The Auctions Database of Ancient Arts from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.
Palos Verdes, 12 February 2020
He combines the passion of a collector with the rigour of an ethnologist. For over twenty years, American art dealer Michael Hamson has been celebrating the creativity of traditional arts from the South Pacific.
From New Guinea to the Solomon Islands, hundreds of museum-quality works have passed through his hands. And yet he himself admits that tribal-art dealing was not an obvious path for him to follow.
At the end of the 1980s, this former marine officer, who enjoyed searching for good surfing waves in his spare time, would take advantage of his long months on land to travel – first to West Africa, where he discovered tribal art, and then to Papua New Guinea. It was in the latter that he met a biologist who was carrying out research in isolated villages around Maprik, the centre of Abelam culture. The encounter was a revelation. “During my first trip, I discovered New Ireland and I travelled along the Sepik River. Of course I didn’t stumble upon antiquities straight away, but the objects that I did find, while not necessarily [.../...]See more
Paris, 18 January 2020
Passion for primitive arts is eminently contagious. In the Schoffel family, we know something of it. Located since 1994 at 14 rue Guénégaud, in the sixth arrondissement of Paris, the eponymous gallery perpetuates a tradition of more than half a century, initiated by the father, Alain Schoffel, affected from a very young age by the virus of collecting, then by that of trade.
“I don't think he ever imagined himself doing any other activity. From the age of ten, he became interested in primitive arts, first through the arrows of American Indians! Barely a teenager, he ran from one museum to the next and was just 25 when, in 1969, he opened his gallery on rue de Seine. For him, it was a need. It's not easily explainable. And he obviously passed on this passion to my mother,” says his daughter, Judith Schoffel de Fabry. When the couple split up, Christine Valluet opened her own gallery on rue de Lille, and it was under this banner and alongside her mother that the young woman embarked on a career as a specialist antique dealer. “For me, it [.../...]See more
Paris 3 September 2019
With over twenty years experience in African and Oceanian tribal art, Adrian Schlag now divides his time between Brussels ; where he opened a gallery on the Rue des Minimes in the late 1990s; and Ibiza, where he lives in the middle of nature for part of the year when not visiting his clients in Europe and the United States.
On the heels of Bruneaf (Brussels Non European Art Fair) in June, this renown dealer and member of the Royal Chamber of Antique Dealers of Belgium and the Belgium Chamber of Art Experts, will participate in the 18th edition of Parcours des Mondes, Paris 10-15 September, a must go-to for primitive art lovers.
Archaic pieces can still be found
Schlag’s gallery is located at the Bouquinerie de L’Institut in the fine arts district of Saint-Germain-des-Près. A highlight of the 15 pieces presented is a 67 cm wooden statuette representing an ancestral figure of the Septik-Ramu tradition (Papua New Guinea), formerly part of Gisela and Heinrich Wellmann’s collection which was acquired in Bremen between 1923 and 1978. [.../...]See more
Paris, 7 May 2019
Opened in 1990 at 8 rue des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Flak Gallery has become one of the major Parisian players in the field of tribal art since the early 2000s. The latest exhibition, dedicated to navigator and long-distance discoverer James Cook, highlights the gallery’s expertise through their aesthetical and historical choices.
Edith and Roland Flak, the gallery’s founders and modern art collectors turned naturally to African art, more precisely Dogon, as their collection grew. A first exhibition in the late 90’s of “ere ibeji” twin figures which are associated with the Yoruba culture, now mainly found in Nigeria –, foreshadowed the direction of the family gallery.
“When you’re interested in modern art, it is hard to miss African art,” says Julien Flak, who joined his parents in 2002, after a career in advertising. Under his influence, primitive arts quickly took a prominent place in the gallery, eventually occupying both exhibition spaces entirely.
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Saint-Pol-de-Léon, 17 April 2019
I got to know you on twitter, at the time you were posting intensively objects from the Quai Branly Museum database, curating your own virtual exhibition, mostly with unknown objects from the reserves. Your virtual exhibition ‘Early Côte d'Ivoire’ was even acclaimed by an impromptu tweet from the NY Times’ Chief art critic Roberta Smith...
And I had the time of my life that day... It was also great to interact with a very diverse audience, from museum curators to artists or people just curious to learn. Many young collectors have a very active phase of discovery and intense learning. Going through the 300.000 objects of the Quai Branly Museum database has been the way to express mine.
How did you get that passion for Tribal art?
15 years ago I visited some colleagues, a Belgian and a French, in Dakar. They were buying African art like crazy. Of course, these were copies... but at least I had a spark for the African aesthetics and my treasure hunter sense was unlocked. Fortunately I had a [.../...]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
What’s the dynamic of the Aboriginal art market in 2018?
2018 is proving to be an excellent year for Aboriginal art, which is continuing its territorial conquest! This interest is found not only on an institutional level, but also among private collections, fairs and auctions.
January was punctuated by the end of a remarkable eight-month exhibition, “The Boomerang Effect”, organised by the dynamic Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève (MEG), as well as an exhibition that I coproduced with the MEG and the University of Geneva on the art of “ghost nets”. To mention just a few institutions, the Museums of New Delhi, of Berlin and also, the Ubersee Museum in Bremen at the moment, have hosted prominent focuses on the art of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. We can also mention the Musée de Vichy, which is offering the public wider access to such works through its regular Aboriginal-art acquisitions.
Foundations and private collections are also doing an incredible job – like La Grange near Neuchâtel with its “Islands in the Sea” exhibition (until 28 [.../...]See more
Brussels, 23 January 2018
Like most collectors flocking to BRAFA, Harold t’Kint de Roodenbeke likes the month of January. President of the fair for the sixth consecutive year, he reveals to Artkhade with AMA the key points of the strategy for the Brussels-based fair. Verbatim.
With nearly 25,000 artifacts and works of art, presented by 135 exhibitors, BRAFA is an event not to be missed. Considered one of the top five global art fairs, it takes place in January and is also the fair which sets the pace for the art market. Following the Paris biennale in September, Frieze Masters in October in London and shortly before the Maastricht TEFAF in March, BRAFA is a key date in the diary for all lovers of fine art. A major European event held at the stylish brick and wrought iron Tour & Taxis site, BRAFA signals the return to trading for the year. It is important to keep in mind that on this international stage whilst 30% of traders are Belgian, the bulk of those in attendance come from the other 15 countries represented, from Canada to Japan. The key characteristic of BRAFA [.../...]See more
Paris, 23 January 2018
Collectors and art lovers populate the world of ancient African, Oceanic and American arts. Laurent Granier takes a look at their backgrounds, the psychological mechanisms behind their passions, their doubts, and their strategies. With them, he discusses objects, their histories, and the market.
All self-respecting tribal-arts lovers are familiar with the blog Détours des mondes, its hundreds of meticulous posts, its accounts of exhibitions, its yays and its nays, and its thematic bibliographies. But who exactly is Martine Pinard, the author of the said blog, and the president of the eponymous association? I was dying to find out more about this discreet woman, whom I’d come across two or three times previously in the course of my research, and whose conscientious work gave me hope of a wonderful encounter. So we scheduled to meet for Sunday lunch in a venue that she is particularly fond of: La Maison Rouge, in Paris, on 2 April 2017.
Born to a modest family, young Martine Pinard dreamed of conquering space. An only [.../...]See more