Flash News ! The last Da Vinci – Art Düsseldorf – An American in Paris – Street Art in Berlin


The last Da Vinci

The last known work by LEONARDO DA VINCI still in private hands is due to come under the hammer at Christie’s. The Saviour of the World (Salvatore Mundi), the masculine equivalent of the Mona Lisa, is, to quote Christie’s former art specialist Alan Wintermute, the “Holy Grail of Old Master Art.” However, this absolute masterpiece does not appear in the catalogue of Christie’s upcoming Old Master sale (31 October 31). Against all odds, this precious painting, created five centuries ago, is included in the Contemporary and Post War art sale that will be held on 15 November 2017 in New York. “The last Da Vinci,” authenticated with absolute certainty in 2011 and estimated at around $100 million, finds itself in the same catalogue as the last painting by Warhol, Sixty Last Supper (1986), a gigantic work, 3 metres by 10, featuring 60 variations of the famous Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. Does Christie’s hope to make it an extraordinary double by creating two new absolute records of more than $100 million on the same night? This could be possible as Warhol already passed this extraordinary price threshold in 2013 with Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster), which sold for $105.445 million at Sotheby’s New York.

In doing so, Christie’s breaks the usual codes by mixing eras while also highlighting the spectacular dimension of Contemporary and Post-war art sales. This is indeed where the biggest prices are reached. Compared to the sale on 15 November, the Old Master auction on 31 October may look a little dull, although a self-portrait by Elisabeth VIGÉE-LEBRUN ($600,000 to $800,000) and a landscape by John CONSTABLE ($400,000 to $600,000) should be the highlights of the auction…

Düsseldorf, a new centre for art

A new art fair focussing on Post-war and Contemporary art (1945-2017) will be opening in Düsseldorf, featuring 80 galleries from 21 countries. Originally based in Cologne (Art.Fair Cologne), this show has been totally revamped by changing city, driven by a new partnership with the MCH group – managers of the famous Art Basel fair – which bought 25.1 % of the shares of International GmbH art.fair, organiser of this art fair, now called “Art Düsseldorf.” Art Düsseldorf will continue to exist as an independent brand, says Marco Fazzone. “Nevertheless, it will benefit from the experience and network of the MCH Group and will collaborate with other regional art fairs, soon forming a powerful global alliance.” Art Düsseldorf will be held for the first time alongside its “sister fair” Blooom, from 16 to 19 November 2017, with major exhibitors such as Marlborough Contemporary (New York), Kamel Mennour (Paris), Edouard Malingue (Hong Kong, Shanghai), Daniel Templon (Paris) and David Zwirner (London and New York).

An American in Paris

As it is undertaking a major extension project designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro which will continue until 2019, MoMa is taking up winter residence at the Louis Vuitton Foundation with the exhibition “ETRE MODERNE : le MoMa à Paris.” Until 5 March 2018, works from the six departments of the Museum of Modern Art will be shown in the Paris Museum created by Frank Ghery. A great opportunity to experience Post-war art at first-hand as this exhibition is not just a showcase of masterpieces…

There’s no doubt “modern” has been the by-word of MoMA since its creation in 1929, under the leadership of its first iconic director, Alfred H. Barr. The museum stands out from traditional European institutions for its multiple acquisitions, its multidisciplinary approach and the fact its various departments work hand in hand. It was one of the first museums in the world to create, in 1940, a specific department devoted to photography and to participate in the recognition of this discipline as an art form in its own right. The history of the museum has often been part of History itself, using a rebellious approach in organising its exhibitions. For example, New Acquisitions: Free German Art, held in the summer of 1942, focused on the triptych The Departure by Max BECKMANN (room 2 of the exhibition), highlighted German Modern art, which so incensed the Nazis that they burnt it as degenerate art… But everything changed after the Second World War. America became the centre of the art world, after having followed the great European artistic trends. Foreign and home-grown artists were now working in America and MoMA showcased them on its walls: the Parisian exhibition allows us to see, for the first time in France, Identical Twins by Diane ARBUS (1967), the famous Campbell’s Soup Cans by Andy WARHOL (1962) and Barbara KRUGER‘s Untitled (You Invest in the Divinity of the Masterpiece) (1982).

In the final rooms, the visitor can see contemporary works, most of which have been acquired by MoMA over the last two years. Artists from countries who are not well represented in the collections have now found their place (Iman Issa from Egypt and Asli Cavusoglu from Turkey for example). The different media used reflect today’s formal, technological and identity issues: last year, MoMA acquired the original series of 176 emoji created in 1999 by Shigetaka Kurita and decided to exhibit them with Jens Eilstrup Rasmussen’s Google Maps Pin and Ray Tomlinson’s version of the @ symbol, like Cézanne, Duchamp or Mies van der Rohe. The modernity of MoMA today may indeed lie in this audacious mix of eras and styles…

Urban Nation Museum, the largest museum dedicated to Street Art in Berlin

Berlin, the real “capital” of Street Art, houses the largest museum dedicated to this discipline. Opened on 16 September 2017 in the Schöneberg district, the Urban Nation Museum boasts, in addition to its exhibition galleries, a library, an archive centre and artists’ residences. Both the exterior and the interior of the converted building showcase works of art in all media. This major venue, which was created thanks to benevolent international curators (Brazil, United States, etc.), is managed by gallery owner and curator Yasha Young, who set herself the objective of promoting urban art in Europe, with a real focus on the conservation of the works.

A first exhibition entitled Unique. United. Unstoppable is currently on show and includes local and international street artists such as Shepard Fairey, Ernest Pignon-Ernest and Banksy with one of his famous Gangsta Rats. Visitors can also see work by well-known Berlin artists such as Herakut and French artists Blek Le Rat, Mademoiselle Maurice and C215, as well as Jef Aérosol, Tilt, Miss Van and JR. On the opening day, more than 13,000 people came to see the mural paintings outdoors and 7,000 visited the museum itself. The aim of Urban Nation is to preserve this ephemeral art form that has recently become so popular. The number of artists on the market has continued to climb and auction houses are now organising numerous sales dedicated to Street Art. There are countless auctions every year, especially in France. Calling all Street Art lovers: on 7 November, Tajan is organising an Urban Art sale with some artists exhibited in the new Berlin museum, including THE LONDON POLICE, whose work can be bought from between €7,000 and €9,000!