Art Market Magazine
It will go down as an outstanding event in the annals of the art market – a famous house sale in the line of the ever-glorious Beychevelle, Ferrière and Castel Duino dispersions. But this "Chosen Pieces" auction staged at Drouot on 15 June could also be a fine exercise in nose-thumbing… Because Princess Mimie de Beauvau-Craon has decided to entrust Remy le Fur and his Paris auction house with selling forty-five masterpieces from her family collection, housed in the 18th-century Château d'Haroué, near Nancy. This château was "ruled over" for a while by one Laure, President of Sotheby's France and wife of the seventh Prince de Beauvau-Craon. In June sixteen years ago, for the first time on French territory, Sotheby's sold the collections of the Château de Groussay, owned by Charles de Beistegui. As we know, this feat of arms, which foreshadowed the end of the auctioneers' monopoly, was achieved by Laure de Beauvau-Craon. When the saga of the art market meets the roller coaster of the European aristocracy!
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This is not just another Bonnard exhibition in the footsteps of the ones organised in 2006 by Suzanne Pagé at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and in 1984 by Jean Clair at the Centre Pompidou/ Musée d'Art Moderne. Its theme, "painting Arcadia", defines the nine sections of the retrospective, which covers Bonnard's work from his early days to the end of his life. It is important to show the artist in a new light: to dust off the image of the aged painter immortalised in the photos of Henri Cartier-Bresson, and to release him from the shackles imposed by a conservative fringe in the art world as the "interwar painter of happy scenes ". Here we are showing a sprightly, witty, elegant, amorous, radical Bonnard, whose painting is imbued with undying optimism and the possibility of finding earthly happiness through a lavish, light-filled nature. The image of his Arcadia is neither naïve nor straightforward
Nicknamed the "Versailles of Lorraine", the Château d'Haroué, not far from Nancy, is no ghost château or empty shell devoid of its owners' soul… This remarkable 18th-century building designed by Germain Boffand still belongs to the Beauvau-Craon family, descended from one of the oldest Lorraine houses (a vassal of France), who live there and keep it very much alive, as they have welcomed tourists from all over the world since 1964.
Guy Dulon described himself as an artist-collector, and furthermore as a seeker-collector, who loved to sound out a work as one would sound the chest of a patient, with care and attention. This doctor, father of the tribal art gallery owner Bernard Dulon, built up a remarkable collection of 600 pre-Columbian art works with his wife Régine.
No fewer than twelve oils on canvas by Pierre Doutreleau were sold for a total of €111,986: an opportunity for the painter to land a new world record, with the €27,930 bid for "La Brasserie Lipp" (see photo). Seven works also cornered the top spots in his world rankings (source: Artnet), starting with the more classic aesthetic of a "Baignade" (114 x 147 cm), while €11,475 went to "Rio di San Luca" (130 x 81 cm), a semi-abstract in the same vein as "Écume de la vague" (73 x 92 cm), sold for €8,925.
So here we are in the place where your collections take shape. Jeanne Lanvin, looking around, : this is where I work best. I sit down at this desk, and I only have to look up at this large bookcase in dove grey lacquer to find a book, journal or sample that will inspire me. Yes, I work in relative solitude. I draw, cut up, glue and assemble. (Raising a cup of tea to her lips) Vuillard will disappear but his canvases will remain, won't they?
There are certain locations that have long been synonymous with the upper echelons of the international art scene. From the sun-drenched Art Basel Miami Beach to the hallowed halls of Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses, collectors and art-lovers alike flock to these art-world institutions in their thousands, and have done, in some cases, for centuries. It’s easy to imagine that most collectors know by heart the list of the ten most sought-after artists in the world…
Have tastes and the nature of collections changed with the globalisation of art? How can collectors position themselves now, in the 21st century? Are they still passionate and cultivated connoisseurs with the "collectionitis" bug, as often described in the books of Maurice Rheims and Pierre Cabanne, for example? The emerging countries are partly responsible for this new world
June 2015 Edition
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