation of a Chinese gold pheasant. Introduced to Europe at in the early 18th century, this colourful animal became very popular with aviary keepers – including Madame de Pompadour.
Art Nouveau in the spotlights
Art Nouveau has been chosen as BRAFA 2023 theme in conjunction with the Brussels Capital Region’s initiative to dedicate the new year to this wonderful art style. BRAFA will highlight this movement in various ways.
BRAFA – Brussels Art Fair
Sunday 29 January to Sunday 5 February 2023
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Evening opening on Thursday 2 February until 10 p.m.
Brussels Expo I Heysel, Palaces 3 & 4 (entrance)
Place Belgique 1, 1020 Brussels, Belgium
Information and entrance tickets on