TEFAF Offers 7000 Years

The opening of TEFAF Maastricht, this past week was an event of great importance in the fine art calendar.

Art collectors of ArtKabinett social media network recognize TEFAF as the world's most valuable fair.

Considered the world’s greatest art and antiques fair, it showcases the best works of art from 7.000 years of history currently on the market.

Three works by Damien Hirst can be seen on the stand of Tomasso Brothers Fine Art, London and Leeds (stand 165) – they are Black Sheep with Golden Horns, 2009, The Dance, 2005-6, and Styx, 2013.

Galerie Henze & Ketterer, Wichtrach and Bern (stand 446) are showing a still-life by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938) that is entirely new to the market. The painting is particularly interesting because the figures it depicts are wooden sculptures made by the artist. Sperone Westwater, New York (stand 502) is showing a sculpture by Jean Tinguely (1925-1991) entitled Radio No. 1, 1960 that was previously in the collection of Robert Rauschenberg.

Another work from the 1960s is a synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen work entitled Sidney Janis, 1967, by Andy Warhol (1928-1987) forms one of the highlights on the stand of Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York (stand 445).

Solo Exhibitions

A number of exhibitors have created solo exhibitions for the TEFAF 2014.

Among these are Jean-François Heim, Basel (stand 310) and Galerie Patrice Trigano (stand 527) who have both created an exhibition devoted to the female form entitled Féminin Féminin; Kunstkammer Georg Laue, Munich (stand 206) who is presenting an impressive collection of forty pieces of 16th- and 17th- century filigree glass from Venice; and Hamiltons Gallery, London (stand 524) who is showcasing the photography and design of Carlo Mollino.

Photography is an important element in this section and Galerie Johannes Faber, Vienna (stand 716) is exhibiting a portfolio entitled Spuk (Haunting) by Germaine Krull (1897-1985).

The exhibited portfolio, created in 1923, is the only known copy: it consists of eight vintage silver print images of the artists sister, Berthe at the age of seventeen. Galerie K, Oslo (stand 713) brings the section up-to date with a large format work by Thomas Struth entitled Seamless Tube Production.

Design Collection

The Design section was launched at TEFAF in 2009 and this year the TEFAF Art Symposium is devoted to trends on 20th-century design.

A chair hewn from oak and designed for ‘Le Arti decorative internazionali del nuovo secolo’ exhibition in Turin,1902 by Carlo Bugatti is being shown by Galerie Ulrich Fiedler, Berlin (stand 601).

Galerie Dansk Mobelkunst, Copenhagen (stand 600) is showing a teak and black leather chair, entitled Chieftan Chair, by Finn Juhl (1912-1989) and Galerie DOWNTOWN François Laffanour, Paris (stand 605) is showing a circular conference table made from teak and designed by Pierre Jeanneret as a special commission for the Assembly and Administrative buildings in the city of Chandigarh, India.

Works on Paper

One of the earliest works in this year’s Paper section is a chiaroscuro woodcut by Hendrick Goltzius (1558-1617) depicting a cliff overlooking the seashore, which is being shown by E.H Ariëns Kappers, Amsterdam (stand 707) and Didier Ltd of London showing a wide selection of jewellery created by 20th century modern artists like Picasso, Braque and Calder.

Old Masters

One of the highlights on the stand of Moretti, Florence, London and New York (stand 352), is an exceptionally fine altarpiece by the Master of St. Martino alla Palma, one of the heirs to Giotto, who worked under Bernardo Daddi, c. 1315. This small triptych, which depicts the Madonna between two saints, is remarkable both for its condition and the quality of the painting.

Of all the subjects that emanated from the studio of Lucas Cranach the Elder and his son, it was the seductive female nude that most captivated their wealthy noble patrons. Painted some time after 1537 by Cranach the Younger (1515-1586), the Lucretia exhibited on the stand of the Weiss Gallery, London (stand 350) is amongst the most arresting in the genre. Her entrancing blue eyes and small, precise mouth are typical of the Cranach idealization of female beauty.

The Assumption of the Virgin Mary by Guido Reni (1575-1642) is a recently rediscovered but much recorded early work that can be seen on the stand of Jean-Luc Baroni Ltd, London (stand 382). This important work on copper exhibits all the perfection of technique and refined, ethereal elegance for which Guido Reni is so admired.

Amazing Antiques

The Antiques section at TEFAF is the largest and most varied in the Fair providing a showcase for everything from ancient to modern and across all continents.

One of the undoubted highlights of this section is a previously unknown Yuan dynasty (1279-1368) dish. Exhibited by Littleton & Hennessy Asian Art Ltd, London and New York (stand 269), this exceptionally rare foliate rim dish decorated in white slip with relief dragon and clouds on a cobalt-blue glaze is one of only three known examples: the other two being in museum collections.

Dr Jörn Günther Rare Books, Stalden (stand 118) is exhibiting a Biblia Latina – The Bible of Aulne Abbey, which was made in Northern France or the Southern Netherlands, c. 1240-1250. The number, size and quality of the illustrations, which were created by two distinct artists, both known for their skill and originality, make this Bible a remarkable example of its kind.

The oldest object at the Fair, a large Egyptian black basalt vase with two small pierced handles, dating from the Predynastic Period (Naqada I), first half of the 4th millennium BC, is being exhibited by Sycomore Ancient Art, Geneva (stand 436).

The Fair is full of fantastic objects of astonishing quality some of which are discoveries, others have never previously been on the market and many of which are made extraordinary by their rarity and beauty. TEFAF Maastricht takes place at the MECC Maastricht from 14-23 March 2014.

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