The New York Times double covers the Maastricht art fair, TEFAF, with Carol Vogel and Souren Melikian. Vogel adds a few sales to the register:
a 1671 oil-on-panel view of Haarlem by the Dutch master Gerrit Berckheyde, priced at $6.3 million; and a 1937 Picasso drawing of Dora Maar marked at $2.5 million.
She also tells this nice tale of discovery:
Jack Kilgore, another Manhattan dealer, bought “Emperor Commodus as Hercules,” a painting on oak panel from 1588-89, in December at a small European auction, where it was cataloged as only 18th-century Flemish school. Examining the meticulous brushwork, he had a hunch it was by Rubens, who had painted a series of Roman emperors, one of which was missing. Research, including consultations with various scholars, confirmed that this was it. (And the fair’s vetting committee agreed.) A collector then snapped up the painting for $1.25 million on Thursday afternoon, but Mr. Kilgore declined to identify him. “I could have sold it three times,” he said.
Despite these exciting sales and the star quality Old Master works on offer, Souren Melikian declares everything before the Modern era dead:
Professionals respond to the shift of public mood. Some leading dealers in Impressionist and Modern art who take part in the Maastricht Fair have all but eliminated Impressionism, seen as too soft and dreamy. It is virtually absent from the display of the Hopkins-Custot gallery, now focused on the 20th century. The same is true of Jacques de la Béraudière of Geneva.
At the Galerie Berès, long renowned for its sophisticated works by avant-garde artists of the late 19th century, the change of direction is startling. The second half of the 20th century reigns supreme, from Simon Hantaï to Jean-René Bazaine represented by a small abstract gem of 1956.
At Masstricht Fair, A Rembrandt and a Red Shoe (New York Times)
At Masstricht, The Great Art is Getting Scarcer (IHT/New York Times)