Home > ArtoftheDay Weekly > #75 - from 31 January 2008 to 6 February 2008

Art Of The Day Weekly

#75 - from 31 January 2008 to 6 February 2008


Objective, China

Over the recent past China has become a sort of Holy Grail, and on the art market more than elsewhere. Today, the estimates for contemporary Chinese artists, unknown until a few years ago, are comparable to those of Damien Hirst and other superstars, leaving their French counterparts far behind them. Among the French auction houses which have also lost ground in face of the Anglo-Saxon multinationals, Artcurial has just marked a point by holding the first sale of a foreign auctioneer on continental China (Christie’s and Sotheby’s are solidly established in Hong Kong). Last 20 December, in Shanghai, Artcurial China sold practically all of the lots from its first auction (71 lots out of 72) for 5.7 million euros, beyond the high estimate. The record was reached by Artist with beauties, a selfportrait by Chen Yifei (1946-2005), sold for 2.2 million euros. If Eric Besson should give an estimate to auctioneers as he does to the French ministers, Artcurial would get a very good grade: for the prestige of a great international first time and for its contribution to the reduction of France's pharaonic trade deficit with China, at nearly 20 billion euros in 2007.


The donation made to Matisse

LE CATEAU-CAMBRÉSIS – The Matisse museum, opened in 1952, has greatly enriched itself thnks to the will left by Alice Tériade (1917-2007). She was the widow of the great publisher Tériade, known among other things for his famous magazine «Verve», and indeed left the museum the couple's famous collection. It is clear that decades of relations with the greatest creators of the XXth century, were bound to have an important result. When the museum reopened, in 2002, a real ensemble of artists' books integrated the collections. Today, it is the turn of the second part of the donation, with 39 strong works of modern art, among them sculptures: the Grande Femme III by Giacometti, Lune by Laurens, Ubu by Miró. As well as an above all elements designed by Matisse himself for his friend's Mediterranean villa: a stained-glass window, the Poissons chinois, and a ceramic composition, the Platane. The Cateau-Cambrésis has become once again a fundamental point in all Matisse pilgrimages, and not only for having been the artist's birth place.

  • La donation Tériade is shown at the Musée départemental Matisse since 27 January 2008


    Paulin at 80

    PARIS – Obsolescence suits design well and one can easily become a dinosaur: many fanatics of Starck and the Bouroullec brothers most probably no longer react to the names of Paulin or Tallon. Yet they are their alter egos of the previous generations. While Tallon is saved from oblivion by his stairs in plane blades or by the TGV train, which he contributed to design, posterity is not as kind with Pierre Paulin, now 80 years old. The artist neverthless helped define the style of the French Republic's palaces, and contributed, through the Mobilier national, to equip the Louvre and the Elysée with colorful furniture and supple forms. From the Ribbon chair to the François Mitterrand desk, from the Tulip armchair to the tapestries, over 50 years of a carreer are presented by the designer himself, who is still active: his last creation, presented in the exhibition, dates from 2007.

  • Pierre Paulin at the Galerie des Gobelins, 42, avenue des Gobelins, 75013 Paris, from 2 February to 27 July 2008

    The website of the Mobilier National

  • In the footsteps of Pintoricchio

    PERUGIA – For those who can read Italian, his name is not very promising: Pintoricchio (1456-1513), is the «little painter». In other words, a drudge who trid to imitate the greater artists, according to a judgement without appeal by Vasari. Shouldn't the fact of his having been Raphaël's master suffice to make his glory? The Galleria nazionale dell’Umbria, in its beautiful recently restaured palace of the Priors, wishes to prove that the great local painter (together with Perugino) is worht our going to admire his work, his chromatic wealth, his talent as a miniaturist or the freshness of his religious scenes. Paintings and drawings that had stayed on site – the altarpiece of Santa Maria de’ Fossi - or come from all over the world – like a Virgin and child, recently bought by the Savings Fund of Perugia - replace the painter in the art of his time. Nevertheless, for him as for his contemporaries, an exhibition in a room can only be fragmentary. Pintoricchio indeed worked, a fresco, in the Sixtine chapel, at the Piccolomini library in Siena and, in Umbria itself, in the church of Sant’Andrea de Spello (with the Baglioni cycle on the life of the Virgin), in the cathedrals of Spoleto and Orvieto, in Trevi, in Città di Castello… An excellent guiding line to discover one of the most beautiful regions in Italy.

  • Pintoricchio at the Galleria nazionale dell’Umbria, from 2 February to 29 June 2008

    The website of the exhibition

  • Cai Guo Qiang, a blazing trail

    NEW YORK – We are going to have to get used to his unpronounceable name: Cai Guo Qiang (born in 1957) it is now part of the contemporary art scene: an ensemble of 14 drawings done by him sold for the insignificant amount of 5.7 million euros at Christie’s Hong Kong last 25 November! He is also the organizer of the artistic aspect of the Olympics in Beijing next Summer. Therefore the retrospective that is about to open at the Guggenheim comes at the right moment to remind us of the meteoritic ascension of the former decorator of the theater of Shanghai, a resident of Japan since 1985, then of New York for the last decade, and winner of the Gold Lion at the biennale of Venice in 1999. We will see his monumental installations, among them «Innoportune, Stage One», with his cars suspended from the ceiling in heaps of bamboo. And what about the fireworks, of which he has become a specialist? They will be present and potentially mortal in the shape of an artist's book named Danger Book. Suicide Fireworks, with 9 copies published. An updated version of Suicide mode d’emploi: one just has to pull on a cap to explode the powder contained in the book and disappear in a flame of fire. The authorities at the Guggenheim went to all extremes to make sure no joker tries to carry out the performance on site ...

  • Cai Guo-Qiang, I want to believe, at the Guggenheim Museum, from 1st February to 25 May 2008.

    The website of the Guggenheim museum


    Le cirque Gosselin, courtesy galerie Daniel Templon, Paris. Photo B.Huet/Tutti

    Gérard Garouste

    A definite figurative type of painting, a sort of breed between Chagall, Delvaux and Baselitz. Characters in impossible postures, their members disconnected, in settings that are either bourgeois(with radiators, sideboards and tapestries) or out of time(a well, a path with a donkey, a church porch). The art of Gérard Garouste (born in 1946), through its allegoric dimension, is a powerful stimulant to commentaries and interpretations. The artist himself likes to vary

    his means of expression: he can build large paintings with characters, illustrate Don Quichotte or plunge himself into theater creation. That is precisely what he is doing now, next to his exhibition at the Daniel Templon gallery, at the théâtre du Rond-Point, with a play freely inspired from the "Quart-Livre" by Rabelais, in which he stars together with Denis Lavant.

  • Gérard Garouste, la famille, la Bourgogne et l'eau tiède at the galerie Templon (30 rue Beaubourg, 75003 Paris) until 26 February 2008

    The website of the Templon gallery

  • Le Classique et l'Indien by Gérard Garouste and Joël Calmettes, with Gérard Garouste and Denis Lavant, at the théâtre du Rond-Point, from 29 January to 24 February 2008.

    The play showing at the Rond Point theater


    The market, now and before

    The art market is not doing well, the art market is going through a crisis, the art market is picking up again. Often the analysis of that body that is difficult to grasp do not go any further. It is therefore necessary to ask oneself now and then the question: what is the art market, how is it formed, what factors influence its evolution? This is in a way the exercice Xavier Greffe imposed on himself – from wall art to our times - by showing the passage from the artist to the crafstman, the arrival of new consumers by the bias of the Salons, public commissions and the gradual withdrawal of the State, the use of art for other means than aesthetics (educational, medical, etc), to reach the recent development of cultural tourism, expressed in an unbridled consumption of goods, of standard images and emotions. The conclusion is rather depressing: except for a few planetary superstars, the ones who profit from the explosion of the market are the intermediaries, be it the consumers, but not the artists themselves. In their corporation, the romantic figure of the bohemian, pennyless creator is more than ever the current thing.

  • Artistes et marchés by Xavier Greffe, La Documentation française, 2007, 304 p., 19,30 €, ISBN : 1763-6191.


    FRANCHEVILLE - The Fort du Bruissin, built between 1878 and 1881 to the South-East of Lyon, has been transformed into a center of contemporary art. It will be inaugurated on 4 February with the exhibitions dedicated to Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Veit Stratmann and Benjamin Hochart (opened to the public as of 8 February).

    The website of the town-hall of Francheville

    GRENOBLE - The 3rd edition of the Arténim fair will be held from 1st to 4 February with 80 galleries from France and abroad.

    read the article in artaujourdhui.info

    LONDON - Francis Bacon, who blew his own records last year, is back on the front of the stage on 6 February at Christie's, with a big Triptych from 1974-77 dedicated to the death of his companion George Dyer. On the 4th and 5th, fifteen works by Egon Schiele will be offered, from the Neue Gallerie in New York, of which three nudes, each estimated at over 2 million €.

    Know more

    NEW YORK - The New York Times announces the mythic suitcases containing various negatives, lost in 1939 by photographer Robert Capa, have been found at the home of a Mexican general. It seems they are now in the hands of the International Center for Photography.

    The article of the New York Times with a photo of the suitcases

    PALM BEACH – The Palm Beach International Antique Fair welcomes some one hundred antique dealers and galleries, in the sectors of painting, furniture and decorative arts, from 1 to 10 February.

    The website of the Palm Beach Fair

    PARIS - Guy Cogeval has been appointed chairman of the Musée d'Orsay, where he succeeds to Serge Lemoine. He will take office on March 7.

    PARIS - Sotheby's announces the sale on 20 May of the manuscript of the Manifeste du surréalisme, a 21-page text written by André Breton in 1924. It is estimated between 300 000 and 500 000 €.

    The website of Sotheby's

    PARIS - The exhibition on Arcimboldo at the musée du Luxembourg hosted 430 000 visitors between 15 September 2007 and 13 January 2008.

    PARIS – The Cité de l’architecture presents, until 10 February, « Les Lumières de la Cité », a night lighting of the casting gallery.

    The website of the Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine

    PARIS - The Admical (Carrefour pour le mécénat d'entreprise- Crossroad for corporate sponsorship), has a new president : Guillaume Pepy, the CEO of the French railroad company, the SNCF, will replace Jacques Rigaud, the founder of the association in 1979.

    The website of the Admical