Flash news: art fairs postponed – The Guerlain Prize winners


A series of art fairs postponed

Spring will start later than expected for art fair organizers as well as for galleries already committed to participating, often several months ahead of the originally planned dates. The ‘fifth wave’ of covid and the progression of the epidemic linked to the Omicron variant has forced art fair organizers to take further action in the past three weeks.

The Brafa (Brussel Art Fair) was the first to postpone when its President Harold t’Kint de Roodebeke announced the news in a November 29 statement, explaining that while the Board of Directors had to face an “extremely difficult decision, it is nevertheless better to postpone the fair to 2023 in order to host an edition that perfectly matches the enthusiasm of our visitors. Our current priority is to support our exhibitors”. Initially scheduled for 23-30 January 2022, the organizers unanimously voted during an EGM held just a few days ago to postpone the event to 19-26 June 2022 rather than cancel.

However, in its wake, Maastricht’s highly prestigious TEFAF fair – initially scheduled for 12-20 March 2022 – has announced the cancellation of its 35th edition “due to growing concerns related to the global volatility of Covid-19”. Hidde van Seggelen, the fair’s President declared that he was obliged to take “a painful but necessary decision, guided by three major concerns: first of all the eminently unpredictable nature of the Covid 19 pandemic; second, the considerable financial risk, both for the TEFAF and for its exhibitors, in the event the fair had to be cancelled closer to March, and lastly, as always, concerns for the health and safety of the TEFAF community including exhibitors, patrons, sponsors and partners”. The fair may be held after the summer, possibly from 19 to 30 September 2022.

In March 2020, the TEFAF closed its doors prematurely 5 days before its scheduled end-date after a dealer tested covid-positive, a decision that was taken “in close consultation with the city of Maastricht, the health authorities and the Maastricht MECC”. During its few days of opening, the fair had time to welcome some 28,500 people, but several other dealers contracted the disease afterwards.

The latest postponement is that of the the Parisian drawing fairs: Drawing Now, the contemporary drawing fair, is moved from May 19 to 22, while the traditional drawing fair will be held from May 18 to 23, 2022. The press release specifies that the program for the traditional “Salon du dessin” remains unchanged with prestigious guests such as the Musée du Grand Siècle, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris and the Daniel & Florence Guerlain Foundation for Contemporary Art… not to mention the 15th edition of the Rencontres Internationales du Dessin devoted to gardens and botany as well as the 22nd edition of Drawing Week in museums.


The Guerlain Prize winners

The exhibition of the winners of the Daniel & Florence Guerlain Foundation’s 15th Contemporary Drawing Prize has also been postponed to May. But the work of the three (in reality, four) finalists for the Prize – Olga Chernysheva, Chloe Piene and Gert & Uwe Tobias – can already be discovered. The final winner will receive an endowment of €15,000, with €5,000 being awarded to each of the other two shortlisted artists. A work by the winner will be donated by the Daniel & Florence Guerlain Foundation to the Graphic Arts Section of the National Museum of Modern Art (the Pompidou Center).


Olga Chernysheva

Olga Chernysheva was born in 1962 in Moscow.

She studied at the National Institute of Cinematography SA Guerassimov and at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. She represented Russia at the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001. Her work has been shown at Antwerp’s Museum of Contemporary Art (M. HKA), at the Vienna Secession, at the Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg, at Manifesta 10, at the Bergen Triennale, at the Drawing Center in New York, at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, and at the Quartier Contemporary Art Center in Quimper (Brittany).

Her work has been acquired by the MoMA (New York), the Tate Modern (London), the Fondation Louis Vuitton (Paris), the Museum of Modern Art in Moscow, the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), the NBK (Berlin), the Frac in Brittany and by Florence and Daniel Guerlain (private collection)

She is represented by the Iragui Gallery in Moscow and the Foxy Production Gallery in New York.


Chloe Piene

Chloe Piene was born in 1972 in Stamford, Connecticut, United States.

She studied art history at Columbia University in New York and fine art at Goldsmiths College in London. She lives and works between New York and Warsaw. Her work was shown at the LACMA in 2001,and the Liverpool Biennale in 2002, the Whitney Biennale in 2004 and the Printemps de Toulouse in 2005.

Her drawings have been shown at the Museum of Saint-Étienne, at the Carré d’art in Nîmes, at the Fracs in Picardie and Haute-Normandie and at the Pompidou Center in Paris (among other venues).

Her work has been acquired by the MoMA and the Whitney Museum in New York, the Sammlung Hoffman Museum in Berlin and has been donated by Florence and Daniel Guerlain to the Graphic Arts Section of the National Museum of Modern Art (the Pompidou Center).

She is represented by the Barbara Thumm gallery (Berlin).


Gert & Uwe Tobias

Gert & Uwe Tobias were born in 1973 in Brasov, Romania, but raised in Germany.

They graduated from the Braunschweig University of Fine Arts and now live in Cologne. They have been presenting their work since 2003 on the international scene, including the Contemporary Art Triennale in Turin, the Museum of Fine Arts and Archeology in Besançon, the Maramotti Collection, the Kunstmuseum in Bonn, the Pompidou Center and the BPS22 in Charleroi (among other venues)… Their work has been acquired by the MoMA (New York), the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), the Kunstmuseum in Bonn, the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin, the Frac in Auvergne, and has been donated by Florence and Daniel Guerlain to the Graphic Arts Section of the National Museum of Modern Art (the Pompidou Center).

They are represented by the Rodolphe Janssen Galleries (Brussels), Cassina Projects (Milan) and Contemporary Fine Arts (Berlin).