Tefaf 2022, Maastricht art fairs

Continuously updated report from the 35th edition of the Queen’s Fair, with participants arriving in Maastricht from 21 Nations and an offer spanning seven thousand years


FIRST PART | The expectation: 243 art dealers “screened” by 214 experts for the largest edition ever
The silence after the storm. Or the habit of fear. After hopefully the pandemic nightmare, Tefaf Maastricht, the best known of the international art fairs, also returns to the old customs and from 24 to 30 June with a much coveted preview on invitation on the 24th (for the first time not in March) of the well-known reasons, but with a return to the spring for the 2023 edition, scheduled for March 11-19), presents its 35th edition in Mecc space, not only strong in a market that shows signs of excellent survival to the difficulties of pandemic, but even more galvanized by the millionaire results from Tefaf New York in May last year.

Tefaf Maastricht confirms itself as the focal point of the international market for great art and registers the participation of 243 art dealers and gallery owners from around the world, who after overcoming the strict qualitative selection present to private collectors, curators, museum directors, professionals. in the sector and enthusiasts works ranging from seven thousand years of artistic creativity: from archeology to the Middle Ages to the art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, to the most advanced avant-garde up to the classic and most innovative design between the twentieth. and twenty-first centuries, for photography and high jewelry store

. As the finest works of art are present in each exhibition category, Tefaf Maastricht’s strength is to attract the best sellers, the best experts, the best collectors by gathering them in a single excellent place to optimize the quality and productivity of their exchanges.

The current edition is similar to the largest ever. Among the 243 exhibitors from 20 Nations 216 gallerists who were already present at the fair earlier, 21, who were finally hired at the “empyrean”, will exhibit for the first time, and thanks to the special Tefaf Showcase, 6 newly opened galleries, five of them such as French (Galerie Nicolas Bourriaud, Imperial Art, Galerie Mendes, Galerie Pauline Pavec and Royal Provenance) and a British, Bartha Contemporary.

In the last decade, the art world in the field has verified the tendency to expand the interest in collecting towards interdisciplinary horizons and goals: while the definition of collecting at all levels was previously to focus and specialize on a single or at most a few periods and disciplines associated with each other, today the selective reference criterion is the “quality” of the work, independent of the sector to which it belongs, in a kind of “intertwined collection”. Hence also the shift of some axes in the collection’s atlas (museum, institutional and private), with a strengthened and ever-increasing demand also for pieces of the highest quality in contemporary art, from the second post-war period and also in the 21st century. as in the streams more exclusive than design.

Accordingly, the exhibitors are divided according to specialization categories: 47 generalists, 81 specialized in ancient masters (for a total of 128 attributable to ancient art), 69 in modern and contemporary art, 12 in ancient art and archeology, 21 in art, tribal and 13 in tall vintage jewelry. In addition to its large number of exhibitors and its very strict quality control (and thanks to them), Tefaf’s identity is precisely that it is the dynamic representation of the development of taste, collection and the market, all constant and multi-year evolution, and that photograph that evolution exactly in the days in which it takes place, to become a reference benchmark over time.

All the works on display have passed the scrutiny of 214 experts, selected exclusively from museum curators, public and private collection directors, academics, curators and restorers and from 13 countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Holland, Portugal, Spain, USA, Switzerland) and 115 institutions in the field of art, divided into 30 judging committees, each combining the different qualifications of the members and creating an independent platform for the approval of each object examined for quality, condition and authenticity.

The experience of the 2020 and 2021 editions, held exclusively online for the obvious reasons for the pandemic, has also strengthened the digital presence of Tefaf, who from this edition returned to the usual exhibition model, will accompany any “real” market exhibition with a digital version that illustrates all the pieces of online exhibitors and presents a comprehensive program of digital activities with varied editorial content, to satisfy the world community of art lovers.

Supported, as always, by famous sponsors starting with Axa, an international leader in the insurance of artistic and historical assets, flanked by other brands such as Champagne Bollinger (the only one that still boasts a production of cuvées from vines that survived the peronospera, who destroyed 99% of European vines between 1878 and 1882) and from the Stabilo brand, producer of the immortal pastels, in packs of up to 264 hues, this 35th edition also makes use of a large program of side events: “Tefaf Talks “interactive conferences attended by collectors, museum curators, art historians and specialized journalists; «Tefaf Tours», focused on the different categories of art exhibited and performed by specialists from each sector, and «Tefaf Tips», satellite events of various kinds arranged in the enchanting host city.

Finally, the 2022 edition moved to the end of June means that Tefaf Maastricht is part of a virtuous and exceptional cycle of artistic and cultural encounters of global significance with fairs, initiatives and exhibitions taking place during the same period in Europe ( from Art Basel to documents, from Brafa to the Venice Biennale already underway), making the Old Continent the favorite destination for collectors, professionals and enthusiasts from all over the globe.
In short, to end with another literary quote after Leopardi’s debut: Dickensian “Great expectations”.

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