Romania’s Rad fair returns bigger and better for round two

The second edition of the Bucharest art fair Rad will return to its lakeside location in the north of the Romanian capital this month. The fair, which launched in 2023, will see the number of participating galleries increase from 20 to 26 and incorporate a new design section, as well as an expanded programme of talks and events.

Organised by some of Romania’s leading contemporary galleries, the fair aims to play a pivotal role in the country’s art market, consolidating a burgeoning scene that Rad’s founders say is ripe for further development. This year’s edition has partnered with Romanian bank Banca Transilvania to help finance its expansion.

Ready to happen

Rad was founded by artist and gallerist Daniela Pălimariu and the dealer Catinca Tăbăcaru, who act as co-directors. Pălimariu says they were “motivated not only by the palpable need for a Bucharest fair, but also by all the signs pointing to the fact that we were ready for it to happen”. The fair aims to gather “the most active and visible galleries in Romania to celebrate what the scene, as a whole, has achieved in recent years”, she adds.

Tăbăcaru, who moved the main base of her gallery from New York to Bucharest in 2020, says art scenes on the periphery need to be “united and collaborative” to develop successfully. Rad aims to cover all Romania, with galleries from Cluj, Iasi and Timisoara alongside those from Bucharest. Tăbăcaru says: “New collectors are springing up. Private art foundations are opening to the public. Romanian artists are represented by galleries internationally and their prices are going up.”

Nine co-organisers

Rad is co-organised by a group of nine galleries, including longstanding players such as Plan B, Jecza and Galeria Posibila. Plan B is particularly well known internationally. Opened in Cluj in 2005, it has had a second space in Berlin since 2008, and helped introduce artists such as Adrian Ghenie, who co-founded the gallery, to the international market.

Outlining her ambitions for Rad, Pălimariu says: “My hope is that it will grow sustainably and become such a solid part of our scene here that it will not be long before we wonder how we were even functioning without Rad.”

Galleries participating at Rad for the first time in 2024 include the Vienna-based gallery Gregor Podnar and Bucharest’s Ivan Gallery, which will show work by artists including Geta Brătescu, Ion Grigorescu and Paul Neagu.

• Rad, Caro Hotel, Bucharest, 16-19 May