The Shape of Beauty: Sale of art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas
>> PREVIEW of the main lots at Sotheby's Paris until March 30. On May 14, 2018, Sotheby’s will hold its spring sales of art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas in its New York headquarters. Leading these will be a single-owner sale featuring an instalment of the outstanding collection of Howard and Saretta Barnet, which has been the subject of a number of specialized auctions. These have spanned contemporary art, classical paintings, drawings, and prints, all of which were tied together within the collection by an unusually coherent sense of harmony and aesthetic consistency, in which each object was in dialog with one another. The May 14 sale will offer around forty lots from their collection of African, Oceanic, Pre-Columbian, and American Indian art, as well as Classical and Near Eastern antiquities, all of them consistent for their beauty and significance. Highlights will include a Fang-Mvai reliquary guardian figure attributed to the Master of Ntem, an Okvik ivory figure, and a renowned Olmec jade mask fragment, converted into a celt in antiquity. A various-owner sale of art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas will follow. The Americas component will feature both American Indian and Pre-Columbian art. It will include previously unoffered material from the Edwin and Cherie Silver Collection, as well as important works from European and American collections.
So Far and So Near
An exhibition opening March 20, 2018, at the Barbier-Mueller Museum juxtaposes works in the Swiss museum’s collection with those of contemporary artist Silvia Bächli, who is also curating the exhibition. Conceived of as a creative game with the museum’s staff, So Far and So Near: Tribal Arts Through the Eyes of Sylvia Bächli will present the artist’s gouaches on paper along with about sixty works she has selected from the museum’s collection. The juxtaposition of contemporary art and non-Western works is intended to provoke reflection on the form, status, and function attributed to art objects of any origin, whether from the West or elsewhere. The forms of the Barbier-Mueller Museum’s masks, figures, vessels, and shields are intended to serve as a formal counterpoint to the sense of movement and line created by the Swiss artist, and unexpected responses are born of these aesthetic encounters. The role of each participant in the transformation of the object into an artwork—the expert, the dealer, the anthropologist, the collector, the curator, and the display designer—will be detailed in the catalog that accompanies the show.
Cabinet of Curiosities at Alain Bovis Gallery
On April 11, Alain Bovis gallery invites us to the opening of its new exhibition "Cabinet de curiosités". Among the wonders on display you will find a Kuodo box from Ghana designed to hold gold powder, a Iatmul skull holder from the Middle Sepik and a fine Phurbu ritual dagger from Tibet. On the occasion of Paris Tribal which will take place in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area from April 11 to 15, Alain Bovis invites Michel Thieme from Amsterdam to share the gallery space. The exhibition will continue until May 19th.
Unlike the Tequesta, or even their ancestors the Creeks, the Florida Seminoles are not a particularly ancient people, having emerged from various Native American groups who migrated south to the Everglades about 200 years ago. Like South Florida itself, they are a blend with multicultural ancestry. The Seminoles developed their unique culture in the extreme environment of the River of Grass and remained strongly independent. They are the only Native American tribe never to have signed a treaty with the United States Government. "Enduring Beauty: Seminole Art and Culture" will present traditional articles of adornment and domestic crafts produced by Seminoles from the early nineteenth century to the mid twentieth century, highlighted by historic paintings, prints, and photographs that document individuals, families, and the Seminole way of life over the past two centuries. Drawing from the collection of I. S. K. Reeves V and Sara W. Reeves, the exhibition features embroidered and beaded bandolier bags, moccasins, sashes, and leggings; men’s shirts and jackets and women’s skirts and capes, all with traditional appliqué, embroidery, and patchwork motifs; beaded necklaces; baskets; and costumed dolls. More info on: www.omart.org
Face to Face
A new long-term exhibition opening at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology on March 10, 2018, poses the questions “Why and how do crafting traditions of the world so often incorporate human faces” and “how do people respond to those faces?” "Face to Face: Looking at Objects That Look at You presents answers to these questions formulated through a wide variety of contrasting objects drawn from the museum’s vast holdings. For example, West African helmet masks and Roman sculptures illustrate varying conceptions of the “ideal” face, while Japanese tobacco boxes and ancient Peruvian portrait jars raise the question of what a facial expression can mean. Chinese bamboo figurines paired with Caroline Mytinger’s paintings of Papua New Guineans represent the contrast between portraying faces of one’s own cultural group versus those of another. This timely exhibit, which cultivates critical thinking about crucial issues such as stereotyping, representation and misrepresentation, and snap judgments, was produced by the Hearst staff working with fourteen UC Berkeley students.
Twenty years after its creation, New Zealand’s Te Papa Tongarewa Museum will inaugurate a major new gallery space called "Toi Art.Turangawaewae: Art and New Zealand" is one of the four inaugural exhibitions that will christen the space. It will bring together nearly 100 pieces drawn from the museum’s collections and dating from the eighteenth century to modern times, augmented with works by other contemporary artists, both Maori and from other parts of the Pacific. The show seeks to address issues of “Who are the New Zealanders, and where do they come from as individuals, as New Zealanders, and as a nation?” It not only questions notions of belonging to this land, but it offers different visions of the ways in which art can help New Zealanders find their place. Turangawaewae identifies the communities, loci, and ideas central to the sense of belonging. Through painting, sculpture, and photography, it explores the questions of art, identity, and intercultural exchange. New Zealand artists represented include Rita Angus, Colin McCahon, Shane Cotton, Gottfried Lindauer, Len Lye, and Robyn Kahukiwa.
Golden Kingdoms at the Metopolitan
This major international loan exhibition at the Metropolitan will explore the idea of luxury in the Pre-Columbian Americas, particularly as seen in the associations between materials and meanings, from about 1000 BC until the arrival of Europeans in the early sixteenth century. Titled "Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas", the show will trace the development of metallurgy in the Andes and its expansion northward into Mexico. In contrast with other parts of the world, ancient Americans first used metal not for weaponry, tools, or coinage but for objects of ritual and ornament, which resulted in works of extraordinary creativity. In addition to objects of gold and silver, the exhibition will feature artworks made from shell, jade, and textile, materials that would have been considered even more valuable than noble metals. The exhibition will cast new light on the most precious works of art from the ancient Americas and provide new ways of thinking about materials, luxury, and the visual arts in a global perspective.
Paintings from Afar
“Dare to look in order to learn” could have been the subtitle for the Peintures des Lointains (Paintings from Afar) exhibition at the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, on view on the West Mezzanine until January 6, 2019. Sarah Ligner, who has been head of the Historic and Contemporary Globalization Heritage Unit at the museum since 2015 and is the curator of this show, has chosen to highlight the museum’s collection of paintings for the fi rst time. This installation presents 220 canvases and works on paper drawn from the approximately 500 works that constitute the museum’s holdings in this fi eld. These pieces date from between the end of the eighteenth and the middle of the twentieth centuries and have been little seen, despite the fact that they include works by artists of great renown such as Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, and Émile Bernard, to name just a few.