The top that never disappoints
The most important Fine Art Fair of the world hasn't given the lie to its reputation of being the top this year too. Its entrance confirms its world's leading role: visitors take the customary pictures of the very first wall installation, a mandatory way to say "I was there!!" (photo 01 -02).
Although Tefaf's main target remains the European "mature" collector, followed by the American one, it is immediately evident how the section of Modern & Contemporary Art is gaining more and more ground if compared to the Old Masters section, which has become narrower and, I'd dare to say, a little bit boring.
Put it down to my job, I will focus on the galleries of modern art and jewels, where pieces of work beyond any imagination have been showcased this year too.
In the Old Masters section, I will only highlight the unique Galerie Laue from Munich with its unusual yet surprising works such as the 15th century goblet made of Nautilus shell and silver coming from the Swedish castle of Wachtmeister (foto 03), or the earthenware young boy face from Naples dating back to 1870 ca. (foto 04). The suffused lights and warm atmosphere of this exibition recall the emotions experienced at the Fortuny Museum of Venice in partnership with the visionary Axel Vervoordt.
By the way, his stand is always magic: he is able to create a perfect mix between antiques and moderns, where a stunning metalled tapestry by El Anatsui stands out (foto 05) and it is priced at €1,200,000
A spectacular transparent onyx bust (at once reminding of the Veiled Christ from Naples) by Barry X Ball at the Fergus Mc Caffrey Gallery of New York (foto 06), with its face hidden by a suggestive marble veil.
Moreover, a high-quality female portrait dating back to 1919 by Amedeo Modigliani (foto 07) at the Hammer Gallery of New York, which always displays pieces of extraordinary level: it seems that the price of this work is about 30 millions of euros; it has not been clearly revealed, though.
Walking through elegant corridors, only distracted by modern metalled architectures filled up with flowers in delicate shades made definetly sense and the flawless back and forth of the hostesses carrying tasty finger food and serving delicious drinks during the opening was priceless (foto 08-09-10).
A significant male bronze bust by Ben Brown of London with his testicles replaced by a brain makes us laugh but, at the same time, think about it. (foto 11)…….and the Kiefer with sunflowers is also to be mentioned (foto 12).
and again Kiefer at Ludorff of Dusseldorf (foto 13) or an unavoidable stop by Beck&Eggeling (foto 14), who also exhibited a recent work on water by Fabrizio Plessi (foto 15), an undisputed famous international videoartist.
A singular sculpture of César, portrayed by his last partner Stephanie Busuttil, who is still the only one authorized to sign, at Trignano in Paris.
A significant Wesselmann at Almine Rech of Parigi (foto 18) and a tiny yellow work with oval by Simeti at Mayor of Londra (foto 19).
Let's move on to the jewels section: in the field of pieces of art, Didier of Londra confirms to be the leader. They have presented a gorgeous stand with jewels which are more unique and exclusive wearable sculptures made by artists rather than simply jewels (foto 20-21). Designed by the most significant international artists, they showcased pieces by Arman (foto 22), Pol Bury (foto 23), Farhi (foto 24), Kcho (foto 25), Fontana (foto 26), Calder, Lichtenstein (foto 27) and many others.
Not to forget the 2 great sisters Fleur and Aimée Van Kranendonk of the VKD Gallery, who present an accurate and studied selection of antique jewels going from the liberty and decò historical period, purposely made in yellow gold, to design jewels made by artists such as Pol Bury and Yue Minjun (foto 28-29-30).
Another stand to mention belongs to Marjan Sterk presenting elegant fine valuable branded pieces including an outstanding work by Asger Jorn from the 60's forged in gold, diamonds and enamel (foto 31-32).
The never disappointing Veronique Bamps from Montecarlo ed Epoque Fine Jewels from Belgium, who have come with a super selected section of high valuable jewels(foto 33). The always worth visiting Sassoon of London, able to masterfully combine high-elegant valuable glasses with refined jewels (foto 34).
Pleasant confirmation is the astonishing Chinese stand of Chan with jewels able to capture the vistotors' attention with their polished tones and precious forge displayed in cocoon-like setting that turns out to be very fascinating (foto 35-36).
Finally, I'd say that the literally breathtaking stand belongs to Symbolic&Chase from London with their undoubtly high-quality parures and jewellery, maybe too much if considering the standards: literally cascades of diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, corals, amethysts and any other gemstones. (foto 37-38-39-40).
In conclusion, Tefaf confirms to be the most leading art fair of the world far superior to the rest. No other fair displays such a vast and prestigious offer so that it has no competitors. Although these might have high visibility through a massive media campaign, they can not absolutely be compared with the high quality and elegance of this marvellous fair.