Launched in London over twenty years ago, the Affordable Art Fair (AAF) is now firmly established in the calendar of top European contemporary art fairs. Postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic, the fair will be back in Brussels at Tour & Taxis between the 22nd and 26th of September 2021 where it will welcome art offered by 70 Belgian and international galleries, representing around 600 emerging and established artists.
‘Discover the joy of collecting art’ being the motto of the fair, the principle of the AAF is simple: to offer several thousand quality works of art, at affordable prices. The AAF is a young, accessible and relaxed platform where the novice collector and seasoned enthusiast alike experience the ideal setting to be seduced by contemporary art at low prices. Paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures or installations, there is something for all tastes and all budgets!
At the AAF, affordable prices go hand-in-hand with quality because, as in the majority of contemporary art fairs worthy of the name, the participating galleries have been selected by a professional selection committee. This selection is based on strict and rigorous criteria, with approved galleries sharing only artists of merit – a concept determined by factors such as originality, creative identity, artistic intention, and technical quality.
This credibility is reinforced, for the third consecutive edition, by the proposal offered to emerging talents to exhibit at the fair on the basis of a selection made by the vibrant Brussels gallery La peau de l’ours (www.lapeaudelours.net ). Founded by Thomas Ghaye and dedicated to new collectors, this year he presents five young artists who have been invited to create works especially for the fair. This selection, presented in a dedicated space, aims to offer the public an exhibition featuring different visions of contemporary art. This `thematically curated’ exhibition, entitled Holiday Souvenirs, resolutely waves good bye to the darkness of the pandemic with an infusion of positive energy generated in the works and combination of 5 emerging artists: Adrien Belgrand, Safia Hijos , Julie Susset, Olivia Descampe and La Gadoue.
The painter Adrien Belgrand (1982) who, in a practice not unrelated to the photographic image, embraces the slowness of a composite practice as an act of resistance to the constant flow of digital images which defines modern everyday existance.
Ceramist Safia Hijos (1975) creates intriguing sculptures, hybridizing botanic forms with ceramic tradition to offbeat, comic and dreamlike effect.
Julie Susset (1984), whose nervous, rapid, fragmented pictorial technique combines with intuitive gestures resulting in an atmosphere of spontaneity and improvisation.
Olivia Descampe (1989), an artist concerned with exploring matter and intuition employs various techniques central to the art of collage.
The Anderlecht-based design and production workshop La Gadoue, an artistic duo formed by Audrey and Eloïse, whose deep passion for innovative techniques, sustainable materials and boundary pushing drives not only their art but their projects in the realms of interior and product design.
Belgian and international galleries
As for the Belgian galleries, joining from the three regions of the country and making up nearly a third of the exhibitors, this year the fair will welcome, among others: ART22 Gallery (Brussels), Art Unity (Brussels), Nationale 8 Gallery (Dilbeek), Wunderkammer GN (Brussels), Macadam Gallery (Brussels), Visus Gallery (Lasne). There will also be many foreign galleries whose visual proposals are still very popular with the Belgian public.
New for 2021
In order to encourage visitors who are new to the world of collecting contemporary art to take the step of acquiring an artwork, there will be an exhibition of artworks all priced under 500 euros. This special selection from the participating galleries, will be visible on the ‘Under €500’ Wall feature at the fair. All exhibited works are by living artists and clearly displaying the artwork’s price. The fair warmly encourages visitors to buy at the fair and take artworks home directly by staging a Wrapping Desk where professional packaging is offered to the lucky buyers.
In order to offer an optimal family visit experience, AAF is offering, for the first time this year, a Family Preview, on the morning of Saturday 25th September at 10am. On this occasion, the show will open its doors one hour earlier (10 am) for families with children and babies in their strollers.
Families can enjoy the fun of the fair in crowd-free, relaxed conditions, enabling them to take full advantage of the various stands and share the meaningful experience of collecting art together as a family.
Affordable Art Fair Brussels from September 22 to 26, 2021
Tour & Taxis, Avenue du Port 86C, Brussels, www.affordableartfair.com
– Vernissage: Wednesday September 22 – 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
– Thursday September 23 – 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
– Friday September 24 – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
– Saturday September 25 – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (10 a.m .: Family Preview)
– Sunday September 26 – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m