TEFAF Maastricht 2016
A view of TEFAF Maastricht 2016. Image: Harry Heuts/TEFAF.

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The newly branded category is set to highlight the area for visiting buyers as it joins seven other named sections such as ‘TEFAF Antiques’, ‘TEFAF La Haute Joaillerie’ and ‘TEFAF Design’.

“We have found that this area continues to go from strength to strength and allocating a specific category for tribal art reflects this trend,” said Manon van den Beuken, project manager for TEFAF Maastricht, who cited findings of the TEFAF Art Market Report 2017 that point toward its popularity.

Five dealers are grouped under the new heading: Galerie Didier Claes, Donald Ellis Gallery, Entwistle, Galerie Meyer – Oceanic & Eskimo Art and Galerie Lucas Ratton.

“We now have a complete section of our own with a clear identity. This is extremely positive,” said Anthony Meyer of Galerie Meyer. He added that TEFAF has recognised the sector as a “major component of the art world”.

Christian Elwes of Entwistle added that the quality of tribal dealers at TEFAF “suggests that the interest in collecting at the top level of the game remains strong”.

Sign of the times

Exhibitors in tribal have been grouped together on the floorplan for the past two years but the named category will help signal their presence.

“Having critical mass is always helpful in some capacity,” said North American Indian art dealer Donald Ellis.

Charles-Wesley Hourdé, a first-time exhibitor in the Showcase section, said that the inclusion of a specific category “shows that tribal art has earned its place among the other great art domains. It reminds me of the moment when African, Oceanic and American Indian art finally entered the Louvre.”

Exhibitor lists for the 2018 edition last week revealed 16 new attendees. A complete list and more information on the schedule is available at antiquestradegazette.com.