By AMA with Artkhade

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’ [.../...]

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Tags: Oceanic Art, Aboriginal Art, Events

3 questions for Stephane Jacob

By AMA with Artkhade

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 [.../...]

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Tags: Aboriginal Art, Oceanic Art, Interviews

Bourgogne Tribal Show: Art from afar goes rural


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 [.../...]

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Tags: African Art, Oceanic Art, Native American Art, Pre-Columbian Art, Asian Art, Aboriginal Art, Fairs & Shows

THE COLLECTIVE: The Grace Collection of African Art – From Pain to Passion

By Laurent Granier with Artkhade and Gus Adler & Filles

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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Tags: African Art, Interviews

Faith, where art thou? African religions are on show at the Musée d'Ethnographie de Genève


Geneva, 15 May 2018


As the number-four exhibition of the MEG since the Swiss museum’s reopening, “Africa – Ecstatic Religions” draws up a portrait of the diversity and vivacity of African religious forms, their differences and reciprocal influences, but also their links: ecstasy as a means to experience one’s faith.

“Belief, ritual and spiritual experience: these are the cornerstones of religion, and the greatest of them is the last.” Boris Wastiau chose to quote Ioan Myrddin Lewis’ Ecstatic Religion (1971) to define the focuses of his exhibition, “Africa – Ecstatic Religions”. Perhaps he could also have borrowed the words of Mircea Eliade, who wrote an essay in 1964 (“La quête des origines de la religion”, published in La Nostalgie des Origines, also in 1971): “We know that we can only seize hold of the sacred through manifestations that are always historically conditioned. But the study of these manifestations doesn’t tell us what the sacred is, nor what a religious experience truly means.” Divided into four sections that cover [.../...]

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Tags: African Art, Exhibitions

Kanak culture comes to Moulins


Moulins, 30 March 2018


Until 16 September 2018, the Musée Anne de Beaujeu in the French town of Moulins is holding the exhibition “Trajectoires Kanak – Histoires de voyages en Nouvelle-Calédonie” (“Kanak Trajectories – Stories on Voyages to New Caledonia”).

The event gathers numerous objects, rarely presented to the public, from the Musée Anne de Beaujeu’s collection of items from outside Europe. The latter grew from works picked up by colonists, missionaries, adventurers or scientists in the second half of the 19th century.

The works on display reveal the wealth of Kanak culture in every area (society, nature, war, religion). As a former French colony, New Caledonia was at the heart of one of the last waves of world exploration. While making their way through the exhibition, visitors can become acquainted with the era’s emblematic figures including Léon Moncelon, a colonist from the Allier region in France, Pierre Poyti, of mixed Kanak and French heritage who grew up in France, and Poindi-Patchili, a Kanak chief who belonged to a clan that [.../...]

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Tags: Oceanic Art, Exhibitions

PAD to the rhythm of tribal art


Paris, 25 March 2018


From 4 to 8 April 2018, tribal art enthusiasts will be flocking to Paris Art Design!

At this 22nd edition of the fair, the French capital’s most talented galleries will be meeting up at the Jardin des Tuileries to celebrate creation and artistic taste. As is the case every year, the organisers have come up with a remarkable presentation of styles and eras, the guiding thread being prime aesthetics.

On the menu: modern art, contemporary design, furniture, jewellery… But also tribal art, with objects originating from Asia, America and Africa.

Among the French galleries that will be at the PAD this year, three are worth singling out. Galerie Lucas Ratton, specialised in ritual objects, is notably offering a Kuba bowl (Congo, 19th century) and a Pwo Tschokwe mask (Angola, 19th century).
Then, there’s Galerie Afrique, presenting African sculptures and ethnographic objects. This year, we can discover a superb and rare polychrome butterfly mask from the Bwa people of Burkina Faso. “This one was collected in 1975 in the [.../...]

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Tags: Oceanic Art, African Art, Asian Art, Native American Art, Fairs & Shows

TEFAF 2018: pleasing sales for Tribal Art


Maastricht, 23 March 2018


From 10 to 18 March 2018, the 31st edition of TEFAF Maastricht, the international fair for fine art and antiquities, kept its promises for tribal art.

The fair, presenting 275 exhibitors this year, is one of the year’s biggest art events, and covers over 7,000 years of art history.

TEFAF Tribal – the latest section to be launched by the event’s organisers – was a great success, both among the public, and commercially, namely thanks to the presence of prestigious brands like Anthony Meyer (Paris) and Donald Ellis (New York).

Among the pleasing sales notched up, we can single out the wooden bowl in the form of a bird (c.1800), which went for 285,000 euros (Donald Ellis Gallery), or the fragment from a monumental bronze statue which found a new owner at 250,000 euros (Merrin Gallery).

“This new edition of TEFAF lived up to my expectations in a very positive way,” comments dealer Anthony Meyer. “I met enthusiastic new clients and touched base with a few old buyers. It seems to me that TEFAF’s tribal section has reached [.../...]

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Tags: Asian Art, Pre-Columbian Art, Native American Art, Oceanic Art, African Art, Fairs & Shows

Tribal art under the spotlight at Christie’s

Paris, 15 March 2018


On Monday 9 April and Tuesday 10 April 2018, Christie’s Paris is holding two sales starring tribal art from Africa, America and Oceania.

On Monday 9 April, 149 Pre-Columbian art objects from Ilya and Marina Prigogine’s collection will go on sale. A Belgian physicist and chemist of Russian origins, Ilya Prigogine won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1977. He started collecting tribal art in 1960s with his wife, and filled out the collection towards the end of his life.

African, American and Oceanic pieces will be on offer, but the highlight will be the exceptional lot featuring Mexican sculptures. The latter are a unique testimony to Olmec culture and the Chontal and Mezcala tribes that lived in the mountainous regions of Guerrero.

Little remains known about the lives of these peoples, but most of the objects at the sale probably held a ritual function. The sale’s climax will be a set of anthropomorphic figurines dated between 300 and 100 B.C. A talk introducing the collection will also be given on 5 April 2018 by Alex Arthur (Tribal [.../...]

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Tags: Pre-Columbian Art, Oceanic Art, African Art, Art Market

Respecting the Balance

Gilles Picard

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 [.../...]

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Tags: Aboriginal Art, Native American Art, Pre-Columbian Art, Asian Art, Oceanic Art, African Art, Interviews, Fairs & Shows