Art Market Magazine


In an electric atmosphere at Drouot on 14 December, an Imperial seal from the Qianlong period achieved a record €21 M (Pierre Bergé Associés): the highest auction price achieved this year in France for an objet d'art. Largely relayed on China's messaging app WeChat, with its 800 million-odd users, its sale to a Chinese collector created a strong sense of national pride. Much the same happened a few hours later at Christie's Paris, when a gilt-bronze Vairocana Buddha from the Liao dynasty levitated up to €13.3 M. Splendid hammer prices that confirm the French capital's position in the Asian art market, and contribute to the rosy health of national auction houses – whose end-of-year results were decidedly heartening, with an average rise of 5% to 10% for the leading trio, Christie's, Sotheby's and Artcurial. Meanwhile, Drouot and its 75 affiliated auction houses boasted a result of €370 M and the creation of a new international online sales platform: Drouot Digital. The Paris market can thus move serenely into 2017, with renewed confidence. Let's hope this year will be as rip-roaring as the Ferrari sold to an American buyer for €32 M by Artcurial in February: the year's top auction price in France regardless of category. Happy New Year!

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In the deep midwinter, while the little world of art briefly dozes, the Brafa (21-29 January) is giving a wake-up call – and one that is decidedly dynamic and colourful. This year, the Brussels art fair pays homage to the Argentinian artist Julio Le Parc. After an exhibition at the Emmanuel Perrotin Gallery in New York this autumn, the maestro of kinetic art, co-founder of the GRAV (visual art research group) in the 1960s, is in the spotlight until 19 March next year at Miami's Perez Art Museum. Four of his works will be found at the Brafa in a special staging, featuring a huge red sphere and a vast mobile seen at the Palais de Tokyo's 2013 retrospective in Paris. This should certainly whet the appetites of visitors to this 62nd edition (who totalled 58,000 last year). They will be able to explore 132 stands in the former customs brick warehouses. There is a loyal following for this event, which has an unrivalled niche in the calendar of events specialising in art and antiquities. Some call it one of the best fairs in Europe. Others see it as a "little Tefaf" – a way of saying that it is similar to without equalling it. But in truth, the Brafa is like no other fair. It has its own particular character: elegant, friendly and welcoming…


Art Market Magazine

The sales season gently restarts with some excellent sales aimed at collectors of urban art, archeology and 18th century art. Two remarkable busts, one of Athena (Pierre Bergé & Associés) and the other of Voltaire by Jean-Antoine Houdon (Muizon Reunier), make sculpture the real star of the beginning of this year. As for the Old Masters, they can be found in New York for a journey through Spanish painting.



2016 ended with an explosion of sales worth millions, thus confirming Paris’s place in the Asian art market. An Imperial seal from the Qianlong period achieved first-place success with €21 M - a world record - closely followed by a rare Andrea del Sarto drawing (€3.9 M) and an unconventional sculpture of an anteater signed Rembrandt Bugatti (€1.5 M). Discover a selection of the best results…



In 2017, the Outsider Art Fair celebrates its anniversary: twenty-five years of support for art that is still little-known and misunderstood. In New York, the Metropolitan Pavilion is hosting sixty exhibitors between 19 and 22 January. "This year, we have achieved considerable diversity, with galleries from Austria, Japan and the UK," says Becca Hoffman, the fair's Francophile director…



On his way through Paris, the city he particularly loves, Arne Glimcher – not only the founder of the Pace Gallery in New York and Beijing but also a producer and film director – talks about his successful career, developments in the international market and the place of art in society. For Arne Glimcher, art is still a religion and minimalist artists the only true gods he believes in!



His stand will be one of the focal points of the next edition of the famous major interior design show, the Maison&Objet exhibition (Paris). A regular at the event, Pierre Charpin has now – finally! – been acclaimed "Designer of the Year". A Holy Grail of a title, which loudly proclaims what people have been murmuring quietly for a while: Pierre Charpin is surely one of French design's most subtle representatives.



As her first London exhibition gets under way, the French artist Fabienne Verdier meets us in her den: a place of shadow and light far away from the busy outside world. In a village near Paris, with a touch of the English countryside, time seems to stop. This is where Fabienne Verdier decided to live and work on her return from China…  A place that fits well with her painting: monumental.



Art Market Magazine Gazette International

January 2017 Edition

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