Archive For The “Art Market” Category

Print sales at Piasa: some great opportunities

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We were invited yesterday by Piasa, a leading Parisian auction house, for a talk about Picasso’s prints. The event took place a few days before part for Henri Petiet’s lithograph & prints collection is being sold -thursday 4 december-.

Prices are all in all amazingly low! Compare it to photographs: who can buy a first class artist for less then 1000Euro?

Buying a print – Key points

  • Conservation: the better.. The better and the more expensive. it is crucial to check if the print has some tears -if it framed, make sure to see it without it-, damages, spots, traces of humidity, etc..
  • Provenance: the print market had some scandals… A great provenance can help circumventing any fakes or illegal prints
  • Date: prints made after the death of the artist are cheaper. Just make sure you know what you are paying for as they will never have the same value, would you like to sell them again
  • Doubts? Ask an expert. They know where to look for information and what to look at. They can help you make educated decisions

Henri Petiet’s collection

The collection is remarkable and has become one of the most important prints collection in the world. Henri Petiet started acquiring prints in 1919 and became himself a dealer in 1925. He spent his life discovering new talents and promoting prints. He collaborated with many artists, such as Pierre Bonnard, Mary Cassatt, André Derain, Marie Laurencin, Matisse, Pascin, Picasso, Lucien Pissarro, Rouault, Roussel, Signac, Jacques Villon, Vlaminck,… And many others. Thanks to his in-depth knowledge of prints and multiples, he became a reference in that field and contributed to the creation and enrichment of many American collections.

Discovering talents and promoting prints were his two passions. His personal collection is a treasure in itself: a few will be available for sale thursday.

Highlights – some insight

Lot 139 – Marie-Therese en femme torero – Picasso

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The print belongs to the Suite Vollard, a series of 100 prints edited by Ambroise Vollard. The early 1930s work shows Martie-Thérèse, a symbol of innocence and classical beauty, with the Minotaur, Picasso’s alter ego.

Henri Petiet bought this work directly from Ambroise Vollard. In 1962, Picasso signed the print for Henri Petiet and added a little drawing to it… The provenance, rarity and exceptional conditional makes it the masterpiece of the sale.

Lot 137 – Homme et femme – Picasso

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The 1930s print was also edited by Ambroise Vollard. It is signed, probably later, and numbered. The expert said that Picasso didn;t always sign his works, or could do it later. However the number of prints is known as it is documented, among others in the catalogue raisonné.

This work is also clearly in line with the air du temps in the 1930s and the Art Deco.

Lot 136 – Mère et Fils- Picasso

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The plate was made in 1922 and pictures Olga and her son. Picasso probably to use it some 38 years later: the date “30.10.60” was familiar to many collectors. He probably approved a lot of prints that day, for the Galerie Leiris who had planned a show in 1961.

In this case, the paper is old and perfect to absorb ink.

The annotations give this work an additional value.

Lot 163 – baigneuse vue de dos – Camille Pissaro, 1895

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This is a small work that we liked a lot. It is beautifully made and in great condition. The stamp on it shows that it was executed after the death of PIssaro, hence the low price.

Lot 30 – Argus – Salvador Dali

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The print is dated 1963-1965.

In this case, provenance is everything. Dali’s prints have been disregarded by many collectors, following a flood of illegal prints sold as originals. This happened to many other artists and contributed to the drop of the print market in the 1990s.

To see the catalogue, click here.

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This post only reflects our views on the sale and doesn’t constitute an incentive to buy at the auction.

Some news about the Fine Art Fund

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Blog Barons published an interesting article about art funds, underlying some key aspects that the fine art fund seems to master: they have the right team of people, combining art and finance skills. They claim to have a state of the art artworks selection process. out 20 works, only one was a mistake (they don’t mention any figure though). They also have different maturities, which is key in a world where liquidity has become a priority.

Art Funds come with higher costs than regular investment funds, due to the nature of these assets. This is one element to really understand before you decide to invest!

How the Nahmads are in a way an art fund..

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Click here to read the Telegraph’s article: the most interesting point being that their success is probably due to the fact they are opportunity driven and don’t have the time constraint most of the regular art funds have… To increase opportunities and returns, could the funds learn from this? To be continued..

Brussels sounds like mussels but is that it?

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In his great article published in the New York Times magazine, Jim Lewis interviewed Katerina Gregos, the new director of Art Brussels, about the Belgian art scene. Somehow stuck between such major cities as London and Paris, lacking a clear identity, it still manages to attract galleries and show something fresh, energetic and even avant-garde.


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