BRAFA in the Galleries 2021 - Presenting the New Fair Concept

Art Fairs

January 7, 2021

One of the longest-running and most prestigious fairs in the world, BRAFA is known for the high quality and eclecticism of art presented as well as its impeccable organization. An unmissable Brussels event, it is often referred to as a reliable barometer of the art market.

In the year 2021, due to the current health situation and its potential evolution, BRAFA will change shape. After it was initially postponed for 2022 - for the first time in its 65 years of existence, the fair received countless messages of support and sympathy from exhibitors, partners, subcontractors and visitors. This prompted the organizers to go ahead with the fair, but with a new concept - BRAFA in the Galleries. The event will take place at the exhibitors’ galleries or exhibition spaces this January, inviting each participant to present an exhibition of the artworks and art objects they selected for BRAFA 2021.

Left: Andy Warhol - Clockwork Panda Drummer (Toy Painting). Galerie Von Vertes / Right: Jack Pierson - Cara Domani. Simon Studer Art Associes

The Concept of BRAFA in the Galleries

Each participant of BRAFA in the galleries, invited based on the list of confirmed participants for BRAFA 2021, will present an exhibition of works that would correspond to their booth at the fair, with the only condition being that everyone must respect the same dates and times. Exhibitions will be accompanied by a short, personalized video of the exhibition, which would be posted posted on the BRAFA website and widely used to promote the event.

Serving as a support platform for the initiative, BRAFA's website will feature all the necessary information and personalized page for every participant. Participants' profiles will show up to nine artworks accompanied by complete descriptions, contact details, the address(es) of the exhibition as well as a map(s) and a personal and above-mentioned original video. The website will also live stream the four conferences that are planned.

Highlighting the importance of direct and personal contact in fair's relations, Harold t’Kint de Roodenbeke, BRAFA’s President, described this trade as profoundly human as it was "founded on emotion first and foremost."

We hope that this initiative can re-establish this link, in an environment and under conditions that respect the measures in force in the various countries. More than anything else, ‘BRAFA in the Galleries’ was created in support of our galleries. 

Pierre Soulages, 1968. Opera Gallery

Participating Galleries

BRAFA in the Galleries will present 126 exhibitions across 13 countries and 37 cities.

Among the participating galleries are Bailly Gallery from Geneva, presenting modern and contemporary art; Galerie Schifferli from Geneva, presenting art form the 20th century; David Aaron from London, dealing exclusively in Persian and Islamic Works of art; Galerie AB-BA from Paris, presenting classical, modern art and contemporary art; Paolo Antonacci from Rome, specialized in old master paintings; C L E A R I N G from Brussels, focusing on emerging contemporary art; DIE GALERIE from Frankfurt, focusing on Modern Art, especially on Surrealism, and CoBrA art as well as on contemporary figurative art; Gallery Nao Masaki from Nagoya, focusing on cutting-edge, experimental exhibitions of contemporary art with an emphasis on Japanese contemporary artists; and Tenzing Asian Art from San Francisco, specializing in Himalayan Buddhist art; among others.

In the vast majority of cases, the exhibitions will take place in the participants’ respective galleries, while some dealers have chosen to mount joint exhibitions with colleagues. For example, Véronique Bamps will exhibit at Berko Fine Paintings in Knokke-Heist; Jean Lemaire and Francis Janssens van der Maelen will exhibit at Costermans & Pelgrims de Bigard in Brussels; Dr. Lennart Booij Fine Arts & Rare Items at Huberty & Breyne; and the members of the CLAM at the Claude Van Loock and Le Tout Venant galleries. Meanwhile, Adrian Schlag, De Jonckheere and Whitford Fine Art have selected special locations in Brussels, just like Gokelaere & Robinson (in addition to their gallery in Knokke-Heist), as well as the Milan-based Repetto Gallery.

In addition to receiving art aficionados in their own galleries, Didier Claes, Xavier Eeckhout, Céline and Fabien Mathivet, Gabriela and Mathieu Sismann, and Benjamin Steinitz will be the guests of Francis Maere Fine Arts (Ghent) in the margin of a joint exhibition entitled Paris-Gent-NYC that will run until 28 February.

Finally, in addition to exhibiting in their Paris galleries, Univers du Bronze and Brame & Lorenceau will also host an exhibition in Brussels, at a temporary address for the first and at La Patinoire Royale - Galerie Valérie Bach, for the second.

Left: Sam Francis - Untitled. Bailly Gallery / Right: Agostino Bonalumi. Cortesi Bianco

Practical Information

BRAFA in the Galleries will take place from January 27th until January 31st, 2021, the dates the fair was originally scheduled to take place.

All the exhibitions will open for the same dates and times, including a preview on 27 January 2021, from 2 pm until 9 pm, after which they will remain open from 28 January through to 31 January (from 11 am until 6 pm).

The eleven galleries in Knokke-Heist that have chosen dates and opening times adapted to the specificities of this seaside resort (30 and 31 January 2021 and 6 and 7 February 2021, from 11 am until 6 pm).

For the joint exhibition Paris-Gent-NYC @ Francis Maere Fine Arts, there will be an extended viewing from January 1st until February 28th, on Thursdays and Fridays from 10.30 am until 12.30 pm and from 2 pm. until 6 pm; on Saturdays from 2 pm until 6 pm; on Sundays from 10.30 am until 1 pm; all other days, by appointment only.

The four conferences will be live streamed on Thursday, January 28th, Friday 29th, Saturday 30th and 31st at 6 pm.

For more information, visit the official website of the fair.

Featured images: CLAES DIDIER; Cortesi Gallery; De Brock Patrick Knokke; Die GALERIE; Galerie De La Présidence. All images courtesy of BRAFA.