Flash News: Carl Andre in Paris – The Czartoryski collection – Artaud’s archives

[20 Jan 2017]

Only a few weeks left to see the Carl Andre exhibition in Paris.

It is the first time that such a large selection of Carl ANDRE‘s work has left the United States to be exhibited in France: the Museum of Modern Art in Paris is hosting a major retrospective of the American artist until 12 February 2017 Around forty monumental works and smaller sculptures can be seen alongside detailed documentation bringing together the early works of this major American artist, notably manuscripts and poems. Take advantage of the last weeks of this exhibition to discover a large portion of his work, largely unseen until now… For Carl Andre, sculpture revolves around the place. It is why his minimalist work, constructed with great precision, is so revolutionary. Arriving in New York in 1957, the young artist shared a studio with Frank STELLA and was influenced by the pure forms of Constantin Brancusi’s work. He focused on using building materials, studying their properties (measurement, weight, surface). At the age of 30, in 1965, he participated in the exhibition Shape and Structures in New York, alongside Robert Morris and Donald Judd. Seven years later, the Tate Gallery in London acquired his sculpture Equivalent VIII. This was the beginning of the artist’s recognition. Today, the historic sculptures, those of the 1960s, can reach two million dollars in auction rooms and the artist’s value has increased by 358% since 2000. Carl Andre, who will celebrate his 82nd birthday in 2017, is certainly still at the top of his game with this exhibition, which will soon be shown in Berlin, then Los Angeles.

The Czartoryski collection, a collection worth billions!

One of the major collections of art in the world is on show at the Krakow Museum in Poland. A collection assembled by Princess Izabela Czartoryska from all over Europe more than 200 years ago: a rich collection of 250,000 manuscripts and historical documents and 593 major art works, as Joanna Berendt writes in The New York Times. No less than Rembrandt, Raphael, Dürer, Renoir, François Clouet, Pieter Brueghel… all these masterpieces now belong to Poland due to the recent signing of an agreement between the Polish government, represented by the Minister of Culture Piotr Glinski and the heirs to the famous Czartoryski collection. The cost of the transaction is said to be around 200 million, bearing in mind that a masterpiece such as Lady with an Ermine (1489-1490) by Leonardo da Vinci , which now belongs to the Polish state, would largely exceed this amount alone if it appeared on the market… This collection was unfortunately broken up during the Second World War, many works having been stolen by the Nazis. Some have since been returned. Others are still missing, including Raphael’s Portrait of a Young Man.

Artaud’s archives at auction

On 28 January 2017, the Antonin ARTAUD estate will be sold by Dominique Loizillon, auctioneer in Compiègne. The sale is expected to be historic with, among the 128 lots offered, numerous original documents and letters, including the famous ‘lettres-sort’, the voodoo letters in which the writer used to cast spells on his enemies. But also several paintings and drawings by the inventor of the ‘Theatre of Cruelty’ , including one of his first self-portraits in charcoal, undertaken around 1920, which is expected to fetch between €80,000 to €120,000 . This three-quarter portrait, with a very elegant pose, was notably exhibited in the past at the Cantini Museum in Marseille (1995), the MoMA in New York (1996) and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (2006/2007). Artaud’s drawings are so rare that this self-portrait could sell for much more than the estimate… In April 2012, another self-portrait, of better quality than the one offered here, was bought by Marcel Brient for the record price of €2,136,750 at Sotheby’s in Paris. It was nevertheless estimated at ‘only’ €500,000 to €700,000. Several original photographs of the writer are also for sale, including a print by MAN RAY made around 1926. This original silver print on paper representing Antonin Artaud in profile has an estimate between €6,000 and €8,000. Antonin Artaud’s mother, Euphrasie, cut the photograph to fit the frame, leaving only the ‘Ray’ of Man Ray’s signature. A touching detail. That gives added value to this extremely rare print…