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Luciano Lanfranchi

Luciano Lanfranchi

Collector
Italy

The Italo-Swiss businessman Luciano Lanfranchi has been an important art collector for more than forty years. Surrounded by an eclectic array of paintings and sculptures from all corners of the world, Luciano has a very personal approach but at the same time demonstrates the importance of being well prepared to make informed choices in the fi eld of tribal art. Tribal Art Magazine: When we fi rst met more than twenty years ago, I remember that you had a great collection of traditional African art—with some world-renowned masterpieces such as the Blanckaert Hemba fi gure—alongside a wonderful collection of modern art. Can you tell me what inspired you to start collecting African art back in the 1980s? Luciano Lanfranchi: My rapport with African art (and “primitive art” in general) started in 1984 in New York on the occasion of the now legendary “Primitivism” in 20th Century Art exhibition at MoMA. I was both fascinated and taken aback by the show!

Pierre Langlois

Pierre Langlois - Tribute

Dealer
France

Pierre Langlois has died. He left as he had hoped to, discretely and quietly. His departure marks the end of the era of tribal art dealers who collected in situ and returned with pieces to offer. Born in Lille in 1927, Langlois didn’t care for school , and the Second World War made life diffi cult. He joined the army, which sent him to Indochina, where the situation was relatively calm. When he returned to France, he worked for a while with his father, a sales representative in the liquor industry, and concurrently began to associate with young people interested in art: Evrard the book dealer, Dodeigne the sculptor, and Leroy the painter. These relationships opened new horizons to him. One of these friends spoke to him of a remarkable book about the Dogon of Mali, Dieu d’Eau (God of Water), by Marcel Griaule, the head of the Dakar-Djibouti Expedition. Pierre’s interest was piqued, and he boarded a ship for Abidjan, from where he traveled by truck to the Dogon area. He quickly established friendly relations with young people there, who took him to the cliffs where there were tombs replete with sculptures. Upon his return, his friend Evrard pushed for organizing an exhibition and a catalog.

Jay T. Last

Jay T. Last

Collector
United States

You may or may not have heard of Jay Last, but chances are you have the legacy of his inventive mind in your pocket. His work with Fairchild Semi- conductor, the earliest tech company in what is now Silicon Valley, resulted in the first practical integrated circuit chip, which in turn resulted in ... well ... the electronic world we live in today. Another thing you may not know about Jay is that he’s been an avid art collector for more than fifty years, a span of time that even he finds more than a little shocking. In the course of those decades, he formed what is unquestionably the world’s most comprehensive collection of Lega art, which is now held by the Fowler Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles. His interest in African art goes far beyond Lega, however, and his Southern California home is an absolute treasure trove of remarkable sculptures from across the continent...

Seymour Lazar

Seymour Lazar - Tribute

Collector
United States

Seymour Lazar, who passed away on March 30, 2016, was a loyal and generous friend to many in the field of tribal art and especially to this magazine in its early years. African, Oceanic, and Pre-Columbian art dominated every room of his house in Palm Springs, where museum curators, interested collectors, and selected dealers were made welcome. In the 1950s and ‘60s he had a colorful career as a young and hip entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles, working for such clients as comedian Lenny Bruce and jazz musician Miles Davis. He befriended the poets Allen Ginsberg and Maya Angelou as well as the psychedelic drug advocate Timothy Leary. Driving around in a Rolls-Royce and seen at times wearing a Pierre Cardin leather suit with no shirt, he soon tired of life as a lawyer and turned to the stock market, becoming one of its largest independent traders. He once said, “If I bought a stock in the morning, and still owned it at noon, that was a long-term investment.” He was not afraid to take risks and he continued to represent in a series of class-action lawsuits, in many of which he was successful.

Raoul Lehuard

Raoul Lehuard

Author
France

For years now, a number of us have been wanting to tip our hats in respect to Raoul Lehuard, just to show our affection and appreciation for him. Time has passed, and nothing has been done, so I’m taking the opportunity to write about my friend Raoul and about the passion he has shared with us over the years through Arts d’Afrique Noire, the celebrated magazine that first appeared in 1972, which has helped many of us to better understand the African continent and its customs. Indeed Arts d’Afrique Noire was founded at an opportune moment, a time at which the public was ready to be seduced by the forms of artistic expression it is devoted to...

Javier Lentini

Javier Lentini

Collector
Spain

Discreet as he is modest, to listen to Barcelona native Javier Lentini speak, one might get the impression that he would have been happy with acquiring a few objects and an important library, and that these would have been enough to satisfy his passion for beauty and his curiosity about the world. But when one has had the privilege of experiencing the African, Indonesian, and Oceanic artworks in the house in which he lives with his wife, Veneta, it becomes apparent that his quiet demeanor masks the fact that this is a serious collection. Refined and eclectic, the objects express a coherence when displayed together, and they reveal the eye of a collector whose personal adventure began more than thirty years ago.

Michel & Natacha Lequesne

Michel & Natacha Lequesne

Collector
France

It’s well known that the Parcours des Mondes in Paris is a time for exchanges and encounters between tribal art aficionados and enthusiasts. At the recent 2013 event, we received an invitation from Michel and Natacha Lequesne to visit their collection, which includes about 100 pieces, mostly from Africa and a few from Oceania as well. In the intimate setting of their Parisian apartment, and in the company of Azande, their majestic Maine Coon cat, we spoke with them about their taste in contemporary art and their fascination for tribal art...

Anne Leurquin

Anne Leurquin - Tribute

Professor
Belgium

BELOW: Anne Leurquin at the archaeological site of Tell Abu Dane, in Syria, 1976. Photo by Roland Tefnin. At the same time that the inaugural opening ceremonies at the Musée du Quai Branly were taking place in Paris, Anne Leurquin, an impassioned and dedicated specialist in non-Western cultures, passed away in Brussels, far too soon and too young. Her curiosity was a driving force from her childhood on, and throughout her life, study of distant cultures consumed her. With a degree in art history and archaeology from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, she was, according to her teacher Roland Tefnin, the chair of the Middle Eastern and Egyptian art and archaeology department, the most brilliant student he had ever had. Anne had the gift of great intelligence and an unusually good memory. She was fascinated with the East, and in particular with Byzantium, as well as with Africa. She chose the Yoruba deity Eshu as the subject for her master’s dissertation, which was published in 1980 by Arts d’Afrique Noire. Luc de Heusch and Marie-Louise Bastin, whose student she was, undoubtedly influenced that choice. Marie-Lou, or “Mama Chokwe” as Anne sometimes affectionately referred to her, had great admiration for this young student and become her friend. She hoped Anne might one day succeed her in her academic chair...

Michel Leveau

Michel Leveau - Tribute

Events creator
France

My first encounter with Michel Leveau took place in the early 1980s. When it came time to leave, my husband, René, asked if we might be able to see his objects in Paris. “Impossible at the moment,” Michel replied. René believed this to be a polite refusal, but in fact a wonderful adventure awaited us, a journey that would last for three decades, take us through the cultures of sub-Saharan Africa, and become a profound friendship. I will always remember the discussions the four of us had, whether seated around a Paris table or at our place (where Michel savored my desserts), as a great privilege that I am deeply thankful for. In spring of 1986, I was invited to two exhibitions. The first, presented by the Fondation Dapper, was titled Ouvertures sur l’Art Africain and was held at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs...

Michel Leveau

Michel Leveau - Tribute

Events creator
France

Michel Leveau passed away in 2013 on Gorée Island while working on the final preparations for the first exhibition produced by the Musée Dapper—which he had founded in Paris in 1986—to be presented in Africa. After a period of mourning, the time seemed appropriate for Christiane Falgayrettes- Leveau, his wife and director of the museum since its inception, to produce an homage to her husband, a scholar and leader whose dedication to promoting the traditional arts of Africa was extraordinary and exceptional. This homage is an exhibition of the kind with which the Dapper has long excelled—a long-term temporary installation, in this case on view until July 17, 2016, accompanied by a publication penned by art historians and researchers with the strongest credentials.