The big leap towards excellence!
Monday, December 4, 2023
FAB PARIS, an art fair born last year from the merger between the Biennale des Antiquaires and Fine Arts Paris, was making its mark brilliantly at the Grand Palais Ephémère while waiting to move to the Grand Palais from November 21 to 27, 2024.
The chic and cozy atmosphere, as well as the quality of the objects presented by the 110 galleries, including 1/3 from 12 foreign countries, were unanimous, sending a strong signal about the importance of Paris in the international art market.
A promising sign, President Emmanuel Macron, his wife, and the Minister of Culture Rima Abdul-Malak, surrounded by key figures from the official cultural world, Philippe Bélaval, Hervé Lemoine, Didier Fusilier, made a long visit to the salon during the opening, which welcomed 5000 guests.
M. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, and Mrs. Rima Abdul Malak, Minister of Culture,
at the booth of the Applicat-Prazan gallery, with Mr. Franck Prazan
“We have successfully developed the exhibition while improving its quality compared to last year.
The main objective for the next edition is the internationalization of the fair, both in terms of exhibitors and visitors. We are planning for 125 to 130 exhibitors next year for our debut at the Grand Palais“.
Louis de Bayser, President of FAB PARIS
20,000 visitors and numerous sales
In the wide bustling aisles that welcomed 20,000 visitors, numerous sales were observed throughout the duration of the exhibition and a lot of transactions were taking place at the time of writing this report.
Ancient art in majesty
In ancient art, Sismann Gallery donated to the Jean-Claude Gandur Foundation, the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception attributed to Gervais II Delabarre in polychrome terracotta, an undisputed masterpiece of the 17th-century Mans school of sculpture.
Aaron & Co Gallery sold the Portrait of a Maori Chief by New Zealand artist Vera Cummings. Mendes Gallery quickly sold a very delicate Landscape by Louise Joséphine Sarazin de Belmont (1790-1870) and an Antique Scene by Jean Baptiste Forest (1635-1712), while the Musée d’Orsay showed interest in his grand spectacular painting Infernal Hunt by Gustave Wetheimer (1847-1902). The same museum purchased a work from Chaptal Gallery, which sold twelve paintings in the first few days.
Jacques Leegenhoeck was very satisfied with this edition and sold four paintings, including a Saint Anthony the Abbot by Abraham de Vries (1590-1655), just like de Jonckheere Gallery, which sold several works including a Portrait of Charles IX by François Clouet and his workshop.
The Michel Descours Gallery also achieved beautiful sales, including a terracotta sculpture by Joseph Chinard titled “Les apprêts du sacrifice”, two large canvases, one by Pierre Paul Sevin entitled “Sainte Famille” or “Le couronnement de la Vierge”, 1670, and the other by Jean Pillement titled “Pêcheurs sur le Tage”, Portugal, 1790. The gallery also had several drawings by Oskar Bergman, a Swedish artist whose success in France led to his rediscovery in his home country, with an exhibition dedicated to him at the Thielska Galleriet this summer.
The Italian Enrico Frascione sold a large painting by Giacomo Francesco Cipper, also known as Todeschini (1664-1736), depicting “Cordonnier et maçon, un rite d’initiation à la franc-maçonnerie”, and had several ongoing transactions.
The de Bayser Gallery sold around fifteen pieces, including three of Charles Lacoste’s eight paintings presented at FAB PARIS. The same gallery also sold a large oil on cardboard by the same artist titled “Fumeé, 1903”.
The Ary Jan Gallery sold several paintings, including a masterpiece by Delacroix titled “Le pur-sang arabe” from the Delon collection.
“I am very happy to represent Paris through FAB PARIS.“
Mathias Ary Jan (Galerie Ary Jan)
Excellent results for sculpture
Sculpture, a historical specialty of the Fine Arts Paris fair, achieved excellent results, as seen in the Trebosc & Van Lelyveld gallery, which sold five sculptures at the beginning of the fair, including a patinated bronze plaster by François Masson depicting André Masséna, Duke of Rivoli, Prince of Essling, to one of his descendants.
The Univers du Bronze gallery sold numerous pieces, especially to new clients. Xavier Eeckhout, a world-renowned specialist in animal sculpture, sold 13 pieces out of the 20 exhibited, with prices ranging from €5,000 to €230,000, including the bronze Corbeau from 1928 created by Pompon.
“I have been participating in Fine Arts Paris since the beginning and I am impressed by the evolution of the fair, which is on track to become a major international event in a global capital.”
Alain Richarme (Univers du Bronze)
The Monluc gallery, specializing in furniture and sculpture from the 16th to the 19th century, sold several pieces during the opening, including a monumental marble sculpture representing Adonis from the Italian school of the first half of the 19th century, an imposing marble fountain mask depicting the head of Jupiter, Italy, late 16th century, and a majestic carved walnut Tondo adorned with the head of Medusa.
FAP PARIS was appreciated for the diversity of specialties represented, such as that of Jean-Christophe Charbonnier, a specialist in Japanese art, who was very enthusiastic and sold two war helmets from the 17th and 19th centuries.
“The visitors are not only numerous but also curious, interested, and educated”.
Jean-Christophe Charbonnier (Galerie Jean-Christophe Charbonnier)
The Austrian gallery expert in Art Nouveau, Florian Kohlhammer, was very satisfied with its first participation in FAB PARIS and met many new clients. They sold a pair of copper reliefs entitled “Demeter and Dionysus” by Georg Klimt for €78,000, as well as an important table piece by Joseph Hoffmann, a member of the Wiener Werkstättes.
“We met genuine collectors during the gala dinner”.
Matthieu Richard (Galerie Matthieu Richard)
The 20th Century Art Gallery of Matthieu Richard was selling several pieces, including the bed by Armand Albert Rateau made for his wife’s personal use, as well as photos by Laure Albin Guillot and Albert Rudomine. Stéphane Danant (Demisch Danant Gallery) was also very satisfied with his first participation in FAB PARIS and claimed to have numerous ongoing projects in both furniture and painting.
“FAB PARIS has truly grown appreciably on all levels compared to the previous year.”.
Stéphane Danant (Galerie Demisch Danant)
The great success of Tribal art
Tribal art, which was very well represented in stands with often spectacular scenography, were achieving great success.
Galerie Yann Ferrandin sold its masterpieces, including an important male ancestor figure in wood (Adu Sihara Salawa) from the 19th century from the island of Nias in Indonesia, as well as a large mask from the Ramu River Delta region (Papua New Guinea) and a Haida bowl (Northern British Columbia, Canada) in the shape of a seal used during Potlatch ceremonies practiced by Native American peoples.
The Spanish gallery Montagut, very satisfied, sold an 18th-century Dogon statuette for €80,000 and various traditional Baoulé gold objects.
Galerie Flak sold objects from its various specialties – Africa, Oceania, North America – to individuals and museums, including Hopi figures from Arizona, a figure from New Ireland, and a representation of Twins from Nigeria.
Galerie Schoffel de Fabry sold a very beautiful Vietnamese wooden funerary effigy, likely from a very archaic style preceding the 19th century, for around €30,000.
As for the Belgian gallery Bernard de Grunne, six out of eight rare carved wooden Baguirmi idols from Chad, with remarkable provenances (including Charles Ratton and Guy Ladrière), were marked with red dots from the opening, indicating a purchase.
Collectors seduced by Asian art, Islamic art, and archaeology
In Asian and Islamic art, Hioco Gallery sold around ten pieces, while Kevorkian Gallery sold a rare cosmetic palette in alabaster for between 50,000 and 100,000€, as well as about twenty pieces to known clients and new contacts in all its specialties: oriental archaeology, ceramic objects, and Persian and Indian miniatures.
“I saw a client cry with emotion when she accidentally found a piece that was at her parents’ house and that she bough”.
Jean-Pierre Montesino (Galerie Cybèle)
In the field of archaeology, Cybèle Gallery sold numerous pieces, including Two profiles of Egyptian deities in wood from a piece of furniture or a sarcophagus, Egypt, Saite period, c. 664-525 BC. But the most beautiful story is that of a customer from Santiago, Chile, who came face to face with a plaster from Egypt exhibited by Cybèle Gallery and started crying, recognizing the piece that belonged to her mother and had been sold at auction in 2018 and bought by the gallery owner. She finally bought it back!
Modern art in force
In modern art, Applicat Prazan donated his beautiful purist canvas by Maurice Estève Couple à l’ovale from 1930 to a foundation during the opening. The gallery sold paintings by Magnelli, Schneider, and Fautrier during the exhibition.
The galerie La Présidence sold its Escalier by Dubuffet from 1967 for €100,000 during the opening, an oil on canvas by Henri Manguin from 1908, La plaine de la Foux, and several bronze masks by André Derain.
The swiss gallery Von Vertes, a regular at the old Biennale and a new participant in FAB, achieved excellent sales. Among them, the ink on paper The Sea by Yayoi Kusama was priced at €480,000, two works by Andy Warhol, Knives and Hamburger, were offered at €380,000 and €220,000 respectively, and an oil on canvas by George Condo was sold for €260,000 to French clients.
Alexis Pentcheff was very satisfied, selling nine paintings to several new clients, including works by Gromaire, Léonor Fini, and André Maire.The Taménaga gallery sold a large mixed media piece by Sugawara Aoike. Brame & Lorenceau gallery, which presented three drawings by Modigliani, immediately sold one of them, Nu accroupi from 1909, for around €500,000.
Louis et Sack gallery, specializing in Japanese artists from the New School of Paris, sold eight paintings by their three major artists Toshimitsu Imai, Key Sato, and Isao Domoto, as well as two ceramics, to new clients.
Overview of Contemporary Art
In contemporary art, Eric Dereumaux from Galerie RX&SLAG sold Pascal Convert’s Bibliothèque cristallisée au livre perdu installation from 2018, consisting of 120 books, for 200,000€. Additionally, the monumental red canvas by Hermann Nitsch from 2021 was sold for 135,000€. Both of these pieces were acquired by young collector couples.
Rare Books: Mallarmé and Victor Hugo in the spotlight
On the rare book side, a collection of letters by Mallarmé presented in a small dedicated alcove by Jean-Baptiste de Proyart was quickly sold for €350,000. The bookseller also sold an art deco binding by Geneviève de Léotard, one of the greatest bookbinders of the time, to the BnF for €10,000. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, with a dedication from Victor Hugo to Théodore de Banville and a binding by Lortic, priced at €105,000, was also sold.
“I had to participate in about thirty fairs, This is the best one”.
Julien Paganetti (Autographes des Siècles)
Positive assessment for jewelry
In the jewelry sector, all merchants, from Larengregor to Walid Akkad, including Alain Pautot, Bernard Bouisset, or Orphéo in Geneva, where one could discover the prototype of the Queen’s necklace, agree that they have sold well and exchanged with numerous museums such as the Louvre, the Mobilier National, or Versailles.
“We offer quality, and quality is a dream!”.
Jacques Sitbon (Larengregor)
Success for the Five Young Talents
The selection of Five Young Talents, exhibited on a stand designed by 30-year-old decorator Victor Cadène, attracted curiosity and desire.
The 5 delicate and daring artworks representing their galleries were all sold. The Chasse du Centaure by Louis de Monard, presented by La Ménagerie Gallery, was acquired by a foreign collector. The Serpent d’après l’antique from Asteria Gallery was sold for €7,000 to a young decorator, the pair of Carpes, Edo period porcelain from Japan presented by Nicolas Fournery Gallery was acquired by a professional. Also changing hands were the ink drawing La parade by Louis Antoine Le Mire, presented by Sabrier & Paunet, as well as the oil on canvas Neuf chevaux, 1974, by Jacques Despierre, an artist brought back into the spotlight by young gallery owner Louis Barrand.
FAB PARIS invites you to the Grand Palais from November 21st to 27th, 2024!
Photos: Tanguy de Montesson
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