The Auctions Database of Ancient Arts from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.
Paris, 29 November 2018
Saturday 12 December, Sotheby's is organising two exceptional sales of African and Oceanic art to conclude the tribal year in style. From 3pm onwards, many lots from the anonymous collection of “Monsieur Z” will be dispersed. The session will be divided into three essential parts, illustrating the life and career of this discreet collector.
Since the end of the Second World War, Z has been involved in the avant-garde artistic circles that have emerged in the Brussels region. He works with the members of the CoBrA group: Pierre Alechinsky, Christian Dotremont, Karel Appel or Asger Jorn. He acquires remarkable works directly from these artists over the years. Through its choices and affinities, the Z collection perfectly illustrates the spirit of the group, as Christian Dotremont reminds us: “art must have roots”. A thought common to Z, which at the same time enriches its collection of tribal artworks (Africa and Oceania). As Corneille, a member of the CoBrA group, points out, “African art [...] is a primary art [...] which has not yet [.../...]See more
Vienna, 28 November 2018
On Tuesday 4 December there will be a remarkable tribal art session at Dorotheum in Vienna. To mark the end of the year, the auctions will be held in line with the theme of the four elements (Earth, Fire, Ether, Water). No less than 130 objects from several private collections will be scattered under the gaze of amateurs from all over the world. 85 of them are from the Franco Monti collection, one of the leading figures in the history of tribal art in the 20th century.
Born in Milan in 1931, Franco Monti became involved in sculpture in the 1950s. He developed a formal vocabulary of raw and bold lines, using clay and stone as the medium. Collectivity quickly caught up with him, and he soon attended the scholarly circles of the French school of anthropology. It is in this context that he made his first trips to sub-Saharan Africa. He acquires treasures from the contact with local cultures. Back in Europe, he organised exhibitions of African art, particularly in Italy. He works with the famous creators Giacometti, Marini, Fontana, Chirico, but also [.../...]See more
New York, 15 October 2018
On Tuesday 13 November 2018, there will be a sale of African, oceanic and pre-Columbian art at Bonhams in New York. At least 103 quality objects will be on display to the public.
“This sale marks the return of African and Oceanic art to New York”, said Fred Backlar, tribal art specialist at Bonhams. “The sector had been somewhat down since 2014 in the market.”
Several remarkable lots are to be remembered. An exceptional Kota reliquary from Gabon will first be proposed (300,000 to 500,000 dollars). This one was taken in by Dr Paul Aubert at the beginning of the 20th century. It was presented in 2017 at the Los Angeles County Museum, during the exhibition "The Inner Eye: Vision and Transcendence in African Arts". A Dogon female figure from Mali will also be on sale ($100,000 to $150,000). This one belonged to the poet Tristan Tzara, the dadaist cantor. Finally, there is a rare Polynesian avimorph headrest ($60,000 to $90,000). This one probably originates from the Tikopia or Anuta Islands.
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Paris, 11 October 2018
On Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 4pm, an exceptional tribal art sale will take place at Christie's in Paris. This one will bring together objects from Africa, Oceania and America. The session will open with 30 masterpieces from the Adolphe Stoclet collection (1871-1949). This Belgian banker and industrialist is famous for having entrusted the architect Josef Hoffmann with the construction of the Palais Stoclet (Brussels).
This private residence is emblematic of the avant-garde role played by the Viennese Workshop (Wiener Werkstätte) at the beginning of the 20th century. It was decorated by several renowned artists such as Gustav Klimt or Fernand Khnopff. Stoclet made his house a “complete work of art” by exhibiting objects of all styles and periods. He gave tribal art an essential place, arranging the thirty works for sale in his “African Salon”. Stoclet also owned objects from America, Asia, Greece or Italy… He was an important customer of art dealer Joseph Brummer (1883-1947).
Among the objects in the collection are several Congolese [.../...]See more
Amsterdam, 13 October 2018
Tribal art is growing in the Netherlands! From 25 to 28 October 2018, 20 renowned merchants will gather in Amsterdam for the 16th edition of the Tribal Art Fair. More than 2,000 objects are presented to the public in the grounds of De Duif Church. Fans will be able to discover an exceptional choice of masks, sculptures, jewellery and furniture from Oceania, Africa, America or Asia.
Among the participants, the Astamangala gallery is the only one to offer Tibetan and Indian objects in Holland. Brant Mackley presents a selection of American native art. For Asia, we will go to Michael Woerner's side, not to mention the Lemaire gallery stand. The merchant family has been organizing the fair since its inception in 2003. Many events are planned during the four days of festivities. Guided tours will introduce the public to tribal rituals through African and Oceanic art. The presentation will be based on exhibits from the Zulu, Ndebele, Asmat and other peoples.
Several readings are also scheduled. Bas van Lier will return in [.../...]See more
Paris, 20 September 2018
In 1768, the Royal Society commissioned navigator James Cook, captain of the famous three-masted Endeavour, to explore the Pacific Ocean in search of terra incognita.
During his voyage, he discovered numerous island civilisations covering nearly one-third of the planet’s surface – from Tahiti in Polynesia to the Melanesian and Micronesian archipelagos. He also met indigenous peoples, in sometimes tense atmospheres due to spears thrown in response to muskets.
But at the same time, 250 years later, the Royal Academy has decided to honour this initial contact with other cultures by organising and producing a large-scale exhibition on the Oceanic arts. The show is on the same lines as other big monographic events at this British institution. Bear in mind that since the 1990s, the Royal Academy has staged exhibitions that delve into the cultural productions of great civilisations – “The Art of a Continent” (1995), “Aztecs” (2002), “Turks: A Journey of a Thousand Years” (2005), “China: The Three Emperors, 1662-1795” (2005), [.../...]See more
Paris, 17 September 2018
Handovers to the next generation, a rise in the number of objects on sale, the creation of events on the market, a change in the way players behave... 2017 was a good year for arts hailing from outside Europe, but it looks like it might have been a transition period.
For around twenty years now, both auction figures and observations made by dealers and experts have attested to a healthy growing tribal-art market, which tends to be stable in its practices. In auction rooms, 2017 confirmed these sound results with a return to growth after two fairly flat years. Achieving a turnover of a little over €80 million, this is the second-best year in the history of the market (which includes classical African, Oceanian, pre-Colombian and North American arts) following an exuberant2014. This year, Sotheby’s sold the Frum and Myron Kunin collections, which together accounted for sales totalling €45.5 million. A hefty enough figure to tip the scales... “The market is doing very well,” enthuses Laurent Dodier, a French dealer and valuer from [.../...]See more
Paris, 9 September 2018
A homage to a mythical exhibition from the 1930s, an extensive dialogue with contemporary creation, and a unique assembly of works from outside Europe... This is what you can expect from the 17th edition of Parcours des Mondes, one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious primitive-arts fairs.
Its reputation is now a given. After notching up sixteen editions, the Parcours des Mondes has become an unmissable event for dealers, collectors, museum directors, and also tribal-art lovers. But what else would you expect when the organisers of the Parisian fair, steered by Pierre Moos, have never skimped on quality, but consistently invited the top dealers in their respective specialities?
Whether these dealers come from Paris, other French towns, or further afield, there are 64 of them present at Saint-Germain-des-Près for this year’s vintage. From Rue des Beaux-Arts to Rue Mazarine, passing through Rue Guénégaud, they are showing masterpieces patiently picked up from Africa and Oceania – often these dealers are taking a breather after [.../...]See more
Paris, 8 September 2018
What strategy are you implementing for Parcours des Mondes?
With sixteen editions behind it, Parcours des Mondes has become a leading player in the world of international tribal- and Asian-arts fairs. The legacy of these sixteen editions, all these sold objects, all these encounters, needs to be consolidated by maintaining what has been responsible for the quality of Parcours des Mondes until now: rigour in the selection of exhibitors. What makes a fair special is the diversity of its different stakeholders. In the first place, we address dealers: these are our clients, and they’re the ones we work with for six months in order to construct a rich event. But our audience is made up of art lovers, collectors, with demanding requirements. We need to find a good balance.
What approaches do you follow to strengthen this renown?
First, we wish to promote the heritage aspect of Parcours des Mondes. We’re also focusing on the need to reinvent our communication methods – we’re opening up more to social networks for example. Next, to maintain [.../...]See more
Paris, 7 September 2018
Do you think that the fair, celebrating its 17th birthday this year, has reached maturity? Are you still seeking to enrich it with new perspectives?
I’m very proud of the renown that Parcours des Mondes enjoys today. When we took it over several years ago, the event was going downhill. Over time and with a lot of passion, we’ve worked to give it the face it has today, by selecting participants from the world’s top galleries, which isn’t so easy given that there are very few of them. This might seem paradoxical, but what you need to bear in mind is that there are around sixty tribal-arts galleries worldwide, no more. By way of comparison, if you take any building in the Chelsea district in New York, you’ll find the same number of contemporary-art galleries, if not more. Clearly, we live in a microcosm from which we’re taking the best. This year, we refused about twenty potential participants due to the quality of works – primordial in our eyes – and also due to the fact that the number of galleries admitted to the event cannot be [.../...]See more