Art Market Magazine
What's the connection between the finest racing cars in the history of the automobile and the monuments of Western literature? Paris, of course! If the answer leaves you somewhat bemused, just take a moment to leaf through these pages, and you will learn that where art and the art market are concerned, these two specialities reign supreme in the City of Light. Every year, ultra-desirable cars change hands in the famous Paris sales staged during Rétromobile, considered the Rolls Royce of classic car shows. Here the sector has been unaffected by the crisis, and 2014 promises to be as dazzling as the previous edition, with a line-up this month that includes a 1947 Delage, an Austin Healey 100S, a magnificent Alfa Romeo and a 1953 166 MM Brachetta. That delicious thrill can also come from stroking a rare book, as bibliophiles well know, stirred as they are by the grain of a binding or a handsome dedication… This winter, a landmark sale is decidedly whetting appetites, when the object of desire is a library containing the greatest treatises on Western architecture from Vitruvius to Ledoux, lovingly collected over more than 60 years… And guess where it's happening? Paris!
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ARCO Madrid - Since 1982, ARCO has become firmly established on the world contemporary art scene: a unique platform between Europe and the Americas. According to Paris gallery owner Guillaume Sultana, "It has a good positioning in Europe because it takes place in February – a slack period in the calendar of major events – and because of its format bringing together top-notch European and Latin American galleries, which we don't see elsewhere in Europe. It's the only one to have established this link." Up till now, Art Basel Miami Beach and its satellite fairs provided the best window onto the South American market. Today, a gallery like Anita Schwartz of Rio de Janeiro comes to ARCO "to participate in a second international fair after Art Basel Miami Beach in December". The event could even compete with a number of South American fairs, according to Guillaume Sultana, who thinks that "ARCO is now more interesting than Zona Maco in Mexico, because it is more 'curated', less expensive and closer. A new experience that makes it possible to take more risks."
Fair play decrees that the second round of car sales at the Grand Palais should go to Artcurial, shaping up for a sale of 10 exceptional vehicles, each worth over a million euros. Enthusiasts preferring names to figures will note that some of these mechanical marvels have belonged to celebrities like Ringo Star, Brigitte Bardot and Steve McQueen. There is something for everyone, then, especially since the dispersion is lasting two days. The first will be an occasion to appreciate the variety of Ferrari's output. From the 1953 166 MM Barchetta with its elegant body by Oblin in a red-striped dark matt grey that makes it unique (€2.9/3.5 M) to the hydroplane produced by the shipyard of Guido Abbate in 1954...
A series of four paintings from a private French collection, expected to raise around €180,000, smashed their
estimate at this Marseille sale dedicated to Asian art when they landed a bid of over a million. They were
painted in the middle of the 20th century by Lin Fengmian, one of China’s most prominent modern artists, born in Guangdong province. During a seven-year period in Paris, the young artist moved away from ancient Chinese artistic principles as he explored the life of Montparnasse, falling under the spell of Matisse
and Modigliani. He returned to his native land in 1926...
Books and Manuscripts segment covers all periods, all literary styles, and also – as illustrations are involved– a broad range of artistic movements. With Renaissance Missals, first editions of 19th century novels or 20th century artist's books, there is something for everyone. Well-established through the wealth of France's literature and the perseverance of independent booksellers, which distribute the rarest books, the "books and manuscripts" category represents 4% of the entire French market – i.e. a proportion similar to the "silverwork and jewellery" sector...
In 1900, he bought Manet's "Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe" for 55,000 francs, in view of giving it to the Louvre. This alone would have justified museums' immense gratitude for his generosity, which manifested itself again when he donated his collection to the State in 1906. But the merit of Étienne Moreau-Nélaton (1859-1927) also lay in other gifts of works by Delacroix, Corot, Manet, Renoir and Monet, now in the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay. An extraordinary figure, he was also a painter and art historian. At 29 he developed a keen love of the Impressionists – "thus crossing swords" with his parents, as he wrote.
Alice Alleaume… the name doesn't ring a bell? And yet it's thanks to her that you can now enjoy the quintessence of fashion, from the Belle Époque to the Thirties, at the Musée Carnavalet in Paris. This slender, dark-haired woman, a dyed-in-the-wool Parisian, accompanies visitors through all the rooms, guiding them between the display cabinets just as she would have done in the muted salons of Chéruit in the Place Vendôme. For our hostess was the couture company's first sales assistant, and her wardrobe shows how experienced she was in the subtleties of French chic...
Paris, 1983. An elderly man with bushy eyebrows and bright eyes welcomes us into an apartment overflowing with mementoes: Brassaï.
You adopted Paris nearly sixty years ago... Oh no, Paris can't be adopted. It's Paris that chooses you, never the other way round! In my native Hungary, I had always seen the French capital as a fantastical ideal city, a kind of legend where countless lives mingled together – those of not only intellectuals and great families, but also prostitutes and rogues. It's only when you are actually there, when you finally breathe deeply of its air, that Paris becomes the hurly-burly we all know…
February 2014 Edition
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