Following the wake of art fairs in early march and amid coronavirus interruptions in the global fair calendar, TEFAF Maastricht has proceeded with its 33rd bi-annual edition held in the Netherlands. Despite a reported decline in collector turnout, the fair of European art and design is hosting its largest group of vendors to date, with 282 exhibitors total.
The fair provides a range of offerings in Old Masters, Modern & Contemporary and Design. Among highlights in the modern sector, Hammer Galleries will offer Edgar Degas’s Three Dancers in Yellow Skirts (1891), depicting a trio of floral-adorned offstage ballerinas. The modern icon has sustained an enduring grip on global audiences for several decades — the sale of Dancers marks a significant moment for the fair, with the painting surfacing in the market for the first time in 50 years. Among his contemporaries, the artist was known for his staunch attention to the realism of quotidian life and for analyzing his subject matter with excessive scrutiny. As backstage voyeur, Degas exhumed an emerging metropolitan intrigue in the unrehearsed. Paintings of Degas alike have sold in the secondary market at a range of $7-$9M and remain some of the most highly sought after images of the Impressionist period. The artist’s current auction record is $37M.
Among the other modern mainstays, Dickinson gallery is offering Van Gogh’s Paysanne devant une Chaumière (Peasant Woman in front of a Farmhouse) an oil painting from 1885, last sold at auction in 2001 and another highlight from TEFAF’s trove of unearthed works.
In the contemporary sector, German dealer, Beck & Eggeling is presenting a 1996 particolored Gerhard Richter oil on metal panel from the Fuji series, as well as Anselm Kiefer’s emulsion coated Celestial Palaces. Through an automated process of blurring out noise, codified in his later abstractions, Richter’s surfaces deepen with seething color and printed illusion. The artist’s signature meticulous layering method and gestural gravity is felt in the Fuji works. While editions from the series are less commercially coveted than his photorealist and abstract paintings, they hold the weight of modern mastery. In the artist’s recent market, another Fuji performed well against its estimate in a September 2019 Christie’s Evening sale in Shanghai, selling for over $500,000.