TEFAF provides an opportunity to visit a number of Old Master and contemporary exhibitions, both within Maastricht and further afield. Here is our selection of the best fairs and museum shows in the region.
From 15–17 March, the medieval St Jan’s Church in the Vrijthof becomes the setting for the Maastricht Antiquarian Book & Print Fair. For the 12th edition of the fair, more than 25 specialist booksellers will offer presentations on the theme of ‘Erotica’. Works on display range from Japanese ukiyo-e woodcuts of geishas (on offer at Centre Céramique) to Ida van Bladel’s notorious 1971 advertisement for Levi’s denim jeans (at Galerie Stylo). Don’t miss Philippe van Gulpen’s mid 19th-century landscape print of Maastricht, with its two naturalists idling on the banks of the river Meuse in the foreground (Regionaal Historisch Centrum Limburg).
Nearby on the Tongersestraat, Guus Röell hosts his annual Fine Art Open House from 13–24 March. Röell’s eclectic display of decorative and fine arts this year includes a number of important historical maps, while his guest exhibitors are Max Rutherston, the Londonbased expert in Japanese netsuke ornaments, and Dolf D. van Omme, who specialises in early 20th-century Dutch painting. Among the works offered by Van Omme, look out for paintings by W.O.J. Nieuwenkamp, thought to be the first European artist to depict the culture of Bali, which he did during a colonial expedition in 1903. Places can also be reserved at Röell’s nightly collectors’ dinners.
In Brussels, Fine Art Fair Eurantica returns for its 38th edition from 28–31 March. The fair has expanded since last year, and now brings around 100 Belgian and international exhibitors to the Brussels Expo, offering everything from Flemish Old Masters to 19th- and 20th-century objets d’art. Galerie Haesaerts-le Grelle offers works by the Belgian art nouveau designer Gustave Serrurier-Bovy, while the Lyon-based gallery Riondet presents a selection of antique watches. Among the paintings on display is an arresting, oval-shaped portrait of a young woman by François Meuret at Galerie Jaegy-Theoleyre.
From 14–17 March, Brussels also hosts the second edition of Collectible. The design fair introduces two new curated sections this year; one presents work by recent graduates from prestigious design schools across Europe, including Design Academy Eindhoven and the Royal College of Art, while the other offers galleries a chance to explore the links between art and design. Look out for Almine Rech Gallery’s presentation of sculpture by Johan Creten and paintings by Jean-Baptiste Bernadet.
Utrecht, Caravaggio and Europe
Centraal Museum, Utrecht
Until 24 March
A generation of gifted painters from Utrecht travelled to Rome in the 1610s and were mesmerised by Caravaggio’s dramatic use of chiaroscuro. This exhibition examines how, by adapting the Italian artist’s style to express a typically Dutch, warts-and-all realism, the Utrecht Caravaggists played an essential role in the development of northern baroque painting.
Gemeentemuseum, The Hague
Until 12 May
From taboo-busting fetish photos of the 1980s to recent portraits of the Dutch royal family, Erwin Olaf’s career has been marked by reinventions. The largest retrospective of his work to date traces his development from early photojournalism to his mature style, in which a serene surface masks an underlying note of menace.
Hockney–Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Until 26 May
This exhibition drawing comparisons between Hockney and Van Gogh focuses on the British artist’s move away from the urbane portraits of his Pop period and his preference, in the late 1990s, for capturing the beauty of the Yorkshire Wolds. These vivid celebrations of landscape, both in oils and in his more recent iPad drawings, are paired with the Dutch artist’s more impassioned scenes.
Bernard Van Orley: Brussels and the Renaissance
Until 26 May
Though a key figure of the Renaissance in Brussels – he was the first to fuse the innovations of Raphael and Dürer with an older Flemish tradition – Bernard Van Orley has never before been the subject of a monographic exhibition. His years as court painter for the Habsburg regents and his portraits of humanist philosophers are the focus here, along with the tapestries and stained glass produced by his vast workshop.
Pinball Wizard: The Work and Life of Jacqueline de Jong
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Until 18 August
De Jong is a remarkably versatile artist. Since her induction at the age of 19 into the Situationist International movement in the 1960s, she has ricocheted between styles – figuration, abstraction, Pop – like a pinball. For this show, De Jong has hung paintings spanning her whole career beside selected works from the Stedelijk’s collection, underlining her long association with the museum.
Murillo, De Mena and Zurbarán: Masters of the Spanish Baroque
Until 6 October
The Sint-Janshopitaal, an 11th-century structure that is one of the oldest hospital buildings in Europe, is the setting for this display of 20 religious works from the Spanish Golden Age. All are currently held in private collections. They include devotional portraits by Murillo and depictions of saints by Zurbarán, as well as seven of Pedro de Mena’s hyperreal, polychromed woodcarvings.
From the March 2019 issue of Apollo. Preview and subscribe here.