The Auctions Database of Ancient Arts from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.
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, 15 September 2018
There are certain auction sales that mark their time by establishing a new trend or signalling a change in era. This was what the Victor Choquet sale did for Cézanne, or Sean Scully for Pop Art. And perhaps Pierre Loos will trigger the popularity of Congolese modern artists in a similar way?
“During my three-part sale, fifty years of my life are going to go by, corresponding with what I am, my desire to transmit things to others. For someone like me who’s had the luck to travel, leaving without transmission is like running away like a thief. While some construct walls, I prefer bridges.” The renowned Belgian dealer is getting set to sell part of his large collection over three consecutive sales to be held at Piasa on 17 and 18 September.
The first will be for ethnographic and primitive arts – around 500 lots whose estimates tend towards fairly reasonable prices. Up for grabs will be numerous headrests, Kuba textiles from Kasai (which Pierre Loos helped to bring to public attention), and votive statuettes...
The second sale will be [.../...]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
Paris, 7 September 2018
The Aboriginal arts of Australia may be diverse, but they’re characterised by a certain unity and a distinctive identity. An identity that is expressed in multiple ways and variations, all inspired by the common theme dubbed as the “Dreamtime”.
They call it the Dreamtime. Sometimes alternatively written as the “Dream Time” or “Dream-time”, this concept was named by Francis James Gillen, a pioneer in the field of scientific anthropology, who used it to describe the mythology of the Arrernte (from central Australia), one of the 600 Aboriginal ethnic groups that were identified at the time. If there are different ways to write the term, it’s because it’s the translation of the word “Altyerrenge”, drawn from one of the indigenous languages that have existed in Australia for several thousands of years. This lexical hesitation translates our awkwardness in importing a given idea and its representation from another culture. But even if the Dreamtime may be hard for Westerners to grasp, it is nonetheless a key to the Aboriginals’ [.../...]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
Besanceuil, 21 May 2018
Besanceuil, a French village situated a few kilometres away from the town of Cluny, will be playing host to a fair unlike any other: the Bourgogne Tribal Show.
It’s the first international tribal-art fair to be held in the countryside: the Bourgogne Tribal Show honours the arts from all over the world in the Burgundy countryside. From 24 to 27 May, a few kilometres away from the town of Cluny, visitors can discover a tight but eclectic selection of dealers. Julie Arnoux, director of the Bourgogne Tribal Art Show, is enthusiastic about the fair: “We love this event and we’ve introduced a few innovations this year. We’re backing up our fine selection of dealers with a combination of established galleries and young guns, as well as wide openness to international art (namely Asia and Egyptian antiquities).”
The fair’s Honorary President is Jean Roudillon, a tribal-art figure who, at 95 years old, has notched up time both as a dealer and a valuer. He shares his experience with us in the fair’s catalogue. Did we say catalogue? Art [.../...]See more
Brussels, 16 May 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.
Set up in a room at the end of the hallway, the Grace Collection of African Art benefits from a presentation which only the talent of its creator, a Belgian designer (who wishes to remain anonymous), repeatedly and internationally acclaimed for his work, could have brought to such a level. It is a visually structured space of scenes, with professional lighting, a comprehensive library, a desk for studying and a daybed for relaxing. Everything is well-considered, mastered and arranged, down to the pedestals, which are personalized with a silver Grace Collection of African Art seal. Our encounter took place in the family apartment in Brussels on January 23rd 2018.
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