Art Market Magazine
Each year, as the summer solstice approaches, a certain excitement sweeps over the Grands Boulevards in Paris, which has nothing to do with the sales at the Galeries Lafayette nearby. During Asian Art Week, when one or more auctions are held each day, the Hôtel Drouot is assailed by Chinese collectors seeking rare treasures from the Middle Kingdom – preferably from the Qianlong period – and others focusing on Thailand or India, as the whole of Asia goes willy-nilly under the auctioneer's hammer. In this field (and we can rely on the experts), the Paris market has maintained its pole position for years as a purveyor of "fresh" pieces with impeccable pedigrees. If we then leave the auction room and go north-west, we find ourselves before an extraordinary collection of Song, Ming and Qing porcelains – but these are no longer for sale. They belong to Mr Hikonobu Ise, one of the great Japanese collectors of Chinese ceramics, and their finely-glazed charms can be admired in the showcases of the Musée Guimet until September this year. It would be no surprise to meet their owner (or one of his representatives, at least) in a saleroom at Drouot, or elsewhere…
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When it comes to buying a work of art, Japanese collector and agribusiness magnate Hikonobu Ise trusts his instinct alone. Now over 88 years old, he still believes in love at first sight, but with a lasting relationship in mind – in thirty-seven years, he has never sold even one of his acquisitions. A pure shape and an appealing glaze seem to come first for the collector, who is now exhibiting his Chinese porcelains at the Musée Guimet in Paris.
The 75-odd pieces recount the history of this art form from Tang monochromes to the doucai of the Qing period, by way of the blue and white ware of the Yuan and Ming. For the first time, these “masterpieces”, as the catalogue describes them, are being shown outside Japan. A third of the nearly 5,000 items in Mr Ise’s possession consist of Chinese ceramics (as we know, the Japanese adore them). His tastes led him first to imperial porcelains from the Ming and Qing dynasties (like the first piece he bought in 1980: a Kangxi period “tea dust” vase), and then to earlier periods. Celadons, particularly ones produced in the kilns of Yaozhou or Longquan in the days of the Northern and Southern Song, dominate the field…
In Chinese mythology, the apparition of a gilin, a legendary creature that resembles as much a stag as a horse, is always a good sign. The two gilt-bronze specimens offered by AuctionArt-Rémy Le Fur should therefore bring luck to Hôtel Drouot's Asian art week (19-23 June). Paris, the capital of Asia?
Old Master or contemporary, painting continues to dominate salerooms, amassing millions with disconcerting ease. A rare “Still Life with Brazier, Jug and Pipe on an Entablature” by Pieter Claesz wafted all the way up to €1,361,360 after an estimate no higher than €50,000: an absolute record for a work by Claesz.
Paris Tableau is dead… long live Paris Tableau Brussels! In 2017, the event, specialising in Old Master paintings, is moving into the international sphere and its first "export" appearance will be in Brussels, inside the Patinoire Royale. A new asset for a city decidedly involved with happenings in the European art market…
Louis, Antoine and Mathieu Le Nain were major 17th-century French artists. However, several mysteries surround both their identity and the meaning behind their work. Up until 26 June, a Louvre-Lens exhibition is heading up the investigation, for the first time in forty years!
Belonging to a family of experts and dealers in Old Master drawings and being the great-grandson of the painter George Desvallières, Emmanuel de Bayser tracks down famous names in French post-war design, like Charlotte Perriand, Serge Mouille, Jean Royère, Mathieu Matégot, and so on.
Lying by the Huangpu River in the south of the celebrated Bund, the Yuz Museum, founded by the Sino-entrepreneur Budi Tek, is the first contemporary art museum to take root in this fallow area of Shanghai. Resulting from the rehabilitation of the former Longhua airport, it has become the symbol of a new China.
June 2017 Edition
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