Art Market Magazine
"It's hard to come down to earth again after such intensity," was the half-serious, half-sarcastic comment of a gallery owner at the FIAC. It's well-known that Paris art week leaves the players in the sector on their knees. The 2017 vintage, unanimously voted a "good" one, was underpinned by the growing vitality of various fringe fairs, headed by Asia Now, and some fine hammer prices in the salerooms, with a "Tall Woman II" by Alberto Giacometti knocked down for €25 million (Christie's). Although only accounting for 3% according to Artprice, the French market is holding up well, the country's collectors stand out for their commitment and culture, and the "Frenchy" spirit remains a powerful trend, as reported here and there in the press. Drouot also garnered a world record, this time for a drawing by Albert Uderzo, which fetched €1.45 M with Art Richelieu. Ah, those invincible Gauls! So morale is decidedly up as November approaches, with a programme (covered here) that includes a new fair dedicated to the fine arts, the indispensable Paris Photo and the final sale of the historic Petiet collection with Ader – already looking set to be the season's main event for modern art lovers.
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A truly unmissable (not to say obligatory) event for all lovers of early, modern and contemporary photography, Paris Photo consolidates Paris as the capital of the image ever further each year, drawing several other events along in its wake, like auctions, exhibitions and festivals. Staged in the main hall of the Grand Palais since 2011, the fair has developed with the pace of photography, which has undergone dramatic changes over the past few years in terms of both creativity and the market. Overseen for the third year by Florence Bourgeois and Christoph Wiesner, Paris Photo shared visitor numbers up by 8% compared with the 2014 edition (2015 was not a typical year: the fair had to close early due to the terrorist attacks of 13 November), confirming the public's enthusiasm for the medium. "Our main goal is to attract a huge range of visitors: major international institutions, seasoned and beginner collectors, artists and art lovers alike," says Florence Bourgeois…
In November, Modern art - worthily represented by Henri Petiet's collection of Picasso prints, should be prepared for the competition brought by Old Masters in both painting and sculpture. In addition, despite its mere 10 grams, a gold leaf once part of Napoleon's coronation crown will join the contest with serious chances of winning big…
It's definitely a victory chariot, that smashed all predictions by zooming up to €1,449,000, completing a triumphant "Tour de Gaule". This set a world record for a work drawn by Albert Uderzo sold at Art Richelieu. Among the other surprises of the market: a nice score for Narrative Figuration artists and an unprecedented success for two amphibians by Jean Carriès.
A new player in the French art fair arena, Fine Arts Paris is counting on both beginner’s luck and its organising team’s expertise to score its first points. With contagious confidence, event director Louis de Bayser promises a vibrant, harmonious selection of paintings, sculptures and drawings and guarantees "high-quality works at mid-range prices, accurately reflecting the reality of the market".
Diana Widmaier-Picasso, granddaughter of the master and Marie-Thérèse Walter, is curating an exhibition devoted to her mother Maya at the Gagosian Gallery in Paris. At a time when the Musée Picasso is celebrating the artist through his works from 1932 ("an erotic year") that symbolise Picasso's relationship with Marie-Thérèse Walter, Diana is keen to continue to highlight and analyse her grandfather's work.
While the new museum's well-designed circuit highlights the skills and masterpieces of Paris Mint, the most exciting discovery is the building itself, finally restored. The clearing of the industrial buildings obstructing the rear courtyards has revealed all the main bodies of the factory as it was designed in 1775 by Jacques-Denis Antoine, and given new life to this urbanistic project.
Very few know his name in the West… but in 2016, sales of his paintings totted up a grand total of $355 million. Beating Picasso by 31 million, Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) toppled the Malaga master from his pedestal and mounted the top step of the international auction podium, according to the Artprice ranking.
November 2017 Edition
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