Art Market Magazine


When talking about the art market, we immediately think of record bids and the ensuing rampant prices. What we don't truly appreciate is that it is also the antechamber to the museums, and thus an extraordinary breeding ground! In this respect, 2015 was a vintage year. Even if provisional, the figures speak for themselves, with over €4.5 M spent on pre-emptive purchases alone last year compared with €1.37 M in 2014. Splendid growth, and extremely healthy for Drouot. The famous saleroom, previously the setting for forty-six purchases totalling €600,000, achieved nearly €3M in 2015. The Bibliothèque de France and the Louvre were the most assiduous buyers. (The latter had already pre-empted a bust of Charles Fréderic de la Tour du Pin by Bouchardon for a spanking €3.75 M in 2012.) In 2015, the top buyer was the Château de Versailles, which treated itself at the judicial sale staged by Vincent Fraysse to a desk made in 1685 for Louis XIV's Petit Cabinet, the only one (with its matching desk, now in New York's Metropolitan Museum) incontestably by Alexandre-Jean Oppenordt. This present cost €1,487,200: a princely sum for a royal institution! Drouot has most certainly confirmed its label: museum quality!

.Content - Number 55

"Sold! subject to pre-emption by the State for the museum of…" This formula, always somewhat maddening for the person who believes, for an instant, that they have won a bidding battle, was heard on over 110 occasions at Drouot in 2015. Established by the act of 3 December 1921, pre-emption is a well-known mechanism in the sale room enabling public institutions to acquire a lot by replacing the winning bidder. The criteria for these acquisitions are a piece's historical value, and the important position it could hold in a public collection or exhibition....


Art Market Magazine

On the Corniche, the road between Nice to Monaco, Grace Kelly spins along at the wheel of a gleaming Sunbeam Alpine MK1 beside Gary Grant. The sky is blue, the light is dazzling – and the image incidentally won Robert Burks the Oscar for Best Cinematography in 1956. The scene, shot in spring 1954, is one of the most famous in Hitchcock's film "To Catch a Thief". This Sunbeam Alpine, produced by the British carmaker Rootes, was part of the cast.



Georges Candilis' designs are not so frequent at auction that you can afford to miss this hexacube, coming up at the Damien Leclere auction house's sale in Marseille. It consists of a remarkable example of modular plastic architecture in the line of Jean Benjamin Maneval's "coque à six bulles", created by the Greek-born architect and his Finnish collaborator Anja Blomstedt. Not often found in the auction market, designs by Candilis, who worked with Le Corbusier on his arrival in France, recently joined the collections of the Centre Pompidou



Art and great couturiers work well together, as witness numerous examples from Paul Poiret to Yves Saint Laurent. The former, founder of the Martine workshops in 1911, began his career with Jacques Doucet. After selling his 18th century furniture, the latter decided to revamp his private mansion in Rue Spontini. Starting in 1912, Paul Iribe and his assistant Pierre Legrain began to design modern furniture for his couturier patron. …



The Musées Nationaux lead a double life. When they are not devoted to permanent or temporary exhibitions, they are busy preserving tomorrow's heritage behind the scenes. This duty of memory, which requires both talent and expertise, would not be what it is without the moulding workshop of the RMN-GP (Réunion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais), a place of memory unique of its kind, which can justly be considered one of the best distribution tools for culture to date.



With his pipe, hat, trench-coat and flowery language, Guy Ribes could have come straight out of a thriller, complete with a trade worthy of the best detective novels: forging. A former forger, to be precise. Arrested in 2005 for "organised counterfeiting", he was sentenced to three years in prison, two suspended. During the trial, art expert Gilles Perrault, called as a witness, stated: "I have been involved in many cases of this kind, but I have never seen a forger skilled in such a wide range of artists…



British sculptor, Richard Deacon needs no introduction. He was the winner of the Turner Prize in 1987, and the Tate Britain dedicated a retrospective to him in 2014. Today, this colossus in the world of sculpture is exhibiting works alongside Sui Jianguo and Henk Visch at the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence (“Three Men in a Boat”, until 13 March 2016).



Art Market Magazine Gazette International

February 2016 Edition

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