Art Market Magazine
After the avalanche of late December sales in Paris, and before the one now approaching – this time in the shape of exhibitions at various institutions –, a certain indolence has settled on the little world of art and Paris auctions. A welcome pause that gives us all time to digest the excellent results of the year, when Christie's and Sotheby's increased their scores by 40% and 12% respectively. With €7 million more than in 2016, the Hôtel Drouot and its 75 auction houses can justifiably swagger a little. It was the setting for two triumphant sales in different spheres: a "Saint Catherine" by Artemisia Gentileschi at €2.4 million – an impressive show of speed for Old Master painting – and a "Pot of Flowers" by Sanyu, which fetched nearly €8.8 million thanks to the active participation of Asian buyers. In passing, it set a European record for this long-neglected French-Chinese painter, positioning France as a rival to Hong Kong, where Christie's obtained $13.41 million in 2016 for "Chrysanthemums in a Glass Vase" (the highest bid to date). The sprinters in 2017 included Aguttes, boasting growth of 36%; Damien Leclere (+ 30%), and in the provinces, Rouillac, with a rise of 7%. Their most glittering auctions naturally feature in our prime selection from the past year. As for the new one, we wish you all the most successful 2018 possible – in our company, of course!
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In his seven years as BRAFA's president, Harold t’Kint de Roodenbeke has constantly had to respond to the eternal matter of introducing something new with the next edition. Because the basic character and ambition of the Brussels fair is always the same: opening out to the world, and preserving a balance between the different specialities: archaeology, contemporary art, the decorative arts, carpets and antique books. And yet he smiles, proud to see BRAFA so well established on the European scene, considered "one of the world's top three fairs" by gallery owner Bertrand de Lavergne, and a must for Alexis Bordes from Paris. He sums up the situation succinctly: "BRAFA has a genuine identity as a Benelux fair that attracts not only French and Belgian collectors but also those from Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK and Switzerland. Thanks to its remarkable organisation and excellent communication, it received over 61,000 visitors in 2017. Social interaction is the undeniable trademark of this fair, which has a warm, laid-back atmosphere highly conducive to business."
After some well-deserved holidays, auction houses are slowly resuming their activity. While an Olympic torch (from the 1968 Grenoble Winter Olympics) is about to ignite Parisian auctions, a clock signed George Graham goes back in time to the great days of British clockmakers. Here is a preview of what we have in store for the first quarter of 2018.
In 2017, seven young auctioneers applied to join Drouot: a clear pointer to the dynamic energy of the Paris sale room, which made €377.6 M. Asian and modern art fetched the highest prices, but Old Masters are also back with a vengeance, as are strip cartoons, which caused a sensation when Art Richelieu sold a drawing by Uderzo for €1.49 M. An overview of 2017 to start 2018 in style…
For twenty years, Emmanuel Redon has been selling 19th- and 20th-century formal decorative silverware at the Marché Biron in the Saint-Ouen flea market. More than a dealer, he has an open attitude towards international markets and guides the taste of his clientele. We talk to this incorrigible optimist.
The Borghese Gallery in Rome is staging a red-letter exhibition that will long – if not always – be considered one of the most important ever devoted to Bernini. This event not only gathers the largest group of Bernini marbles ever assembled, but it also retraces the entire career of the sculptor and painter by exhibiting a large number of unfamiliar pieces.
Paul Gauguin, now featuring in an exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris, until 22 January, made his way to Drouot's saleroom on two occasions. The story of an episode closely linked with his adventurous life, which established his initial price index.
Not an auction season goes by without celebrating Henry Moret's wild and stormy landscapes. This Normandy-born painter devoted most of his work to Brittany. The sale of several of his drawings at Drouot once more highlights an artist still overshadowed by two giants, Monet and Gauguin.
January 2018 Edition
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