Paris is for some years the worldwide capital of the market of the first Arts of Africa and of Oceania, strong of a tradition inherited from a colonial past and from an infatuation, at the beginning of last century, from artists as Picasso or Matisse for "Negro art". The opening of the museum of the quai Branly, unveiling of which provokes at the end of June a charged week, public sales - of which that announced exceptional of the collection Vérité on June 17th and 18th in Drouot - confirms this tendency.
For the expert Pierre Amrouche, "it is in Paris where there are most galleries specialised in First arts, it is in France where there are most collectors of first Arts, it is in France that the most important auctions of first Arts are held and it is in France that there will be so
on the most important museum of first Arts", he sums up.
Paris "regrouped all elements" cultural and commercial - museums and market - before dispersed between Brussels, New York and France, adds Margaret de Sabran, responsible of African and Oceanian art for Sotheby' s Paris.
The turnover is impossible to know because transactions are made so much on sales public that in galleries or between collectors. But for Mrs de Sabran, "of 50 inpubliques 60 pc sales of Africain and Oceanian art in the world are made in Paris", remaining pre-Columbian art especially in the United States.
The first "important sales of African art were made in Paris, in the thirties", tell Bernard de Grunne, galériste in Brussels and expert for the home Artcurial in Paris. "Paul Guillaume was a particularly active trader. For every Cezanne that he sold to the collector Dr Barnes, he put in him two masks baoulé (Ivory Coast) in more! Afterwards, he calmed down, there happened nothing during 25-30 years", he adds, the market moving then towards London or New York.vers Londres ou New York.
Tendency was again reversed in 2001-2002, when the houses of foreign sales were authorised to come to sell in France. "By pure commercial analysis, everybody saw that it was better to refocus everything" on the French capital, adds Mr Amrouche.
And for proof, Sotheby' s will sell one on June 23rd, for the first time, an American collection (the collection Dintenfass) in Paris. A mask Fang of the Gabon was sold on June 17th by auction to Drouot in Paris for the record sum of 5,9 M EURO (with expenses), becoming so), the most expensive work of first arts never sold in the world.
The valuable record this day was held by a statue of queen Bangwa (Cameroon) sold 3,4 M USD (2,7 M EURO) to Sotheby' s in 1990.
Work was adjudged as part of the sale of the collection Vérité, one exceptional collection of more than 500 writings of first arts of Africa and from Oceania, among whom major rooms, which is put in auction on Saturday and Sunday to the Hotel Drouot (home Auction Rive Gauche) But the experts agree: the market does not burn except "items very important, rare, ancient because there is not much", says Mrs de Sabran.
Prices are "in increase for 25 years but it is not a speculative market. There are not enough important objects as it", "said Mr Amrouche. "My clients are not people who say "ok, I buy, I wait two years, hold, the quotation of Punu (masks of the Gabon) augmented 30", adds Mr de Grunne. "They buy because they like, they put objects at home and these do not return on the market during 10, 20 or 30 years".
The opening of the museum of the quai Branly should not indeed change deal: "The arrival of the museum draws away the interest of the public, but it does not make purchasers", Mr. Amrouche says.
african art / art africain / primitive art / art primitif / arts
premiers / art gallery / art tribal / tribal art / l'oeil et la main /
galerie d'art premier / Agalom / Armand Auxiètre /
www.african-paris.com / www.agalom.com