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Lost Modern Art Treasure found in Paris Vault

Paris: A long-lost treasure trove of Impressionist and Modern art not seen since World War II will be offered at auction's in London and Paris according to Sotheby's.

Over 140 works including paintings, prints and drawings belonged to Parisian art dealer Ambroise Vollard, who played an important role promoting artists including Renoir, Cezanne, Picasso and Matisse.

The collection was found in 1979 in a Paris bank vault. It had been neglected for decades because Erich Slomovic, an acquaintance of Vollard who deposited the art in the bank in 1939, was killed by the Nazis in 1942.

The key work is a 1905 painting by French artist Andre Derain valued at up to euro15 million ($18 million). Derain co-founded the short-lived Fauve art movement with Matisse in the early 20th century.

"The condition of this painting is absolutely pristine," said Thomas Bompard, a modern art specialist at Sotheby's Paris. "For a collector of today, it is one of the best paintings of one of the greatest names of this revolutionary movement."

Other highlights included a portrait of the writer Emile Zola by Cezanne, three rare monotypes by Degas and a print by Renoir.

Manet's self-portrait which was estimated 30,000,000 GBP was auctioned in London on June 22 for a staggering sum of 22,441,250 GBP. The London Auction also included another 49 works including Picasso, Munch, Renoir, Monet, Boudin, Schiele, Derain, Miro, which in total raised a sale total of 112,101,350 GBP. The rest of the Vollard collection will be sold in Paris on June 29.

 

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Art 42 Basel: India's Exposure in International art event

Basel: Art 42 Basel the world's premier international art show for Modern and contemporary works took place on June 15 - 19, 2010 at Basel, Switzerland. Art Basel features nearly 300 leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. More than 2,500 artists, ranging from the great masters of Modern art to the latest generation of emerging stars, were represented in the show. The exhibition included paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs, video and editioned works. 62,500 people attended Art 41 Basel, including art collectors, art dealers, artists, curators and other art enthusiasts. With its world-class museums, outdoor sculptures, theaters, concert halls, idyllic medieval old town and new buildings by leading architects, Basel ranks as a culture capital.

India for the first time participated in the Art Basel, represented by Nature Morte, Ske Gallery, Sakshi Gallery, Chemould Prescott Road and Chatterjee and Lal. Sakshi Gallery presented Taiwanese artist Chen Chieh Jen's film titled 'Factory' in the Art Feature section. Chemould Prescott Road showcased works by Atul Dodiya and Bhupen Khakhar. Chatterjee and Lal promoted live performance by emerging artists like Nikhil Chopra.

This representation of Indian Galleries strengthens its position in the international Art world promoting upcoming artists along with modern masters thus gaining great confidence in the global art prespective.

 

Art Mantram Festival of Art in London

Bangalore Festival of Art by Art Mantram was held in London from June 21 to 25. Following an invitation by the Nehru Centre in London, Art Mantram not only exhibited art but also presented Indian dances and music. Art Mantram is a non-for-profit organisation involved in promoting contemporary Indian art since 1999. Art Mantram Director Raji Narayana, said that "this was for the first time our troupe visited abroad. We are very happy to showcase our Indian Contemporary art work at London, this would not only create a stage for talented artists to exhibit their potential but also would gather a huge mass of art lovers and other artists too".

The festival presented "Art Show" curated by Raji Narayana works of Rekha Rao, Yusuf Arakkal, S.G. Vasudev, Paresh Hazra, JMS Mani, Gurudas Shenoy, Jija Hari Singh, MG Doddamani, Ramesh Terdal, Radhika Varma and Sultana Hassan were displayed.

On the22nd June the festival started with “Dance Forms" a discussion on various dance forms by Arunima Kumar. Followed by "Being an Artist" an interactive session with artist Jija Hari Singh on 23rd June. On the next day 24th June an interactive session with Gopika Varma on Classical Dance: Mohiniattam. Finally on 25th June the festival had its grand closing with the performance by Gopika Varma.

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Modigliani Sculpture Sells for a Record $52.8 Million at Christie's


Paris: A stone sculpture of a woman's head by Amedeo Modigliani sold for $52.8 million at Christie's Paris auction on 14 June 2010, setting a record for the artist.

The piece, dated from between 1910 and 1912, was estimated to fetch between $6-$9 million, excluding fees. The sale price included fees.

"It's a record for a work by the artist in any category", including paintings and sculptures, said Christie's, which organized the sale.

The 26-inch head was part of an art collection owned by French businessman Gaston Levy, who founded the Monoprix chain of grocery and department stores and lived from 1893 to 1977. Shown for the first time at an exhibition in 1912, the sculpture has "a very defined structure and a feeling characteristic of the artist's work," Christie's said in a statement.

The work is in the likeness of Modigliani's most well-known portraits, with an oval face, almond shaped eyes, a small mouth, a long fine nose and long neck.

Most of Modigliani's 27 sculptures are currently in museums around the world, with 10 still in private hands.

 
 

Mondrian's Painting Stolen

Amsterdam: Piet Mondrian's Portrait of Arda Boogers painted around 1908 got stolen from the Freriks Museum in the eastern town of Winterswijk, Netherlands on 15 June 2010 morning. Only the previous month the mammoth theft of five art works by legendary painters like Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Henri Matisse and Fernand Leger shook the art market. Mondrian's work which met with its sad fate is a naturalistic portrait of a young woman and was insured for about $28,000. This painting stylistically is nothing like minimalistic abstract works for which Mondrian is so famous. The local police had said that the thieves forced open the Museums' gates and snatched the painting early in the morning. The Police had called for witnesses or people with tips to come forward. The Freriks Museum apart from early works of Piet Mondrian also has within their collection works by his drawing instructor father, Pieter Cornelius Mondrian, and his artist uncle, Fritz Mondrian.

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Hore's Sculpture gains success at Sotheby's

South Asian Art Auction held at Sotheby's on 15 June 2010 not only witnessed the most talked about auction of Tagore's Paintings but also made veteran sculpture Somnath Hore the first Bengali sculpture to sell for a staggering 157,250 GBP which is equivalent to more than 1 Crore Indian Rupess. The sculpture "The Khanjani Player" was estimated between 130,000 to 150,000 GBP. Somnath Hore born in 1920 at Chittagong, Bangladesh came from a humble background and went through major hardships which not only moulded his life but found voice through his creations. He found great success only in his later years.

 
 
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Lehman Brother's to auction art collection to pay creditors


15 September 2008 was a day which still reminds the world of desperation and panic. As the stock Market opened round the world with the media closely following it the news broke in “Lehman Brothers Files For Bankruptcy”. Same day few hours later started the most controversial auction of 2008, Damien Hirst took out 218 works out of studio and sold them directly to the public through Sotheby's. The Auction of Hirst titled 'Beautiful Inside My Head Forever' fetched a record breaking $ 198 Million as the stock market took a deep plunge.

Two years later from that auspicious day Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc plans to sell about 450 works by contemporary artists through Sotheby's in September, according to court documents. The Sale is expected to raise $10 million which would help the company to pay back creditors. The Lehman collection includes works by Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Cy Twombly, Swedish sculptor Claes Oldenburg and Maya Lin, who is best known for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. Inspite of Lehman saying in the court documents that none of the items which is to be auctioned had a book value higher than $300,000,but according to Sotheby's estimated statement some of the pieces could fetch much more, as in case of Hirst's We've Got Style (The Vessel Collection - Blue) which could bring in between $800,000 and $1.2 million. The other high sellers include Liu Ye's The Long Way Home, Julie Mehretu's Untitled 1 and Mark Grotjahn's Untitled (three-tiered perspective), each of which are expected to fetch $600,000 to $800,000. Most of these works were obtained during the 1990s and into the first half of this decade, particularly through the 2003 acquisition of asset manager Neuberger Berman.

Collecting and sharing art were passions of Roy Neuberger (b. 1903). His enthusiasm for collecting was inspiring to many of his associates at the firm, some of whom, like Roy, shared their art in the working environment. Much of Roy's collection was donated to the Neuberger Museum of Art, on the campus of SUNY, Purchase. In 1990, Neuberger Berman began building its own collection with a mission to focus on emerging to mid-career artists whose works celebrate the eclecticism and diversity of international contemporary art in all its schools and mediums. Figurative, abstract, minimalist, conceptual, assemblage the result is a vibrant and provocative collection that engaged and inspired employees. Viewed as a whole, there is an underlying thread that runs throughout the collection and a fascinating dialogue that exists between individual works of remarkable range and variety.

The sale process for the Lehman auction, which is due to take place on September 25, 2010, has been approved by U.S. bankruptcy court. The announcement comes at a time when demand has returned to the art market. Both Christie's auction house and Sotheby's experienced strong interest during their annual spring sales last month and either met or exceeded pre-sale estimates.

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Sotheby's Contemporary Art Auction Realises $62 Million on 28th June 2010 and Bharti Kher sets record


Bharti Kher's celebrated sculpture The Skin Speaks a Language not its own established not only a record for the artist at auction but also a new record for any work by a contemporary female Indian artist at auctions, when it sold for the remarkable sum of £993,250 ($1,493,947 / € 1,211,273) (est £700,000-1,000,000). The life sized elephant is one of the most iconic and most talked about works of art by a contemporary Indian artist and the masterpiece of the leading female artist of her generation.
 
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Valued at just $6,000, these Castellani gold earrings brought $169,000

Philadelphia : Freeman's Fine Jewelry and Watches auction played host to one of the most remarkable gold jewellery sales of the year, on June 14. When entered into the auction, this pair of Castellani archaeological revival fine gold tassel earrings was estimated at a relatively low $4,000-6,000.This must have seemed like a respectable value. But that was before the bidders got involved. Their enthusiasm pushed the value of the earrings up and even further all the way to $169,000. In the end, the earrings' final value (including buyer's premium) was an incredible 28-times their original higher pre-sale estimate.

In 1836, the Italian jeweller Fornunato Pio Castellani (1794-1865) was enlisted to help archaeologists excavate the ancient Regolini-Galassi tomb. Found within the tomb was a collection of jewellery decorated with granulation - tiny specks of gold applied to the surface. Inspired by this lost art, Castellani began applying the granulation to his own jewellery.

The fine gold tassel earrings were among the results. Formerly the property of a Virginia family, they bear a depiction of the god Apollo with horses over a crescent held on by two flanking angels. With detachable pedants and amphorae beads, Castellani's use of granulated gold specs is evident in the earrings' intricate braided tassels. They weren't the only remarkable Castellani treasures to appear at Freeman's. Also for sale was a magnificent Castellani gold chain with threaded flower and circular enamel bead. Valued at $8,000-12,000 it was sold with an accompanying case by Dreicer & Co, New York, for $115,000 (including buyer's premium).
 
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Sovon Som (1932 – 2010)

Sovon Som passed away on 9th June. Though his health was detoriating for the past few months, but the news of his death came as a jolt to the members of the Indian Art fraternity. He was seventy eight years of age.

Sovon Som was born in 1932 at Silchar, Assam. A student of Santiniketan he was destined to create a unique position for himself. Trained in Kala Bhavana under the tutelage of Nandalal Bose, Sovon Som realized early in his career that he was more inclined towards art history and aesthetics rather than becoming an artist himself. It was through a long and struggling journey that Sovon Som became the Professor of History of Art at Rabindra Bharati Univerity. Later he became the Dean of the department of Visual Arts in the same university. He was also the visiting professor at Havana University in Cuba and Comenius University in Slovakia in 1987 and 1994 respectively.

Apart from being a professor of the highest esteem he was also a renowned art journalist. His articles in popular Bengali and English magazines not only helped a whole new generation to achieve prominence but it also educated the mass about Art and its dynamics. He also published books on Indian Artists and Art scenario which he himself was an integral part of. His death had surely created a void which can never be filled but it is a fact that he had inspired many to carry forward his works as a critic, historian and educationist in Art.

 

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art etc. news & views is a monthly magazine published from India in order to promote art and culture. It intends to raise awareness about art all around India and the world. The magazine covers art exhibitions, auction highlights, market trends, art happenings besides Antique, Collectibles, Fashion, Jewellery, Vintage, Furniture, Film, Music and Culture.