Art Market Magazine
In the elite world of Parisian art, February gets a pretty bad press. "Not enough exhibitions, too few sales," is the habitual cry in the corridors of editorial offices. But despite its apparent lifelessness, the coldest of all the months in the Gregorian calendar has quite a few cards up its sleeve. Car collectors, for instance, will find the most thrilling bids of the year in the wake of the Rétromobile show. With roaring Porsches, legendary DSs and elegant Delahayes, the most magnificent models (i.e. those combining performance, a fine track record, illustrious provenances and limited editions) gather in the French capital for a series of sales. Less spectacular but equally appealing, the Spanish fair Arco Madrid entices contemporary art lovers with hot emerging talents, while the National Gallery in London takes us along the somewhat remote paths of Australian Impressionism. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Biennial, whose 11th edition ends in mid-March, clearly aims to maintain its pole position as one of Asia's key events. February, boring? Hardly!
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Over the last 19 years, the Shanghai Biennial has worked to bring artists and curators together from all over the world. And its 11th edition is no exception. For four months, from 11 November 2016 to 12 March 2017, it is presenting the work of 92 artists from 40 different countries, inspired by a seminal question also serving as its theme: "Why Not Ask Again?" But ask for what? And from whom? Mysterious questions, which are impossible to answer except through other questions. The whole issue consists precisely in inventing appropriate contours, object, interlocutors and temporality. This edition, organised by the Raqs Media Collective – consisting of Monica Narula, Shuddhabrata Sengupta and Jeebesh Bagchi – has chosen the science-fiction trilogy "The Three Body Problem" by Chinese bestselling author Liu Cixin as the main theme. The book is based on the physical theory stating that two bodies in space will react predictably, but a third introduces uncertainty. So artists, collectives, generators and writers are invited to discuss and view "the self as a fragment of the infinity of the universe," to quote Jeebesh Bagchi, in relation to an increasingly elusive world.
Each year, in February, automobile auctions storm their way into the winter doldrums with a certain level of noise (and price), attracting all kinds of car lovers to Paris. Because if there is one market that draws buyers to France like a magnet, it's classic cars. The figures speak for themselves, with over 80 % of registered buyers coming from abroad for the Artcurial Motorcars sale staged during the 2016 Rétromobile Show…
The outstanding event of the new year took place on the Normandy coast, when a small Qing tea bowl and saucer inspired a battle all the way up to €368,440 with the auction house Chalot & Associés in Fécamp. At the same time, international houses are harvesting their first big auctions, from Old Masters (Sotheby's) to Contemporary Art (Phillips)…
Why travel all the way to Spain in the middle of winter when you just have to wait a few months to find the top international galleries at Art Basel – in a springtime ambiance, to boot? Despite a saturated offer, the sophisticated and ambitious Arco Madrid is confident that it will lure collectors from all over the world to its 36th edition, to be staged from 22 to 26 February.
Do you feel like a French touch in your interior? The self-taught designer Pierre Yovanovitch started out working for Pierre Cardin, before becoming a big name in the profession, much sought after by leading collectors. This champion of eclecticism, who defends French craftsmanship, tailor-made projects and contemporary design, has been a driving force in the art market for various historical designers from northern Europe…
At the age of 85, the Reverso watch, this pure product of 1930s Swiss watchmaking, is right up among the top 10 great classics, just behind the Omega Speedmaster and ahead of the Rolex Submariner. Jaeger-LeCoultre's flagship watch represents 23 % in volume of the brand's pieces sold at auction, with an average price that has risen 45 % in ten years. Here is a real success story…
A recent exhibition at the National Gallery in London, "Forest, Rocks, Torrents", showed how the Impressionist movement spread all over the world. "Blue Pacific" by Arthur Streeton was the first Australian painting to hang in Trafalgar Squar in 2015. The National Gallery needed little prompting to devote an exhibition to the Australian Impressionists, presenting four artists who imported the movement to their continent.
February 2017 Edition
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