Sunday, April 1, 2012

Le Salon du Dessin

Having done two weeks worth of viewing in one week in Florence we flew to Paris.  My main reason for coming was the Salon du Dessin but there is always much to do even without a special event.

The evening before the Salon opens there are openings at galleries on the Left Bank that show works on paper and we hit a few before heading over to the Louvre for a highlight of the week.

The drawings department of the Louvre invites many serious collectors, curators and dealers for a private viewing based on a theme.  This year it was about drawings made for engraving.  Drawings are put out on the walls and tables in the study room of the department. 

Louvre Drawings Room
The problem is there are no labels, so everyone guesses at their own attributions. There are two books put together with the details of all the images so you can check yourself.  One important collector said to me, “still no labels”, echoing what everyone in the room must have been thinking!  But it is all fun and here you begin to see all your colleagues, clients and friends from many different countries.   There is no lack of conversation in that room!

I hope you have all been enjoying the brief videos that we have added to the blog and in this week’s on Paris you will see the fabulous drawings’ study room at the Louvre

The next evening is the opening for the Salon du Dessin, an international fair of top drawing dealers.  This year there are 39 dealers in all with slightly more foreign than French.  They come from Germany, Switzerland, England and the U.S. as well.

Salon du Dessin
I went to the Salon 3 times in the week. The first was for the opening which was an absolute mob scene, but for the dealers it seems to have been well worth while.  Going back the next day, things were quieter and many dealers had a number of dots on their drawings or price lists and one even had 18 prices crossed out on their list which was their way of saying these pieces were no longer available.  In the section devoted to drawings by unidentified artists two had been sold.  This all being in the first 24 hours of the fair it seems like a great start.  One dealer had a wonderful picture by a famous artist that I have seen at several fairs and exhibitions and finally it sold here on opening night!

On several stands I heard a strange lament.  Dealers who were doing both TEFAF and the Salon had sold items at TEFAF that were now not available for the Salon.   We all work hard to sell something and when we do we would like to do so again and again, unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.

Also, there are zeitgeists and you will find many works by the same artist on different stands.  This year the ones that stood out to me were Menzel, Delacroix and Domenico Tiepolo.

If I could pick just one object in the place to take home it would definitely be the Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894) that I found front and center on the stand of Thomas LeClaire from Hamburg.  It is called  “Le Mur du Jardin Potager, Yerres”.  A large (43.5 x 59 cm) sheet of a very colorful garden created by a great painter assisted by an excellent gardener and by my third visit that had sold as well.

"Le Mur du Jardin Potager, Yerres" by Caillebotte

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