At the end of the month of November there will be a new episode in the battle between Sotheby’s and Christies to dominate the world of Tribal Arts on his highest level. Sotheby’s is moving most of the Tribal Art auctions from New York to Paris since it seems that more new European clients are interested, and the American market still is in a deep crisis despite Obama efforts .
While Christies was sluggish the last years in his Tribal art auctions against Christies, they reorganised the Tribal Art departement completly, and are now focusing on higher end masks and statues in the hope to attract those clients willing to pay hundred of thousands of euros for the African Art, and got in association with a french auctioneer and got a new curator Charles – Wesley Hourdé that you will hear about in the upcoming auctions.
At Christies they found an impressive collection in Switserland: ” The Kahane collection” with a stuning iconic Baule mask that will make hundred of thousands and an impressive Fang estimate more than 700,000€, curious to see if they will get it. The Kahane Collection of African Art is a revelation. Six masterpieces demonstrate Isidor Kahane’s keen eye and astute intuition for works of art of exceptional quality, regardless of category. Acquired over 50 years ago over the course of thirteen years, these works have lived together, quietly, in tranquil existence overlooking a glorious Swiss lake and its surrounding mountains. More details expalantions and a link to the images slideshow below in the members sections.
At Sotheby’s they are selling in Paris a 50 lots New York collection.
The recognition of African sculpture as art dates to the beginning of the 20th century, when a handful of men from both sides of the Atlantic brought about a decisive change in our perception of these important sculptures.
If it was in Paris that Modern artists discovered what was then termed ‘Negro Art’, it was in New York, in 1935, that it was first presented as art to the general public. In 1935, African Negro Art, one of the most groundbreaking exhibitions of its time, opened at the recently founded Museum of Modern Art.
James Johnson Sweeney, Director of MoMA, solicited the collaboration of the renowned Parisian dealer, Charles Ratton, in selecting the objects from both French and American collections.
From 1935 to the present, the connections between New York and Paris have continued to link Modern and African art. The dynamic relationship between the two fields is at the core of this exceptional New York Collection.
The 50 sculptures at sales in Paris from Sotheby’s were selectively acquired in New York and Paris over the last 30 years and have lived side by side in this collection with the collection of Modern drawing and Indian sculptures.
The most iconic African object in the Sotheby’s collection is a Fang Reliquary Guardian Head from Gabon , exhibited at MoMA in 1935 and formerly in the collection of Paul Guillaume.
Many sculptures from the collection, including the exceptionally dynamic form of the Mumuye figure, directly link to the vocabulary of Cubism and are intimately connected with the development of Modern Art movements.
In the members section there is also a video from Christies explaining more about the Kahane collection and a discussion of both auction’s results.