Brussels capital of Art Nouveau and main theme at Brafa Art Fair 2023

The 68th edition of the BRAFA Art Fair will take place from Sunday, January 29th to Sunday, February 5th, 2023, at Brussels Expo-Heysel, in Belgium, an emblematic site on the Heysel plateau, a prestigious legacy of the Brussels World Exhibitions of 1935 and 1958. It is renowned for the quality of the selected galleries and the works it exhibits, ranging from antiquity to modern and contemporary art and design.

Created in 1956, BRAFA, originally called the Foire des Antiquaires de Belgique, is one of the oldest and also one of the most prestigious art fairs in the world. It is renowned for the quality of the selected galleries and the works it exhibits, ranging from antiquity to modern and contemporary art and design. Over the years, BRAFA has become one of the most inspiring art fairs in Europe. As the first major artistic event of the year, BRAFA is considered to be a reliable barometer of the art market.

Over the course of 8 days, more than 10,000 works spanning all different styles and periods will be presented by 130 internationally-renowned galleries from 15 countries. For two days prior to the opening of the Fair, the paintings, furniture, art objects, jewellery and sculptures will be analysed by than 80 experts from around the world, studied by a scientific laboratory and monitored by the Art Loss Register.

For this 2023 edition, a theme has been chosen in correlation with the initiative of the Brussels-Capital Region, which will make 2023 a year devoted to Art Nouveau. BRAFA will be highlighting this movement in several ways. The King Baudouin Foundation and some galleries specialized in this field will be presenting exceptional Art nouveau pieces. The creation of the BRAFA 2023 carpet will be based on original drawings by Victor Horta, and art lovers will be able to attend two “BRAFA Art Talks” devoted to Art nouveau. One will be led by Professor Werner Adriaenssens, Curator of the Twentieth-Century Collections at the Art & History Museum, and the other by Benjamin Zurstrassen, Curator at the Horta Museum.

In 1893, architect Victor Horta put the finishing touches to Tassel House, the founding work of the Art Nouveau movement in Brussels. The impressive modernity of its façade and its sumptuous interiors – all in stained glass, mosaics and wrought iron – have marked the history of architecture. 130 years later, Brussels plans to take advantage of this anniversary to celebrate Art Nouveau in all its diversity and stake its claim as the capital of this international artistic movement.

Throughout 2023, a multidisciplinary programme will highlight the richness of the capital’s architectural heritage and the impact of Art Nouveau on many other artistic fields. The goal is to be anything but classical, to approach this artistic movement with a fresh eye and open up more contemporary perspectives. Expect many highlights and new discoveries, including large-scale exhibitions, openings of new Art Nouveau venues, exceptional guided tours and exciting lectures and debates.


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