Art Market Magazine


Regular visitors to the Hôtel Drouot around 15 December, in the middle of what everyone calls Asian Art Week, are familiar with cliffhanger bids. It's impossible to predict the fate of an object before the final hammer blow, even if it has a really low estimate. It just takes something that inspires the bidders – largely Chinese – for it to rocket up to millions in a few minutes. Everybody remembers the Qianlong imperial seal in beige steatite, which multiplied its estimate by ten to achieve €21 million on 14 December last year, providing Drouot (via Pierre Bergé & Associés) with its top bid of the year and setting the world record for an imperial seal. But where unpredictability is concerned, Asian art sales will have a serious competitor this year with the dispersion of the Aristophil collection. The company specialising in the trade of ancient letters and manuscripts went into receivership in 2015, and its distrained goods are now going to auction. The first round is taking place under the hammer of Aguttes, with the Divine Marquis as the guest of honour. That should certainly fire up the temperate climes of

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Does Art Basel Miami Beach still hold its charm? In 2016, America's sexiest fair was more subdued than usual. The first day registered its usual harvest of big sales (Gagosian sold a painting by Richter for
$5.8 M, for instance), but without the frenzied buying typical of the Florida event. Now that the Zika virus is no longer menacing the city and the country has digested the presidential elections, Art Basel Miami Beach can hope to regain its high number of eager visitors. The 2017 edition should notably benefit from the reopening of the Bass Museum after two years of refurbishment and a new, more ambitious approach, as well as the young Institute of Contemporary Art's move to a brand-new museum. Above all – a decidedly good omen – the fair renewed its lease with the Miami Beach Convention Center in late September, thus ensuring use of the premises until 2023. Meanwhile, Tom Postma's design should make a visit even more comfortable, with larger spaces, high-end catering and more…


Art Market Magazine

Manuscripts, ancient and modern painting, 20th century furniture, Asian art, even folk art and natural history... No field will escape the tidal wave brought by the end-of year sales. A favourite this year is a series of textiles and jewellery of high ethnographic and aesthetic value from the Mis collection



While the "Coin du Parc Monceau" by Charles Angrand is flirting with the million-euro mark, an American collector treats himself with Picasso's very courted "Suite Vollard", and a gold leaf from the Emperor's coronation crown, which had remained in the family of its goldsmith, Biennais, inspired a battle well above its high estimate of €150,000…



In the 1930s, it was the writer Lu Xun who embodied China's conscience. Today, it is Ai Weiwei. For nearly twenty years, the artist has been an icon of his country. We talk to the dissident Chinese artist at the Palais de Rumine in Lausanne, now staging a major exhibition of his powerful, iconoclastic works.



Do French artists export well? It's been ages since the French scene was considered too intellectual, designed for museums not the market, fatally non-international. Today, at least fifteen or so French creators feature in major exhibitions abroad each year, and the term "French" no longer bothers players in the art world.



Ten years after the signing of the contract between France and the Emirates, the Louvre Abu Dhabi has successfully opened at last, thanks to both its architecture designed by Jean Nouvel and a display exploring meeting points between different cultural routes.



Founders of one of the most prominent consulting agencies, Viola Raikhel-Bolot and Harvey Mendelson advise clients on art assets worth hundreds of millions of euros. From London, 1858 Ltd expanded to Paris and Germany, and its directors are considering setting up in the US.



Art Market Magazine Gazette International

December 2017 Edition

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