Over the next two months, Drouot will hold to different sales of Native American works of art. The first will be on March 25th when Yves Berger’s collection of Kachina dolls is auction. The second is April 12 when 70 Katsinam masks from the Hopi will be sold.
Nearly 10 years after the death of Yves Berger, a famous French writer and editor (1931-2004), Alain Leroy, who has opened a Native American and Pre-Columbian arts department within the EVE auction house, will disperse the 19 Kachina dolls of a man whose books spread his passion for the New World and Native American cultures.
A major figure in the French publishing world, Yves Berger was the literary director of Grasset from 1960 to 2000. He won the 1962 Prix Fémina for Le Sud and the 1994 Prix Médicis for Immobile dans le courant du fleuve. In 2003 he won the Prix Renaudot for non-fiction for his Dictionnaire amoureux de l’Amérique (Plon), written in response to anti-Americanism.
The collection of Kachina dolls he patiently put together over the course of his many trips was undoubtedly his greatest pride. Along with the Expressionist painter Emil Nolde, the Surrealists Max Ernst and André Breton, and the writer André Malraux, Yves Berger was among the artists deeply touched by the fragile, naïve and stylized aspect of these objects, so evocative of the poetic world of American Indians.