A century after his death, Paris pays Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) a tribute worthy of his genius. The Musée Rodin and the Réunion des Musées Nationaux have joined forces to organise an exhibition at the Grand Palais bringing together nearly 200 works. The exhibition not only gathers together Rodin’s greatest masterpieces but also gives visitors a chance to see some hundred works by modern and contemporary artists who were highly influenced by the sculptor. Works by Picasso, Matisse, Bourdelle, Brancusi and Beuys are exhibited alongside de Kooning, Fautrier and Fontana. These interesting connections testify to the extraordinary influence of Rodin while also giving visitors a new perspective on this master of modern sculpture. After Paris, Rodin will be celebrated in New York at the MET, one of the few museums that bought his work during his lifetime, then in Philadelphia, Buenos Aires, Abidjan and Bremen, among others. The Musée Rodin website gives a flavour of the worldwide enthusiasm aroused by this centenary and provides a wealth of information about the celebrations. The numerous events that have been organised in the last two years have also helped boost the auction market. Rodin reached his new world record in May 2016 with a white marble sculpture called L’éternel printemps, which sold for $20.4m at Sotheby’s in New York. The market is particularly well supplied with works this year, which promises to be one of the most dynamic in the history of Rodin’s work at auction.
Guillaume Piens, director of the Art Paris Art Fair, welcomes the faithful public to this spring rendezvous in Paris under the sumptuous glass roof of the Grand Palais. With an attendance of 53,000 visitors during the 2016 edition, Art Paris is emerging as a major non-specialised fair for contemporary art, modern art and design. The 2017 selection is both global and regional, with 139 galleries, including Nathalie Obadia and Daniel Templon from Paris and 13 regional galleries, such as Lille’s Cédric Bacqueville and J.P. Ritsch-Fisch from Strasbourg. There is also an increased international presence with 29 countries represented, as well as new European galleries, including Galeria Alvaro Alcazar from Madrid and for its first participation, the Frans Jacob Gallery from Amsterdam. One of the novelties of the fair can be discovered in the « Promesses » section, which focuses on 12 galleries that have been up and running for less than six years. The « L’Art Est Vivant » Prize will be awarded to the work of an artist represented by one of these galleries.
Art Paris Art Fair has forged its reputation by allowing visitors to discover each year a unique range of foreign artists under-represented in France. This year, it celebrates artistic creation in Africa, curated by Marie-Ann Yemsi. Around 20 galleries across the African continent showcase the work of talented emerging artists. Mohau Modisakeng, who will represent South Africa at the next Venice Biennale, shows his photos and sculptures at the Whatiftheworld Gallery and the large paintings of Gareth Nyandoro are shown at Tiwani Contemporary. The reworked objects by Romuald Hazoumé, whose market value has increased sharply with an auction record of more than $30,000 for his sculpture Alexandra last November (at Sotheby’s London) can be seen at the October Gallery.
This focus on Africa is present all over Paris, with events in La Villette during the 100% Africanfestival, the exhibition of South African artist Roger Ballen at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, while the Quai Branly Museum explores L’Afrique des Routes and the Musée Dapper welcomes Senegalese artist Soly Cissé. Paris Art Fair is certainly meeting the challenge by focusing on work others often ignored…
Murakami, one of the most productive and popular artists of our time, is the world’s highest ranked Japanese artist (his sculpture Lonesome Cowboy sold for $15m in 2008 at Sotheby’s New York) has merged the aesthetics of Manga and Pop Art in an apocalyptic atmosphere of nuclear war. Known for his unique visual universe and loved by the luxury industry, as well as by powerful dealers (including Emmanuel Perrotin and Gagosian), this star artist never stops producing grand and ambitious projects. A few years after having exhibited at the majestic Château de Versailles (2010), he plans on revealing the operation of his small empire as part of an exhibition at the Contemporary Art Centre, the Garage, in Moscow. It is a first in Russia but also a world premiere, as this large-scale retrospective will show Murakami’s entire creative process by installing his studio and a myriad of his assistants on site. Both an artist and an entrepreneur, as well as a team leader, Murakami employs dozens of people in Tokyo and New York within his company, Kaikai Kiki art production. This company, created in the mid-1980s, is a true 21st century Factory worthy of Warhol’s legacy; a hive of activity engaged in the production and sale of unique works sold in limited editions, merchandising products, animated films and record covers created by the artist and some of his compatriots, including Aya Takano and Chiho Aoshima. Murakami’s « production machine » will be turned on during the exhibition, starting on September 29th.