Art Market Magazine
February sees the official return of Victor Vasarely, to whom the Centre Pompidou in Paris is devoting a first-time major retrospective, promised since the Hungarian-born artist's death in 1997. An occasion in this issue to look at the reasons behind the fall from grace of the Op art star, adulated in the 1980s like a French Andy Warhol, but who then completely disappeared from institutional radars. Another artist whose legacy has known many vicissitudes, Caravaggio, is stirring up winter sluggishness with arguments over the attribution of a "Judith and Holofernes" discovered in Toulouse. The hot-tempered painter decidedly continues to sow discord… A curator at the Met, Keith Christiansen, gives us his calm, well-informed opinion on the matter. Equally quiet, as usual at this time of year, auction rooms will nonetheless be tantalising collectors of fine archaeological pieces in Paris and René Lalique fans in London. The glass master, who now attracts buyers from New York to Hong Kong, also suffered in his time from the vagaries of fashion.
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In the 1960s, Victor Vasarely (1906-1997) was a world-famous star, just like Andy Warhol. Few French artists enjoyed such celebrity, let alone an international reputation. Yet ten years later, he was forgotten – particularly in France, where he had been most lionised. Exhibitions are now being devoted to him in Madrid, Frankfurt and Istanbul. In Paris, the major retrospective at the Centre Pompidou is the first since the Musée des Arts Décoratifs' monograph exhibition in 1963.
Eastern archaeology, decked out in silver, dominates this selection of winter sales before the traditional upturn of business in March.
A single glance at this illuminated 13th century psalter, to be sold by Kâ-Mondo, should be enough to convince bibliophiles of its value and rarity.
Ingres started off the new year with a finely-limned drawing at €1 million, while painting also totted up some dizzying prices.
We visited the famous shoe designer Christian Louboutin in a theatrical apartment crammed with furniture and knick-knacks, where he told us about his passions and sponsorship of the Cinémathèque and Palais de la Porte Dorée.
On 24 December, an export certificate was obtained for the Judith and Holofernes, a painting found in 2014 and listed as a national treasure in 2016. Its attribution to Caravaggio is still controversial.
As the panic over Brexit grows ever more frenetic, two London art fairs, ArtRooms and the London Art Fair, provide a glimpse of a more positive future.
February 2019 Edition
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