Where Does Art Blossom In The Netherlands? In Maastricht

Floral Arranging NetherlandsPhoto credit: Loraine Bedewes

By Linda Lee

A wall of flowers, or “a grand flower object,” greets visitors to TEFAF Maastricht this year, thanks to the fair’s architect, Tom Postma Design. The illusion, of a vast painting, is achieved with tulips, roses and succulents, or euphorbia, which can be counted on to supply those turquoise colors hard to find in flowers.

Floral Display The NetherlandsPhoto credit: Mark Niedermann

Every year Postma dreams up a new way to give visitors at the entrance to TEFAF a “wow” as he calls it. In 2017, he did it with a halo of flowers, each with its own water tube, each suspended on a delicate wire, in a precise pattern calculated by computer. The combination of natural beauty and such symmetry surely made people feel, as Postma said at the time, they had gone through “a moment of transition” from the outside world to the world of TEFAF.

Postma designs the entire layout for the fair, which includes hallways, booths, multiple resting spots and turning a stark convention hall into something that would make the world’s richest people feel as if they were at home.

Beautiful Flowers NetherlandsPhoto credit: Loraine Bodewes

There are three art fairs called The European Fine Arts Fair and only one of them takes place in Europe. The other two are, spring and fall, in New York. Needless to say, the one in Europe is the real one, TEFAF, as it’s called, Maastricht.

Maastricht is a medieval city about as far from Amsterdam as you can get and still be in the Netherlands. It is further south than Dusseldorf. The fair includes modern art, ancient statuary, Old Masters, jewelry, antiques, furniture from the 1920s – in other words just about everything of the highest quality and provenance. Every piece is examined and certified beforehand, as it would be at an auction house.

Mark NeidermannPhoto caption: Mark Neidermann

TEFAF Maastrict runs until March 24