Sunday, March 24th the 32nd edition of the Tefaf Maastricht ended. Once more a grand edition, confirming this exhibition as the most prestigious art and antiquity fair worldwide. In the Netherlands the first appointment, to be followed by New York Spring and New York Fall.
Looking forward to visiting the American editions, three of us arrived in Maastricht for a 8 hours breathless marathon. 279 exhibitors (with 38 new entries) proposing masterpieces and rarities from all over the world. Counting 97 exhibitors, the ancient art section remains the most numerous. But the fair shows also a greater and clearer opening to new participants in the section dedicated to contemporary research and welcomes for the first time names of great caliber, including Pace Gallery, Kamel Mennour, Almine Rech and Sprüth Magers.
TEFAF MAASTRICHT VETTING COMMITTEE
The year 2019 marks some very important innovations for TEFAF, especially for what concerns the vetting , i.e. the new assessment policy of the proposed artworks. Until last year, the selection committee was composed of 189 experts active in 29 categories, who analysed the artworks to be exhibited, verifying quality, provenance and attribution. The committees made use of technology and equipment such as microscopes, ir and xrays devices. With these instruments and the experience, the committees selected the artworks and in case of doubt the object was refused.
Possibly this was not enough to guarantee transparency and, above all, to express objective assessments. The change came with the establishment of a new committee headed by Wim Pijbes, general manager of Rijkmusem Amsterdam from 2008 to 2016, which comes with at TEFAF as Global Chairman.
No gallery owners, art dealers, dealers and experts in auction houses are to be part of the vetting committees; they can be consulted, but have no longer right to vote in the selection phase as tTefaf advisors have considered appropriate to avoid any possible conflict of interest.
The experts consulted this year are over 180, from 114 institutions and 14 different countries..
COUP DE COEUR
Visiting the stand we got to see many masterpieces we felt in love with, among which we have chosen 3+1, in our sole discretion, as the most intriguing ones. A romantic and delicate painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir Jeune Filles aux Lilas exhibited by Richard Green
Pierre-Auguste Renoir Jeune Filles aux Lilas Olio su tela, cm 54,9 x45,7 1890 circa Richard Green, Stand 302
at stand 302and a Salomé by Luca Giordano , a work belonging to his impetuous younger phase of experimentation, where the figure is immersed in a vigorous chiaroscuro (the painting was proposed by Lullo-Pampoulides, stand 368).
Luca Giordano Salomé Oil on canvas, cm 101 x 75 1660-70 circa Lullo-Pampoulides, stand 368
Moreover, we were pleasantly surprised to find at the fair both the preparatory drawing, presented by Arnoldi-Livie of Monaco (stand 339) and the painting (or at least one of the 8 known ones, with the same subject) of La Lecture (Deux Fillettes, bouquet des pivoines sur fond noir) by Henry Matisse exhibited by Hammer Galleries in New York (stand 406).
Henry Matisse, La Lecture Pencil on paper, Arnoldi-Livie di Monaco, stand 339
Henry Matisse, La Lecture (Deux Fillettes, bouquet des pivoines sur fond noir) Oil on canvas, cm 46×55,2 1947 Hammer Galleries New York, stand 406
With great pleasure we also found some “old friends”, i.e.well over ten very prestigious artworks analysed by Art-Test in the past:.
The guarantee of authenticity remains a crucial factor in trading works of such value. And we believe that scientific diagnostics, with accurate analysis and total transparency, is the best vehicle to promote market confidence.