Art Market Magazine
One question constantly gnaws at art fair directors: how to get buyers to come to them, sometimes from the other end of the world. "There are not many places left on the planet without major collectors," says Victoria Siddall, the Frieze Group's talented Director of Fairs, interviewed in this issue. With this in mind, Frieze London, which opens its 15th edition on 5 October, has not abandoned an inch of territory, sending its representatives to Beijing, São Paulo, Dubai and elsewhere to spread the contemporary art message. Meanwhile, its competitor across the channel, the FIAC (19 October), provides a personalised service with a VIP programme that has now become its speciality, taking key collectors on an art and gastronomy tour of Paris shored up by a very chic partner list. Special treatment indeed for a small core of privileged art lovers. Two of them, Pierre Bergé and Liliane Bettencourt, left us in September. The billionairess, who lived surrounded by modern art, owned a Géricault painting that had once been in the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent collection: "Portrait d’Alfred et Élisabeth Dedreux". A shared taste for art, to which we pay tribute.
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The FIAC is an accurate reflection of the current contemporary art market, marked by a somewhat wait-and-see attitude and a search for stability. After undergoing extraordinary growth, mainly due to its return beneath the magnificent glass roof of the Grand Palais after years of exile (and a drop in status) at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre, the FIAC cannot ignore the cloud now hanging over its future. After its 2020 edition, the event will once again to give up its Grand Palais setting for two years. Its future venue at that point is still unknown, and this is a cause of unwelcome uncertainty, especially since the international fair system has now become extremely competitive. In 2017, before this looming ordeal, the 44th edition of the FIAC mainly seems to promise "business as usual". But why radically change a tried and tested formula?
Events for this autumn in Paris: magnificently-preserved pieces of Greek jewellery (Leclere), Narrative Figuration superstars (Digard Auction), museum quality works of archeology from the British collector Christian Levett (Pierre Bergé & Associés), and a rare Bible (Alde), which is the first book printed in what is today French territory…
The sale of the Berjonneau-Muñoz collection of pre-Columbian art, expected to be a key event of the new autumn season at Drouot, fulfilled all its promises with a final result of €2,005,228 including buyers' premiums. Meanwhile, in Toulouse, an imperial Chinese seal with a high estimate of €600,000 finally careered all the way up to €1,225,000: a magnificent result for a tiny object 9.2 cm high.
Frieze continues to fire the European art fair circuit with dynamic energy. A progress report with its director, the talented Victoria Siddall, joined Frieze in 2004 at the age of barely 26.
A fascinating look at the fair’s beginnings in publishing, its curatorial strike force and its development strategy.
The Kugel brothers are the fifth generation of a dynasty of antiques dealers whose origins go back to late 18th century Russia. In 2004, they left Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris and moved into a private mansion on Quai Anatole France, opposite the Tuileries. They are now opening some new rooms: proof that collectors are never lacking with this level of quality.
What are the secrets of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, whose acquisition budget is proportionally inverse to the dynamic enrichment of its collections? With Veronese, Guardi, Boucher and many more, there is a long list of recent costly acquisitions…
Today, free ports are not only important for storing works of art and collectors' objects, but also in terms of transactions and heritage management that considerably benefit investors and collectors. Their development, always steady, is now accelerating even more. But what role do they actually play, and how are they meeting an ever-growing demand?
October 2017 Edition
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