Sun. May 22nd, 2022


The art fair is still in shock after it was announced on Wednesday that Fiac, France’s leading fair, had lost its autumn slot at the Grand Palais in Paris, with the prospect of an impending legal battle. In an unexpected move, the French governing body responsible for the Grand Palais (RMN-GP) said that MCH Group, owner of the Art Basel shows, had been selected to launch a contemporary art show in Fiac’s place from October 2022. MCH agreed. To pay € 10.6 million for a seven-year contract, excluding technical costs.

RMN-GP put out to tender last year the slots for Fiac and Paris Photo, which historically took place in November also at the Grand Palais. RX France, the parent company of both events, held its Paris Photo slot, but it issued a strongly worded statement saying the tender procedure was “hasty and flawed”. Michel Filzi, president of RX France, said: “We reserve the right to challenge the decision regarding Fiac in court in favor of his rival.” RMN-GP says he acted in accordance with the law.

Fiac was proud of its strong representation of French galleries, which had been the fair’s selling point since its launch in 1974. Marc Spiegler, the world director of Art Basel, says that “the number of French galleries will not be reduced in the future show. . It was important for us and the Ministry of Culture, which owns the Grand Palais. ” Both fairs will be held this year and next year at the Grand Palais Éphémère on the Champ-de-Mars, then at the Grand Palais from 2024 as soon as the renovations are completed.


A graffiti head against a golden background

‘Il Duce’ (1982) by Jean-Michel Basquiat has an estimate of $ 12m- $ 18m in Christie’s Shanghai sale © Christie’s Images

Auction houses and dealers are more eager than ever to attract Chinese collectors, so Christie’s will add a sale in Shanghai to its traditional mid-season London modern / contemporary auction on March 1, delivering a “relay” across two art centers.

The series “20/21 Shanghai to London” begins with the evening sale in Shanghai. The action then switches to the 20th / 21st Century: London evening auction, which ends with The Art of the Surreal sale. Christie’s, which is still the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China, is drafting blue-chip names for the Shanghai event. Key shipments include Pablo Picasso’s “Dormeuse (Marie-Thérèse Walter)” (1937, estimated $ 3.9 million- $ 5 million) and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Il Duce” (1982, estimated $ 12m- $ 18m), showing the artist’s trademark graffiti head against a gold background.

A Shanghai-based art consultant, who prefers to remain anonymous, says Christie’s will target an older generation of Chinese collectors with works like this: “Millennials in China are into emerging Western or African artists, rather than multimillion-dollar Basquiats who are on it. aimed at their parents. ” This two-handed deal with London marks the launch of Christie’s new office and gallery space in Shanghai at Bund One.


Oil paint of yellow, pink and gold chrysanthemums

‘Massif de Chrysanthemums’ (1897) by Claude Monet

The market for Claude Monet will be tested on March 2 when five works of the Impressionist master go under the hammer at Sothebys in London. All the works date back to 1900 and come from the same private American collection. “Les Demoiselles de Giverny” (1894), a semi-abstract piece depicting grain piles in a field, carries the highest estimate (£ 15m- £ 20m), while “Prunes et abricots” (c1882-85, estimate £ 1.2 m- £ 1.8 million) is a overlooked gem.

“Chrysanthemum Massive”, one of four still lifes depicting chrysanthemums painted by Monet in 1897 was previously in a Japanese private collection. Can it go back? Sotheby’s says bidders under 40 in Asia have increased by 38 percent in 2021, which could be a good forecast. The auction record for Monet – a staggering $ 110.7 million, with fees, for the painting “Meules” (1891) – was achieved in 2019 at Sotheby’s in New York.


Oil painting of a pyramid of strawberries

‘The Basket of Wild Strawberries’ (1761) by Chardin © Artcurial

18th Century French Artist Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin plenty of peaches, melons and pears painted. But “The Basket of Wild Strawberries” (1761) is its only still life that displays the fruit, making it “one of the most famous and emblematic images of the French 18th century”, says the Paris-based auction house Artcurial, which offers the small-scale cloth on March 23 with a solid estimate of € 12m- € 15m. The piece was passed down through the family of Eudoxe Marcille, a 19th-century connoisseur who inherited numerous works from influential artists such as Boucher and Fragonard from his father, François Marcille.

Old Master painting specialist Eric Turquin wrote the catalog entry and gives advice on the sale. “Chardin painted it at the height of his career,” he says. “The pyramid of strawberries is perfection. It’s a trophy picture. ”


Three Greek gods seen from below

‘Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto’ (c1597) by Caravaggio

And lastly, the saga of the villa in Rome housing A Caravaggio ceiling rolls up. An inheritance dispute between Princess Rita Boncompagni Ludovisi, the third wife of the late Prince Nicolò, and her three stepchildren from the prince’s first marriage led to the sale of the Casino di Villa Boncompagni Ludovisi, one of Rome’s most prestigious properties, which also a mural depicting the goddess Aurora by the Italian Baroque artist Guercino. The reserve price was € 471 million, but there were no bidders at all.

This is not surprising, says Anna Somers Cocks, founding editor of The Art Newspaper: “How do you appreciate a work of art that is part of a building and cannot be resold separately?” The Casino is also on Italy’s national heritage list and needs to be restored, says art lawyer Gloria Gatti, which will mean millions in costs for any investor. The next auction is scheduled for early April when the villa will go under the hammer again with the reserve price 20 percent lower at € 377 million.



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