MILLON: Pre-Columbian Art Sale on September 18
The auction house Millon has announced that its sale of the Manichak and Jean Aurance Collection of Pre-Columbian art will take place on September 18, 2019. Remarkable for its comprehensiveness and scope, as well as for the consistent eye of the couple that assembled it, the collection is a vision in some ninety lots of a life devoted to the love and respect of the archaeological vestiges of Pre-Hispanic cultures and to gathering and sharing knowledge about them. In 1962, the couple, two young artists who had just completed their educations—he at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and she at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris—attended the Chefs d’oeuvre d’Art Mexicain (Masterpieces of Mexican Art) exhibition at the Petite Palais and discovered the beauty of line and powerful volumes of the art they saw there. Some time later, they found Galerie Le Corneur, which came about serendipitously as the result of having to stop for a red light. This happy accident transformed their awe into a passion. The time they spent listening to Olivier le Corneur’s impassioned descriptions of each of the works in his gallery set the Aurances on the path to collecting. They soon left with their first piece, a red terracotta Colima effi gy, and enriched by having struck up a friendship with le Corneur that only grew with the passage of time. This encounter was just the fi rst in a long series of visits and conversations they had with the famous dealer, as well as with many other important players in the fi eld. The Aurances developed relationships with Charles Ratton, René Rasmussen, Henri Kamer, and Pierre Langlois, among others. After a lifetime devoted to the pursuit of knowledge and the building of a unique collection characterized by an absolute respect for the fragile nature of archaeological work, the time has come for the couple to separate themselves from their achievement. This next step is very much in keeping with the idea the Aurances have had of themselves as the devoted but only temporary guardians of the artworks they have loved. An exhibition is planned prior to the sale, and anyone interested will have the opportunity to view the lots at Hôtel Drouot on September 14–18, 2019.
Woolley and Wallis: major sale of non-European artworks on September 18 & 19
British auction house Woolley and Wallis is preparing a major sale of non-European artworks, which will include more than a thousand pieces and will be held on September 18–19, 2019. Oceania will be especially well represented with a significant group of objects from New Ireland relating to the malangan ceremonies; a Marquesas Islands u’u club collected by Elijah Armitage, a member of the London Missionary Society, in the course of the fifteen years (1821–1836) that he and his family lived in Tahiti; and a Fijian conch shell that was formerly the property of British collector James Thomas Hooper. African art collectors won’t feel left out. The sale will also feature traditional works of Sub-Saharan African art such as a Luba/Hemba caryatid stool collected by Hilaire de Clercq between 1914 and 1918. About fifty lots of works from American Indian cultures, including beaded pieces, shirts, and war clubs, will complete the sale.
Ferocious poetry - Ancient Arts of New Ireland
Galerie Flak takes great pleasure in presenting an exhibition on the traditional arts of New Ireland at this year’s Parcours des Mondes. Replete with poetry and both ferocious and refined, the art of New Ireland is characterized by its virtuosity and the audaciousness of its compositions. In this subtle game between architecture, sculpture and painting, human and animal figures emerge and intermingle. The gallery will show an exceptional collection of fifteen works formerly in German museum collections (Berlin, Leipzig, Stuttgart) and from prestigious private collections (Pierre and Claude Vérité, Loed Van Bussel, Arthur Speyer, et al.). These will include Tatanua and Kepong masks, striking Malagan effigies and friezes full of interlocking and intertwining figures, an elegant canoe prow ornament collected in 1894 and an over one meter high Malua mask with representations of an uninterrupted series of phantasmagorical dancing figures.
Guatemalan Masks: Selections from the Jim and Jeanne Pieper Collection
Today in Guatemala, masks are worn in spectacular masquerades performed by communities throughout the country during indigenous festivals, Catholic feast days, and secular events. Frequently sponsored by religious organizations known as cofradías, many of these dance-dramas (bailes or danzas) date back to at least the colonial era (1523–1821) and possibly earlier. Elaborately costumed and often highly scripted, the performances bring to life sacred narratives and popular histories, and they serve as public expressions of devotion and communal identity. These performances and the masks used in them draw their power from the interplay of disparate cultural forces and their collective influences. The mask forms include sacred deer and jaguars, saints and serpents, Spanish conquistadors and Maya warriors, cowboys and bulls, and countless mischievous monkeys. Guatemalan Masks: Selections from the Jim and Jeanne Pieper Collection, at the Fowler Museum at UCLA until October 6, 2019, features some eighty of these remarkable masks. They come from the collection of Jim and Jeanne Pieper, who for the last fifty years have traveled to Guatemala, attending festivities across the country and meeting with carvers, masqueraders, and Maya priests to assemble a collection of masks that have accumulated energy from years of use. The collection and its extensive field documentation are promised gifts to the Fowler.
Good as gold
In the cities of the West African nation of Senegal, stylish women have often used jewelry as part of an overall strategy of exhibiting their elegance and prestige. Rooted in the Wolof concept of sanse (dressing up, looking and feeling good), a new long-term exhibition, Good as Gold:Fashioning Senegalese Women, opening October 24, 2018, examines the production, display, and circulation of gold in Senegal. It explores golden adornment as part of a larger dialogic constellation of identity, nationhood, politics, wealth, and individual taste that is largely driven by women. It also celebrates a significant gift of gold jewelry to the National Museum of African Art’s collection. It is guest curated by Amanda M. Maples, curator of African Art at the North Carolina Museum of Art, and its opening will be followed by a full-length publication in spring 2019.
PARIS—From October 17–31, 2019, Galerie Meyer will devote an exhibition to the art of tattooing, a practice in which peoples all over the world have engaged in order to mark identities and status, as well as to protect themselves against their adversaries. Particularly ubiquitous in the Pacific and the Great North, the two areas Galerie Meyer specializes in, the art of tattooing requires the use of special instruments. The designs made with them are reflected in sculptures and masks, they can also be seen in photographs and paintings. Identités encrées (Inked Identities) will explore the history of all aspects of the tattoo with traditional objects and historical documentation, but it will also delve into the contemporary aspects of the subject. Well-known artists will be on hand and working at the gallery, transforming it into a temporary tattoo parlor. Visitors will have the opportunity to discover the work of Russian artist Dmitry Babakhin and of Polynesian artist Po’oino Yrondi, both of whom specialize in Polynesian tattooing.
The Art of the Collection: Jan Calmeyn
The work of Belgian sculptor, Jan Calmeyn, is profoundly marked by the formal aesthetics of African artists, by their inventiveness and by the myriad sculptural solutions they have developed since time immemorial and all over their continent. For Parcours des Mondes this year, Bernard Dulon has chosen to show Jan Calmeyn’s works alongside the African ones in her collection that did so much to nourish her creativity. The result will be a sensitive dialog of form and materials, negative and positive space and equilibrium and stability. Much attention will undoubtedly be paid to two remarkable small figures formerly in the Saul Stanoff collection. The exceedingly rare and beautiful zigzag Lega figure from the Congo Basin, of which only three other examples survive, astonishes with the unbelievable modernity of its lines, while the seated Dogon figure is fascinating for the absence of its face and its emaciated limbs. The latter incarnates an illness and was intended to help the healer act as an intermediary between the patient and the world of the supernatural.
In Dialogue with the Forest: Barkcloth Paintings from Congo
To make barkcloth, traditionally used for clothing, Mbuti men collected pieces of the inner bark of fi g trees and pounded them until they were thin and pliable. Mbuti women decorated the surfaces with intricate designs, using twigs and their fingers to apply dyes made from plant saps and charcoal powder. The abstract paintings express the shapes and motions of the forest, with the motifs referring to paths, webs, insects, and hunting nets, among many other things. These vibrant patterns also refer to the noises of the rainforest and to Mbuti music. An exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Art until November 3, 2019, features fifteen of these elegantly painted barkcloths dating from the mid twentieth century. Excerpts of Mbuti songs and recordings of the rainforest, played in a continuous loop, create an acoustic ambiance for the paintings. The barkcloths featured in In Dialogue with the Forest were formerly in the collection of the late Mary Hunt Kahlenberg in Santa Fe and were acquired by the museum in 2018.