Art Market Magazine
Five glorious years of Paris Tableau! The art fair is fine-tuning its programme by adapting to the difficulties of the market. Its motto: change in continuity.
.Content - Number 52
The Paris Old Master fair's new edition carries on from the previous ones, with a symposium bringing together the top specialists, and a judicious selection of international dealers with its corollary, a collection of choice works. Though the setting of the Palais Brongniart restricts the number of participants (23 galleries and two frame dealers this year), what might have been a handicap is in fact an asset. Firstly, the event does not fall into the trap of today's gigantic events, which leave you exhausted and, in the end, blinded. Secondly, it provides an intimate environment for looking at the works, ideal for the speciality.
This collective sale is taking place at Drouot under the benevolent gaze of the arts' protector, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, depicted by the great Coysevox. This is a first for the Paris saleroom, which is bringing together a magnificent collection of Old Master paintings to echo the international Old Master fair at the Palais Brongniart, not far from there (11 to 15 November). On the evening of the 12th, some fifty works will be on offer in the Hôtel Drouot's Prestige Room (recently refurbished by designer Erwan Boulloud). The star piece is this marble portrait of Louis XIV's minister: a listed work absent from the Musée du Louvre…
This sale, one of the highlights of the new season with the Ivoire group, proved highly successful with lovers of haute couture within and outside France, especially from Chile. This avidly-followed sale dispersing the collection of Alexis Mabille, a young designer from Lyon, made a final total of €96,000. The highest bids went to creations by Christian Dior, like this tunic embellished with black and white glass beads, sequins and rhinestones (the work of the François Lesage company), which garnered the sale's top price.
This virtuoso portrait of an old man by Giambattista Tiepolo was appearing in the market for the first time. It made the most of it, breaking a French record and garnering second place in the artist's world performances. This brilliant Baroque fresco painter, who executed works for Venice's churches and patrician houses, established a reputation that went far beyond Italy. During the winter of 1750, he left with his two sons for Würzburg in Bavaria to work on part of the decoration of the palace owned by Prince-Bishop Karl Philipp Reichsfreiherr von Greiffenclau zu Vollraths …
Professionals and collectors all agree that Paris Photo is still the speciality's best fair in the world, and other capitals envy France in this respect. London staged its own version last year: a highly successful first outing, according to Marin Karmitz, who as a producer, director and collector of images is a decided expert in the field. "I really liked the first Photo London, even if it doesn't yet have the depth of Paris Photo," says the man who unveiled part of his huge collection at Rencontres d'Arles in 2010.
A look back at the career of photographer Cindy Sherman, half-way between market recognition and the construction of institutional legitimacy. In this age of selfies, we should be under no illusion as to the content of Cindy Sherman's work. Even if the artist is herself the subject of her shots, her work is not a self-portrait: “Everyone thinks (that my photographs) are self-portraits, but they are not meant to be. If I photograph myself it’s because I can push my own limits to the extreme…"
Artur Walther is dressed in black and white, bringing to mind the August Sander's photographs of his early days as a collector. He wears designer glasses and his scalp is smooth; the overall impression is off-beat and ageless. Born in Ulm in 1948, he has lived in the United States since 1977 where he originally went to study at the Harvard Business School. Later, he began to make more frequent trips back to Germany, especially in his capacity as a partner at Goldman Sachs, a post he held until 1994 when he left the bank to start a new life devoted to his passion for photography.
Will 2015 be a historic year for contemporary African art? The Venice Biennial set the tone, appointing Nigeria's Okwui Enwezor as artistic director of the visual arts section of its 56th edition, while the Ghanaian artist El Anatsui was awarded a Golden Lion – echoing the award to Rauschenberg in 1964, which officially stamped the pre-eminence of the contemporary American scene? Worth following up… Meanwhile, Paris is hosting the first edition of AKAA in December. Behind this new fair dedicated to contemporary African art we find a young woman called Victoria Mann.
November 2015 Edition
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