MADAGASCAR: Arts of the Great Red Island
Madagascar’s history did not begin in 1500, the year the Portuguese fi rst arrived there. The island’s name had been on world maps since 1459 and several centuries before that Arab and Persian traders had established commercial outposts on its northern part. Archaeological research has uncovered material evidence demonstrating that cultures during what corresponds to the Medieval Period in Europe had made Madagascar a vital locus for trade in the Indian Ocean. Decorative arts, funerary sculpture, painting, photography and contemporary creation: more than 350 pieces unveil the art, history and cultures of Madagascar, a land of exchanges and influences. The exhibition at the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac is the only major one to be devoted to the full range of the arts of Madagascar since the 1946 Musée de l’Homme show, nothing of this scope has previously been seen. A not to be missed exhibition, on view until January 1st.
"OCEANIA" at the Royal Academy of Arts
In celebration of its 250 years of existence, the Royal Academy of Arts is presenting a major and ambitious exhibition of Oceanic art, a first for the United Kingdom, which will include material from the entire area from New Guinea to Hawaii and Easter Island created over a period of more than 500 years. Nearly two hundred artworks represent a region that is as vast as it is diverse, providing insight into the genesis of the area and how it was populated and evolved. Voyages to paradisiacal yet dangerous environments, the establishment of settlements, and subsequent contacts and interactions between islands—often at great distance from one another thanks to the development of extraordinary navigation techniques—are all part of this history. The exhibition includes historic documents and prints that anchor it in the context of the voyages of Captain James Cook, as well as an extremely rare kaitaia carving dating to the fourteenth century and on loan from the Auckland Museum, are highlights, as are Maori navigation paddles (hoe), Tahitian chiefs’ costumes, and nineteenth-century examples of Solomon Islands war canoe prow ornaments (nguzunguzu) of the 19th century. Contemporary creations will also have a place in the show and will be presented alongside the traditional ones as a reminder of the vitality and dynamism that these cultures continue to display.
PAD London 2018
The heart of London’s elegant Mayfair neighborhood this autumn will once again be animated by art. From October 1–7, 2018, The Pavilion installed at Berkeley Square will host PAD London, the quintessentially eclectic fair at which design, photography, contemporary art, and non-European arts blend and coexist harmoniously. The fair’s management has confirmed that three names, all of them Parisian, will represent the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas: Galerie Mermoz, Galerie Monbrison, and Galerie Lucas Ratton, all of whom will once again present high-quality artworks that will meet the expectations of an audience well known for its highly developed taste.
Fewer galleries with specialties in the arts of Africa, Oceania, Asia, and the Americas will be showing at the seventh annual Frieze Masters than in previous years. From October 4–7, 2018, only three of them will offer their works in Regent’s Park to what are surely among the most demanding collectors. Although their numbers are small, the participants in question excel in their fields and they will certainly attract important clients. Anthony Meyer’s display will, as always, feature major Oceanic and Eskimo objects. New York–based dealer Donald Ellis will show a selection of remarkable Native American objects representative of the high standards for which he is well known. And Lance Entwistle will present a rigorously selected group of artworks, highlights of which will be the agibe skull rack from the Papuan Gulf region of Papua New Guinea that was featured in the 2006–2007 Coaxing the Spirits to Dance: Art of the Papuan Gulf exhibition, and an important Grebo mask from Côte d’Ivoire, formerly in the collections of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, Maurice de Vlaminck, and Saul Stanoff, among others. Longtime readers of our magazine will remember this cubist-looking object since it was featured on the cover of our autumn 2003 issue.
Opening of Guilhem Montagut's new Gallery
On September 27, 2018, the city of Barcelona will add a new African art gallery to its vibrant arts scene, and it will be one with public hours and street frontage. The person behind this project is Guilhem Montagut, who, after his many years at his space on Boulevard dels Antiquaris on the Passeig de Gràcia in Barcelona, has decided to provide his clients with a gallery that is commensurate both with the growth he hopes to achieve and his high standards in artworks and display. The new space is at 163 Carrer de Pau Claris, just a few hundred meters from Gaudi’s famous modernist Pedrera building. The inaugural exhibition will be a juxtaposition of classical African pieces with a selection of photographs by Dutch artist Ingrid Baars, the author of works that are rich in references to traditional cult objects which she combines with images of real women.
Sale @ Lempertz : "A Sculptor's Eye"
BRUSSELS—Lempertz auction house has announced that it will hold a sale on October 24, 2018, of nearly 200 lots of African and Oceanic material from a single collection. The sale is titled The Sculptor’s Eye and will feature primarily Melanesian works. Apart from utilitarian objects like shields, the offerings will include Marquesas Islands ear ornaments and interesting pieces from New Ireland, such as two tatanua masks and a malangan sculpture, the latter formerly in the collection of Wilhelm Heinrich Solf, who from 1900 to 1911 was the fi rst governor of Samoa. Africa will also be well represented with a fine selection of ceremonial objects. Highlights of these include a Cameroonian Fang fi gure with an inscription that attests to its having once been in an old British collection and an Ekoi dance crest from Nigeria formerly in Stuttgart’s Linden- Museum and collected by Captain Hans Glauning while he served in Cameroon between 1901 and 1908. A special preview of the objects in this sale will be held in Paris from September 7–14 at Artcurial. The regular presale preview will take place in the Lempertz showroom in Brussels from October 19–23.
Sale of the Elizabeth Pryce Collection @ Sotheby's Paris
Sotheby’s is sure to be much talked about this fall. In addition to its customary sales in November in New York and in December in Paris, the department of African and Oceanic art in Paris will be holding two other special sales. The first will be on October 10, 2018, and will be composed of eighty-five objects from the collection of Elizabeth Pryce. Ms. Pryce, a pharmacist in Sydney, first discovered Oceanic art more than forty years ago through a friend. Her interest quickly became a passion. She was a co-founder and then the vice president of the Oceanic Art Society in Sydney while at the same time putting together a comprehensive collection of Oceanic art that she sourced from some of the best dealers in the field. It includes major works such as a Biwat flute stopper from Papua New Guinea, an artwork that is an extraordinary blend of power and refinement. Pryce’s selections also reveal her special affinity for elegantly executed objects of everyday life. The sale will be unusual in that it will be entirely Oceanic and also for the fact that the objects will be offered without reserve. This will likely allow opportunities both for experienced collectors and those with a nascent interest in tribal art. Main lots will be exhibited at Sotheby's Paris from September 10 to 15.
MIMBERS. Visionnary Paintings at LACMA
The remarkable painted pottery bowls from the prehistoric Mimbres culture of the American Southwest have been a familiar and compelling sight in books, museums, and private collections since they began to be unearthed in the early twentieth century. These visually striking ceramics are slipped in white and painted with distinctive black designs, sometimes figurative but more frequently intricate and graceful geometric patterns, often surrounding a central white void. Exquisite examples of this tradition are the subject of Decoding Mimbres Painting: Ancient Ceramics from the American Southwest, an exhibition on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art until December 2, 2018. The fifty- one bowls in the installation include many iconic masterpieces, but each was carefully selected to elucidate the innovative and original research about the painted iconography, the product of years of consideration and study by Los Angeles–based artist Tony Berlant and art historian Evan Maurer, who is also director emeritus of the Minneapolis Institute of Art.