The international mix of BRAVA

The Brussels Art Fair (BRAFA), created in 1956, is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious art fairs, famous for the high-quality fine art, antiques, modern and contemporary art and design it offers. The international art fair will launch its 64th edition from 26 January to 3 February 2019 and it seems more creative and appreciated than ever. So attests the new record attendance reached at its latest edition: more than 65,000 visitors, and the enthusiastic participation of 133 leading galleries.


BRAFA is an exceptional showcase of high quality, rare pieces dating from the Bronze Age to the present day, covering 5000 years of history. The 2019 edition features 133 renowned art and antiques dealers from Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Luxemburg, Morocco, Monaco, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the USA. The exhibitor selection process is rigorous, and all objects are verified by international independent experts before the fair opens its doors to the public. This enables visitors to buy with the greatest confidence. The Brussels fair is also well known for its welcoming atmosphere, eclecticism and elegance. With the arrangement of the stands, placing side by side twenty different specialities that are in principle alien to each other, BRAFA constantly refreshes the viewer’s gaze. You can get a good impression of the fair in a few hours, leaving you lots of time to linger over your favourite pieces…


Jan Muller Antiques will offer the monumental ‘Four Elements’ by Artus Wolffort (1581-1641). The Flemish master was trained in the studio of Otto van Veen, one of the teachers of Peter Paul Rubens. A Greek Hellenistic Aphrodite Anadyomene is in the spotlight with ArtAncient. The beautifully composed sculpture depicts the goddess in her iconic pose as she emerges from the ocean. Theunissen & De Ghellinck will bring two 18th century ’Scabello’ chairs from Turin which will add an element of elegance to any style interior. A similar model can be found in the Royal Palace of Turin. The vivid gouache ‘Les plongeurs’, 1944, by Fernand Léger (1881-1955) will highlight the stand of Harold t’Kint de Roodenbeke who specializes in Belgian and international 20th century art. The shift from impressionism to abstraction during this period was the source of the most diverse and extraordinary works of art. The ‘New Hope’ lounge chair, 1960’s, by American designer Phillip Lloyd Powell (1920-2008) at Morentz looks perfectly inviting. The chair has a soft, sensuous, biomorphic frame with organic, hand-carved armrests. N. Vrouyr, originally founded in The Hague in 1917, is the oldest shop in Belgium which is exclusively specialized in contemporary and antique rugs and textiles. A Yurt curtain, created with applied felt in Kyrgyzstan in circa 1900 is part of the collection.


BRAFA’s guest of honour for the 2019 edition is the internationally renowned duo Gilbert & George. Having started out as performance artists, they became famous for their large-scale photo pieces. These are often in very bright colours with superimposed black gridlines evoking the windows of yesteryear. The images are contemporary and immediately recognisable, with most placing portraits of both artists in the picture. Although their art draws inspiration from (their) daily life, the vision they offer is in turns metaphysical, mystical, or polemical, but always with a touch of humour and conveying a message. At BRAFA 2019, they will present five recent large-scale works that will be placed at various spots throughout the fair. Their quirky vision of the world is sure to be a hit in the land of surrealism!


BRAFA 2019 also marks the centenary of the Belgian Royal Chamber of Art Dealers ( Visitors to the fair can enjoy a prestigious exhibition made up of 40 works from private collections all of which were sold by members of the Chamber. The exhibition will be accompanied by the publication of a book that will address different aspects of the art dealer’s trade, peppered with thousands of anecdotes collected and edited by the journalist Thijs Demeulemeester, and by a lecture at the fair on Sunday, 27 January, as part of the cycle of BRAFA Art Talks.


BRAFA is located in Tour & Taxis, a magnificent site that is part of Brussels’ industrial heritage. The cosmopolitan capital of Europe is known for its excellent food and dazzling array of museums, monuments and boutique shops. Thalys offers a special partner rate for all BRAFA visitors travelling to Brussels from the Netherlands. You can travel direct from Amsterdam to Brussels in 1 hour and 50 minutes.