Three Welcome Returns at BRAFA

26.01.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

How does the art world decide what is hot? Often it is something emerging from institutions and curated shows, reflecting cultural change, politics and the contemporary moment. At other times the litmus test of a great artist is coming from the commercial world. Brussels fair BRAFA is like the Chanel of art fairs. It is classic, classy and daydream worthy. What was so fascinating at this year’s 65th fair is how across multiple booth three 20th century artists emerged as hot tickets. All three of these artists are worth rediscovering.

BRAM BOGART                                                                                                            

One of Brussels own, the Belgian expressionist painter Bram Bogart made textured, chunky paintings that look like sculptures on walls. Affiliated with the playful avant garde. COBRA group, Bram’s pieces mixed media from concrete to chalk in colourful, inventive, thick waves. He represented Belgium at the Venice Biennale in 1971 and died in 2012.
Bogart’s work is also on show now at the Tate Modern in a room devoted to paintings made with the colour white. At BRAFA you could spot him at least four booths, including stand out pieces at Rodolphe Janssen and Whitford Fine Art.

Bram Bogart, Russian-way, 1993 at Rodolphe Janssen

SERGEI POLIAKOFF


Born in Moscow in 1900, Poliakoff left home age 12 to be a musician, enrolled himself in art school age 19 and spent years playing guitar in cabarets across Europe – from Constantinopole to Vienna, Belgrade to London. After meeting Kandinsky and Sonia Delaunay in the 1940s, he began to make art seriously. Based in France, he became a very
successful painter in the 1950s and 60s but fell out of fashion in recent years. Poliakoff’s beautiful painterly interconnecting shapes are now having a welcome return. You could spot him at Zurich’s Galerie Von Vertes and Axel Veervordt among other booths at BRAFA.

Serge Poliakoff, Composition abstraite, 1966 at Galerie Von Vertes

PIERRE ALECHINSKY


Another Belgian COBRA artist, Alechinsky’s scrawled colourful abstract canvases were all over BRAFA. He work at first has a lot in common with the wildness of Dubuffet and contemporary hot Norwegian painter Ida Ekblad definitely has been eyeing up Pierre. In the 1950s, he began fascinated by Japanese calligraphy, was the Paris correspondent for the
Japanese ink magazine Bokubi and moved there with his wife. Later back in Europe, he taught at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in the 80s and hung out with surrealist pioneer Andre Breton. BRAFA was loving him with work at Die Galerie, Samuel Vanhoegaedern and a stunning early piece at Rodolphe Janssen.

Pierre Alechinsky, Untitled at Rodolphe Janssen
Pierre Alechinsky, Le Point du Jour, 1966 at Die Galerie

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