Luxembourg's artworld: A diverse past, an inclusive present, a digital future

By Rick SturgisLaurent Sturm

The Antiques and Art Fair returned to Luxexpo, featuring art from around the world. Besides reflecting Luxembourg's rich cultural heritage and the artistic tastes of visitors, the fair also hints at the future of art. How important are such fairs? How does past art inspire artists and societies of today and tomorrow?

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Considered one of Europe's most visited art fairs, the 50th edition of the Antiques and Art Fair recently hosted around a hundred galleries and antique dealers, offering a wide range of artworks from various periods and movements. It was a unique opportunity for both renowned experts and ambitious amateur artists to connect with trusted exhibitors known for reliability and quality and new participants selected for their specialisation and high-quality offerings. The fair fosters long-term relationships and promises a diverse and engaging experience. It serves as a poignant reflection on the enduring significance of artistic heritage in our contemporary world, the exploration of art's timeless allure and its evolving expressions, as well as new digital tools and platforms to increase the visibility of all artists with a connection to Luxembourg.

(Re-)connecting with the past and the present

At the heart of this fair are art experts like Patricia de Zwaef, who specialises in modern and contemporary art. With 20 years of experience, she is a leading researcher for artworks from Luxembourgish institutions and, since 2005, the founder and CEO of Tempera, a firm of appraisers of modern and contemporary artworks. De Zwaef focuses on the traceability of artworks, aiming to reconstruct their entire history. This process, akin to detective work, involves researching and verifying the provenance of art pieces, which is crucial for establishing legitimacy and authenticity in the art market. She conducts "vetting", which is the inspection of the merchandise before art fairs, ensuring thorough scrutiny of documents and galleries to instil confidence in buyers.

As a nation experiencing a growing cultural scene, Luxembourg's art world is becoming ever more inclusive and diverse. This diversity of expressions is conveyed not only by the artists themselves but also by non-artists. De Zwaef remarks that people increasingly want and choose diversity when buying art. Whether experts and art lovers, or the casual art fan who has an admiration for the aesthetic and wants to decorate his home, even though many Luxembourgers are still very attached to "their national artists", art lovers who can afford it increasingly prefer an eclectic style, combining different genres. "It's common nowadays to see a blend, like 18th-century furniture with Louis XIV pieces, alongside modern artwork like street art by John One."

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