Art Market Magazine

.Content - Number 44

There is definitely a Jeff Koons "case". The crazy auction prices of the American artist's works and the support he receives from leading collectors (François Pinault first and foremost with the magenta "Balloon Dog" he exhibited a few years ago in front of his foundation on the Grand Canal in Venice) disrupt our perception of the work itself. The lenders and participants listed in the exhibition catalogue remind us of the financial stakes involved with an artist whom everyone has an interest in cherishing. The Jeff Koons "case" is also a paradox. From the “Puppy” and “Split-Rocker” floral sculptures to inflatable rabbits as shiny as silver giftwrap – giant toys for big children –, the artist has created a world that appeals to both the people and the powerful players of this world. "From Bilbao to Sydney, Kassel to Versailles, Riehen to New York, Jeff Koons' puppies and other small animals are docile. They create a sensation everywhere. They may not bark, but they speak to everyone, and get people talking. Who are they aimed at? Do they speak to the upper classes whose gardens they fill […] , to everyone who looks at them? Do they signal the end of [social] 'distinction'?" wonders Bernard Blistène, director of the Musée d'Art Moderne in the exhibition catalogue, without really deciding…


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Here we can admire a model in brocaded Pekin with flounces dating from 1765-1770 (€5,000/8,000). We could also mention a riding-coat dress in cotton satin and charcoal grey silk from around 1787, a Napoleon III day dress in taffeta, or even a velvet dress mantle produced in around 1880 by Charles Frederick Worth, the father of Haute Couture… In short, a whole chapter of fashion history will be on show in this sale staged by the Thierry de Maigret auction house at Drouot.



Who is Claude Tarnaud? The author of "Cendres de l’eau", "De ou Le bout du monde", and friend of the Surrealists, the French poet belonged to the world of André Breton and his followers, whom he joined in 1947 at the International Surrealist Exhibition.  The sale staged on 11 February at Drouot by the Auction Art auction house will shed light on the little-known work of this man of letters and thinking, a traveller through and through. The 350 lots reveal Tarnaud's world…



The Fontainebleau school painter Antoine Caron will be leading this sale of Haute Epoque art in style (Louviers, Jean Emmanuel Prunier auction house). This large canvas attributed to him, "L'Empereur Auguste et la Sybille de Tibure", can be compared to one of his works now in the Louvre. Dating from the second half of the 15th century, the painting depicts Augustus in a purple cloak on his knees before the Sybil…



What's the connection between the historian Gabriel de La Porte du Theil, the painter Pierre Joseph Redouté and the economist Richard Cantillon? The library of a château in the Sarthe region contains some choice volumes, shortly being sold at Drouot by the Kapandji & Morhange auction house. Travel, botany and economics are some of the main themes of the sale. We owe Louis-François Cassas, Gabriel de La Porte du Theil, Jacques-Guillaume Legrand and Louis Langlès the publication…



This exhibition at Versailles aims to show how the creative output of the 18th century paved the way for design. Bill Pallot, a historian, collector, Sorbonne professor and 18th century art specialist, and Didier Krzentowski, founder of the Galerie Kreo (Paris and London) and a specialist in design and contemporary art, exchange their views during an eye-opening tour.



These sales, often friendly and good-natured, blend nostalgia with emotion, and represent an opportunity for auctioneers to meet new buyers who are unfamiliar with public auctions. Memorabilia sales are hardly new in themselves, but with a marked increase over the past few years, they are a trend to be watched closely. In March last year, the Coutau-Bégarie auction house achieved a resounding success with the first in a series of sales dedicated to Claude François



Art Market Magazine Gazette International

February 2015 Edition

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