Touting itself as the world's leading art and antiques fair, The European Fine Art Fair-popularly known as TEFAF-delivers on its branding by consistently offering world-class works, and this year is no exception.
Presenting some 7,000 years of art, the 2022 edition of TEFAF Maastricht opened the doors on Friday, June 24th, to a savvy crowd of curators, critics, and collectors who were excited to see the beloved art fair return in real life after a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Descending on this medieval Dutch city through June 30th, 270 exhibitors from 20 countries are offering a vetted selection of top-quality antiques, tribal arts, rare books and manuscripts, jewelry, Old Master paintings and sculptures, and modern and contemporary art and design.
TEFAF Maastricht has once again delivered the goods across the many categories it highlights. In the realm of modern and contemporary art, here are our five favorite museum-quality paintings from this year's fair.
Willem de Kooning's Untitled (Woman), a painting on paper from around 1966, belonged to the celebrated singer Andy Williams. He had a formidable collection of modern and contemporary paintings, including canvases by Pablo Picasso, Jean Dubuffet, Helen Frankenthaler, Richard Diebenkorn, Ed Ruscha, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, but de Kooning was among his favorite painters. The painting's current owner, who consigned the lively abstraction of a reclining nude to Ben Brown Fine Arts, purchased it from Williams's estate sale at Christie's in 2013, a year after the "Moon River" crooner's death.
"It's a painting on paper, but it's really thick paint; it's not simply a pencil or watercolor sketch on paper," Ben Brown told Artsy at the fair's VIP preview. "It's a proper painting of a reclining figure with a mouth, face, and body, and it's got all the fire of de Kooning's 'Women' series."