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On Tuesday, September 30, 2014, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) announced that postwar American masterworks from the integrated SFMOMA and Doris and Donald Fisher collections will travel to two museums in France while the Bay Area museum is closed for a major expansion. “American Icons: Masterworks from SFMOMA and the Fisher Collection,” which features approximately sixty paintings and sculptures, will be on view at the Grand Palais in Paris from April 8 to June 22, 2015, and at the Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France from July 9 to October 18, 2015. 

In 2010, SFMOMA announced an unprecedented partnership to house and display the art collection of Gap founders Doris and Donald Fisher. Comprising over 1,100 works by 185 artists, the Fishers’ collection is one of greatest private collections of modern and contemporary art in the world.

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Wednesday, 10 September 2014 18:16

The 27th Annual Biennale des Antiquaires Opens in Paris

On September 11, 2014, the 27th annual Biennale des Antiquaires will open to the public. The prestigious show, which is held at the Grand Palais in Paris, is celebrated for its elegant atmosphere, blue chip offerings, and elite guest list. A VIP preview was held on Wednesday, September 10, 2014, offering select patrons a sneak peek of the show’s treasure-trove of rare antiques, fine art, jewelry, silver, porcelain, and contemporary design.

This year’s Versailles-themed Biennale was designed by the celebrated French interior decorator Jacques Grange. A chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur, Grange recreated the royal gardens of Versailles under the Grand Palais’ iconic glass dome.

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Christian Deydier, the former president of the association of antiques dealers in France (Syndicat National des Antiquaires board; SNA), says that a rift among members about the frequency of the Biennale des Antiquaires fair prompted his dismissal from the organisation last week.

The 27th edition of the prestigious biennial, which is organised by the SNA, is due to open at Paris's Grand Palais in the autumn (11-21 September). "There is a power struggle [in the SNA] between two groups: one that wants the biennial to take place annually and another that wants it to stay as a biennial event," Deydier tells The Art Newspaper.

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From May 27 – 31, 2015, Reed Exhibitons will bring FIAC, one of the world’s leading international art fairs, from Paris to Los Angeles. A convergence of FIAC’s forty year history of dynamic growth and the city’s rise as a cultural capital, under the stewardship of Director Jill Silverman van Coenegrachts, FIAC LA will establish a new paradigm for the international art fair. Set against the backdrop of one of America’s fastest growing neighborhoods, FIAC LA will bring a program of modern masters, contemporary art, architecture and design to Downtown’s Los Angeles Convention Center.

FIAC was founded forty years ago as a fair for gallerists by gallerists, with an aim to present a curated vision of contemporary art to a wider public. Over the years Reed Exhibitions, has invented, explored and expanded the fair. during the last decade, fiac has become one of the three most important art fairs in the world. In 2013, FIAC welcomed more than 75,000 visitors and over 100 international museum groups to the Grand Palais.

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Francis Bacon’s ‘Portrait of George Dyer Talking’ sold for $70 million at Christie’s evening auction of Post-War and Contemporary Art on February 13 in London. The painting, which was the sale’s top lot and achieved the highest price ever paid at auction for a single panel by the artist, was expected to fetch around $49 million. Bacon’s triptych of Lucian Freud, which sold for $142 million at Christie’s in New York in November 2013, remains the most expensive work by the artist ever sold at auction.

The 6’ by 6’ canvas depicting Bacon’s lover, George Dyer, was featured in the artist’s monumental retrospective at Paris’ Grand Palais in 1971. The exhibition opened just two days after Dyer was found dead in a French hotel room due to an alcohol and drug overdose. Despite their famously tumultuous relationship, Bacon painted portraits of Dyer almost obsessively both before and after his death.

The sale at Christie’s garnered $206,158,720 -- the second highest total for a European auction of Post-War and Contemporary art in history -- and sold 83% by lot and 95% by value. Other highlights included Gerhard Richter’s ‘Abstraktes Bild,’ one of the artist’s finest abstract works to appear at auction, which sold for $32.5 million; a sculpture by Jeff Koons titled ‘Cracked Egg (Magenta),’ which fetched $23.4 million; and Damien Hirst’s spot painting of Mickey Mouse titled ‘Mickey,’ which sold for $1.5 million.     

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This past November, Francis Bacon’s triptych ‘Three Studies of Lucian Freud’ sold for $142 million at Christie’s in New York, making it the most expensive painting ever sold at auction. Rumors swirled after the buyer’s name was not immediately revealed, with some speculating that Paul G. Allen, the cofounder of Microsoft and an avid art collector, had purchased the painting.

Nearly two months after the sale, it has been reported that the buyer was Elaine Wynn, former wife of Las Vegas casino owner and collector Steve Wynn. Elaine Wynn, who is a co-founder of the Wynn Casino empire, is estimated to have a net worth of $1.9 billion. The couple, who divorced in 2010, are the owners of a remarkable art collection and Ms. Wynn serves on the board of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Painted in 1969, ‘Three Studies’ depicts Bacon’s friend and artistic rival, Lucian Freud. It is one of only two existing full-length triptychs of Freud and it was included in the Grand Palais’ Bacon retrospective in Paris during the early 1970s.

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A triptych of Lucian Freud by Francis Bacon could sell for over $95 million at Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Sale on November 12, 2013. Three Studies of Lucian Freud from 1969 carries an estimate of $85 million at hammer price but fees would be added to that amount.

The painting of Bacon’s painter friend is being offered by an unidentified European seller and has never appeared on the auction market before. The work was included in the seminal Bacon retrospective organized by Paris’ Grand Palais in 1971-72.

Three Studies of Lucian Freud will be on view at Christie’s King Street during Frieze Art Week from October 13-18, 2013 before heading to the auction in New York in November. Francis Outred, head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s Europe, said, “We are honored to announce the sale of an undeniable icon of twentieth century art. A conversation between two masters of 20th century figurative painting, Francis Bacon’s triptych, Three Studies of Lucian Freud, executed in 1969 is a true masterpiece that marks Bacon and Freud’s relationship, paying tribute to the creative and emotional kinship between the two artists.”

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Thursday, 06 June 2013 20:27

Outsider Art Fair Takes on Paris

The Outsider Art Fair, a 21-year-old, New York-based event dedicated to self-taught artists and avant-garde artworks, will take on Paris this fall. The inaugural edition of the fair in Paris will be held from October 24-27, 2013 at Hotel Le A, a boutique hotel near the Grand Palais. Founded by Sanford Smith, the fair was acquired by Wide Open Arts in 2012 and will coincide with FIAC, France’s leading contemporary art fair.

Outsider Art, known as Art Brut in France, has played a significant role in French art. The French painter Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) coined the term Art Brut in response to America’s recognition of outsider art. Groundbreaking outsider art exhibitions have also been held at renowned French institutions including the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Halle Saint Pierre, Foundation Cartier, and Palais de Tokyo.

Paris’ Outsider Art Fair will welcome galleries from across the globe and works by iconic outsider artists such as Henry Darger (1892-1973), Martín Ramírez (1895-1963), Bill Traylor (1854-1949), and Joseph Yoakum (1889-1972) will be presented.

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An Edward Hopper (1882-1967) retrospective, which was on view from October 10, 2012 to February 3, 2013 at the Grand Palais in Paris, welcomed a surprising number of visitors during its run. A total of 784,269 patrons visited the exhibition in less than four months, surpassing a blockbuster exhibition featuring the work of long-time Paris resident Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), which ran from 2008-2009 at the same French institution.  

To accommodate the high number of visitors, the museum stayed opened around the clock during the show’s final weekend. 48,000 people visited the Grand Palais to catch a final glimpse of the Hopper show, including Jill Biden, the wife of US Vice President, Joe Biden.

The exhibition’s popularity came as somewhat of a surprise to museum officials as the American realist painter and printmaker has never drawn such a crowd in the United States. While he came close, Hopper was unable to surpass the popularity of the 2010-2011 Claude Monet (1840-1926) retrospective, which saw 913,064 visitors.

Hopper, who didn’t sell his first painting until he was 40, has grown considerably in popularity since his death at 85. Wildly successful exhibitions in Madrid, London, Milan, and Rome, which took place before Hopper’s show at the Grand Palais are a testament to the artist’s continued relevance.

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Thursday, 18 October 2012 13:16

$8 Million Miro Sells at FIAC

The International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC) starts today in Paris and runs through Sunday, October 21. One of the largest forums for contemporary artists, galleries, and dealers, the FIAC encompasses a number of events across the city at the Grand Palais, the Louvre Museum, the Tuileries Gardens, and various other locations.

The Grand Palais portion of the FIAC is held on two floors and features 182 dealers of modern and contemporary art from around the world. Last night’s preview, which is considered a litmus test of the art market’s strength, hosted a number of notable sales. Joan Miro’s Surrealist abstract Peinture (Le Cheval de Cirque) (1927) was sold by Helly Nahmad Gallery (New York) for $8 million and Lucio Fontana’s Concetto Spaziale, Attese (1967–68) was sold by Paris’ Tornabuoni Arte for $2.36 million.

A number of high-profile collectors were in attendance including French billionaires Francois Pinault and Bernard Arnault, U.S. collector Alberto Mugrabi, and Turkish collector, Omer Koc. If the preview is any indication of the how the fair will proceed, it should be any exciting next few days in Paris.

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