Souren Melikian says the 25th Paris Biennale des Antiquaires is a watershed moment in changing tastes as the subtlety of Impressionism is gone and monumental works come to the fore:
Visitors stepping into the Rond Point, the focal center of the Biennale show, will be unable to ignore the display on the stand of Marlborough, whatever their personal interests. Three gigantic works are visible from afar. On one wall, “Three Studies in the Human Body,” an enormous triptych painted by Francis Bacon in 1970, seems to echo the nightmares that still haunted Europe a quarter of a century after World War II and its extermination camps.
Across the stand, another huge painting greets, or rather hits, the eye. Done in 1958 by Georges Mathieu, the abstract composition is enigmatically titled “Hugues de Payens fonde le temple.” Spiky dashes of black color spurt across the red ground. An even larger painting by Andy Warhol, “Double Hamburger” — 294.6 by 614.7 centimeters, or 116 by 242 inches — covers the back wall.
A Gathering of Treasures (IHT/New York Times)