Home > ArtoftheDay Weekly > #237 - from 1 December 2011 to 7 December 2011

Art Of The Day Weekly

#237 - from 1 December 2011 to 7 December 2011

Ryan McGinley, Entrance Romance (it felt like a kiss), 2010 (Team Gallery, Art Video section, Art Basel Miami Beach). Courtesy MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel) Ltd.


An art market at two speeds

To launch a fair called Art Basel in Miami Beach by giving the galleries, in lieu of stands, containers set on the sand was already an eccentric, even tempting idea back in 2002, but one had to be rather audacious to bet blindly on the fair’s success … As this 10th edition proves though, the bet is won. The rendez-vous under Florida’s sun is now a must: this year, 260 international galleries have pushed their weight around to be selected. What is being rumored about the European economy is a reality in contemporary art: a market at two speeds. On one side we have the galleries that have access to the «crème de la crème» (Art Basel, Frieze, Fiac, etc.), which carry out transactions counted in millions, that profit from media coverage. On the other side, the others… The High Pay Commission has just revealed that in England, in 30 years, the salary of big bosses had been multiplied by 40, while that of the employees by 4. In a global economy, the same game of scissors applies to football, to movies, to the music industry, and inevitably to art. If one is selected for Art Basel, it is like shifting the pool into the Champions League; you can be reassured for one year …
Art Basel Miami Beach from 1st to 4 December 2011

Know more


Ernest Biéler, Tête décorative, watercolor on paper, 26.5 x 26.2 cm, Musée d'art du Valais, Sion © Sion, Musées cantonaux du Valais, Sion (Heinz Preisig, Sion)

Biéler, purely Swiss

MARTIGNY – The Gianadda foundation continues its work in unveiling Swiss artists. It is the case of Ernest Biéler, trained at the Julian Academy in Paris, where he learned the Art nouveau manner, then the Symbolist that characterized his first paintings of which we had been awaiting a large exhibition since the one at the Kunsthalle in Berne in 1938. He adopted the canton of Valais (in Savièse), and then followed the movement initiated by Segantini or Goivanni Giacometti, of a «return to the earth», a sensitivity for the hard life of simple people. The 120 pieces exhibited show that throughout a long career that lasted until his death in 1948, Biéler also experienced making frescoes and sacred art (with the painted glass at the church of Saint-Germain of Savièse).
Ernest Biéler at the fondation Gianadda, from 1st December 2011 to 26 February 2012.

Know more

Art of the day also recommends...

• MADRID - The Museo Reina Sofía dedicates a personal retrospective to Antoni Muntadas (born in 1942), representing multimedia art. Until 26 February 2012.

Know more

• METZ - The musée de la Cour d’or, with En-verre du décor a title in the shape of a word, shows the use of glass in Lorraine since the Bronze age. Until 27 February 2012.

Know more

• PARIS - The French National Library (Bibliothèque nationale de France) focuses on David d’Angers, a Romantic sculptor who was a star during the XIXth century before slipping into a moderate oblivion, and his portraits in plaster and bronze. Until 25 March 2012.

Know more


Pierre Ledda, Sans titre, panneau brun en fer soudé, 92 x 36 cm (lot 263). Courtesy Damien Leclère, Marseille.

Treasures of art brut

MARSEILLE – A sale of art brut is always a great joy. We see pretty things, but most important we run into persons with a baroque destiny who belie the idea that life is all traced out for us. For example Dominique Lagru, a plasterer, who began painting at the age of … 76! Or Simone Le Carré-Galimard, who was a bee keeper and was employed in the workshop of Germaine Richier before making a try at erotic collages. Certain «traditionalists» are present as Chomo, Camille Bombois or Ferdinand Desnos but half of the lots correspond to the sale of the workshop of Pierre Ledda (1914-1994), and follow a first auction in September 2010. Ledda, an active blacksmith in the naval construction and the production of dumper trucks, once the day was over he continued to work with steel with an inspiration that reminds us at times of Nevelson.
Art brut at Damien Leclère's on 3 December 2011.

Know more


Julien Beneyton, Ex-squat, rue de la Fraternité, 2005, acrylic on wood, 100 x 120 cm (39 x 46,8 inches). Private collection. Courtesy Julien Beneyton.

Julien Beneyton, society right in the face

Ever since it has been said that figurative art is dead, we are constantly discovering young creators who still believe in it. Julien Beneyton, born in 1977, is one of them. After studying at the école Estienne, he discovered his true vocation, painting, which he nourishes with what we can tell are very varied influences (naïf art, African muralists, graffiti, etc.) and various trips. From New York, Mauritania, or Amsterdam (where he lives part of the time) or simply from the flea market at Clignancourt, the scenes he sketches with a camera before working them over with acrylic painting, are inhabited with a highly colored humanity and often beat around by life, which he observes with a sense of humor tinted with tenderness. His last productions – portraits of tattooed characters – bear the mark of aesthetics of rap and of marginal life…
• Julien Beneyton exhibits 24 portraits at the Olivier Robert gallery (5, rue des Haudriettes, 75003 Paris), from 3 December 2011 to 3 January 2012.

Know more


In search of the Master of the black Calame

There is a mysterious artist whose identity is still not sure, who was probably active in the XVth century in the Tartar world, between Turkestan, China, Russia and Afghanistan, over by Tabriz or Herat. This Muhammad of the Black Pen, who surprised all of Europe during an exhibition in Munich in 1910, used to paint poor people, the ascetics, the wanderers. Five hundred years later, a couple of vagabond photographers, in love with central Asia, Roland and Sabrina Michaud, roamed all of the steppes in search of the archetypes painted by the Master. The result is surprising: same physiognomies, same look, same attitudes, same habits (bonnets made of astrakhan) and, same activities (horse dressage, scenes of blacksmiths and markets). Just like a game of mirrors between photographs of today and paintings of yesterday, nothing seems to have changed: one could conclude that globalization never took place…
L’Asie des Tartares, Rencontre avec Siyah Qalem, Maître du Calame noir, photographs by Roland and Sabrina Michaud, Gallimard, 2011, 160 p., 39 €

Buy that book from Amazon


EDIMBURGH – The Scottish National Portrait Gallery reopens on 1st December 2011 after two years of works. The opening presentation is dedicated to the collection of photographs.

Know more

LYON – The company artprice announced the opening of bidding on line on its website as of January 2012, following the vote by the French Parliament of the European directive 2006/123 on the liberalization of the electronic auction market.

Know more

MIAMI – Various satellite fairs around Art Basel Miami Beach will be held until 4 December 2011, among them Design Miami, Scope Miami and Pulse Art Miami

Know more

OXFORD – The Ashmolean Museum will inaugurate its new rooms of Egyptian and Nubian art on 26 November 2011.

Know more

VENICE – The Biennale of Venice closed on 27 November 2011 with a total of 440 000 visitors, up 18% in regard to 2009.

Know more