A nice video documenting Serge Schoffel’s Fon exhibition during BRAFA.
The agenda for the new year:
Winter BRUNEAF: 22-26 January 2014
BRAFA: 25 January – 2 February 2014
TEFAF: 14-23 March 2014
Paris Tribal * : 3-6 April 2014
BRUNEAF XXIV: 4-8 June 2014
Parcours des Mondes: 9-14 September 2014
Frieze Masters: 16-19 October 2014
Apparently there will be also a BRUNEAF in Hong Kong this year from 23 to 26 May 2014; I still need to find out more about this. UPDATE: apparently Bruneaf will have a booth at a Hong Kong art fair and its members are given the chance to participate with an object from their inventory.
* A new event of the Parisian tribal art galleries. Participants: Aethiopia, Galerie Bacquart, Galerie Alain Bovis, Galerie Olivier Castellano, Galerie Dulon, Entwistle, Galerie Yann Ferrandin, Galerie Flak, Indian Heritage, Galerie Kanaga, Galerie Alain Lecomte, Galerie Cédric Le Dauphin, Pascassio Manfredi, Galerie Mermoz, Galerie Anthony Meyer, Galerie Alain de Monbrison, Galerie Noir D’Ivoire, Galerie 29 Lucas Ratton, Galerie Ratton, Galerie SAO, Galerie Schoffel-Valluet, Galerie Renaud Vanuxem, Voyageurs et curieux.
My favourite object is the Ubangi headdress below (offered by Pierre Loos). Similar headdresses are illustrated on a famous painting by Alexandre Iaocovleff (also illustrated below – La Gan’za. Danse d’initiation, 1926). The sharp points of these rare headdresses are usually interpreted as symbols for phalluses. A similar example is published in Grootaerts’ magnus opus Ubangi (p. 239, #5.4).
From 25 January until 2 February 2014, the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) will be the guest of honour at the BRAFA (Brussels Antiques and Art Fair). Closing on 2 December 2013, the RMCA, will exhibit around fifty items, some of which have hitherto not been seen, under the title Singular Collections. A selection of themes is illustrated by items from their collection – objects that may not necessarily be the most well-known, but whose plastic qualities impress, surprise, or move the viewer because of their singularity, their rarity, and their past.
During the 59th BRAFA, eight Tribal Art galleries are also present: Claes (Brussels), Dulon (Paris), Ferrandin (Paris), Germain (Montreal), de Monbrison (Paris), Schlag (Brussels), Schoffel (Brussels) and Schoffel-Valluet (Paris).
21, 22 & 23 November 2013, twenty-one galeries (all located at the Sablon in Brussels) will present a thematic exhibition during Thema Sablon III. The opening is the 21st at 17:00. The times where as a dealer you could just sit waiting at your desk until clients wandered in are definitely over – so this event might be a step in the right direction. Let’s hope the quality of the exhibitions keeps up the pace. The themes:
Pierre Loos – Ambre Congo # INRI, The Fetish
Pierre Loos – Ambre Congo # Abstraction chez les Bashi Bushoong
B.K.W. Gallery # Picasso et Costantini
Galerie Didier Claes # Couples
Kevin Conru # Stones
Georgia Chrischilles # Bracelets
Galerie Emile et Lin Deletaille # Kinga et Anatoly Stolnikoff
Galerie D & V # Cabinet de Curiosités
Kitsune japanese Art # Japan Natural and Supernaturel
Philippe Laeremans # Nigeria
Galerie Patrick Lancz # Victor Rousseau, “La beauté féminine”
Marvel Concept # Pierre Thoma # “Couleurs d’ici et d’ailleurs”
Patrick & Ondine Mestdagh # Sphères
Galerie Monbrison # Représentations féminines
Joaquin Pecci # Les Cornes de l’Afrique
François Rabier # Tissus de dignitaires Kuba
Renaud Riley, Galerie Classic Primitives # Couteaux d’Afrique
Jérôme Sohier # Les Simonnet “Sculptures polymorphes”
Galerie Rut Van Caelenbergh # Burkina Faso
Galerie Frank van Craen # Bijoux d’Afrique
Vasco Books # 200 livres d’art asiatique
Pictures on the event’s facebook page here.
The last weekend of November and the first weekend of December, 14 antiques and 9 contemporary galleries from Antwerp are organising Art-A for the third time. The event is accompanied by a catalogue – coordinated by yours truly – which you can browse here. Amma Tribal Art is the only gallery exhibiting African art, but if you need an excuse to visit Antwerp, this might be it.
1. Act rich. For all their democratic brio, people who sell art are only really interested in people who can afford to buy it. The average price of an artwork at Frieze is £20,000, which is more than an Alfa Romeo. But acting rich is not as easy as it used to be. Pressed jeans and Tod’s loafers are a uniform of the past. Assume a casual, studied air. When confronted by a work designed to make you laugh, don’t laugh. Haughty disdain goes a long way, although if you can match that of the gallerist, you are made of ice. Don’t be embarrassed to ask the price of anything but never, ever, mention any currency denomination (see point two).
2. So you quite like the look of something, and you ask how much it costs. “Two,” may be the reply. The air of vagueness is a test. You will know, from your studies of the artist in question, whether that means £2 (no), £200 (unlikely), £200,000, or £2m. But if the gallerist’s assistant is American, she (almost always a she) may be talking dollars. Don’t ask. Make a rough calculation in your head that covers all possible options. Any physical reaction is ill-advised, other than the barely perceptible raising of an eyebrow. Finally, ask if she will accept roubles. You’re on the front foot now.
Personally, I had almost bought a late Willem de Kooning painting which was in the range of 7 to 9 (million dollars I guess), but unfortunately it was already sold. Concerning ethnographic art, Donald Ellis, Galerie Meyer and Entwistle were present at Frieze Masters, but most of the material on view had already been exposed during Parcours des Mondes – nevertheless a fun fair to visit.
As if something is in the air, in the spirit of my previous two posts, I just stumbled on an interesting article by David Moss on “niche” art fairs. Read it here (from the Antiques Trade Gazette – 24th March 2012). As Moss states correctly:
I think another blow to the bigger fairs was the development of dealer-inspired initiatives, where local and overseas specialists found it cheaper and just as profitable to mount city-wide festivals in their own and borrowed galleries. This is the case with Asian art in London and New York and with tribal art in Paris and Brussels.
And now also in New York, London & Amsterdam !
Opening 24 October (by invitation only) and running from 25 to 27 October, the Tribal Art Fair in Amsterdam this year presents nineteen dealers showing objects from Oceania, Africa, Indonesia, South-America, Tibet and the Philippines. Located in an old church, this fair was a nice suprise for me last year when I visited it for the first time. Opening punctually at 15:00 the day of the preview, there was a queue of at least 150 eager collectors and dealers. There was a certain buzz in the air, and everybody was in a happy and relaxed mood – being located in Amsterdam and only starting in the afternoon, while everybody was already there for some hours, might of course have had something to do with it. Last year, I met several dealers that had made the long journey from Paris and even spotted Tom Phillips accompanied by David Attenborough. A fun fair !
If you still needed an excuse to go to NY this fall, from November 11-17 there is:
- Sotheby’s exhibition and sale of the Allan Stone collection – part 1(info)
- Bonhams sale of African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian Art (info)
- The Madison Ancient and Tribal Art show at Arader gallery (info)
- & an exhibition of Tribal & Modern Art at an undisclosed location (more info soon)
The New York Tribal Art Week will definitely be a lot of fun !