Rolf Hoff: Contemporary art, beyond the polar circle

Norwegian collectors Rolf and Venke Hoff weren’t obvious candidates for opening an art centre. But in 2006, they went ahead and did it anyway. Falling in love with the Lofoten Islands, they chose this archipelago as the site for their KaviarFactory. Rolf Hoff and his wife Venke work in the field of industrial signage. Rolf started by collecting antiques before turning to the works of contemporary artists. Today, his collection counts over 800 pieces, all conserved in the art centre that Venke directs on the Lofoten Islands, where the couple has set up one exhibition per year since 2006. Rolf and Venke Hoff are showing, until 3 December in Paris, at the Fondation Hippocrène, in the former studio of architect Robert Mallet-Stevens, part of their collection, namely 25 artists primarily representing the Nordic contemporary scene. The exhibition is called “Expanding Frontiers”. When did you start collecting? I’ve always collected things since childhood. My astrological sign is Cancer, and all Cancers collect, even boxes, because it’s good to fill boxes! I was probably born a collector! I started with antiquities, but I stopped: it became too expensive and there’s so much racket around these works… We can no longer trust people, dealers have done too much harm to this market. We’re no longer really sure about where something comes from, whether pieces have been stolen or otherwise… What type of antiques did you collect? Most of the time I collected Norwegian antiquities. Norway is a very cold country which was also once very poor. The natives had the custom of sitting around a fire and making objects and painting them. When you go to Oslo, you’re really dazzled by the quality of engravings, sculptures and paintings. In the end, a little by chance, I started collecting Spanish sculptures from the...

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Beijing: Zeng Fanzhi at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art

After being influenced by Western art while keeping his cultural identity, Chinese artist Zeng Fanzhi is today often considered to be the most important Chinese artist in his generation. His work, The Last Supper, a parody of Leonardo da Vinci’s wall painting, is no doubt the artist’s most emblematic work, sold for $30 million. For the first time and until 19 November, it is being shown in his country of birth at a retrospective exhibition, at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. No longer afraid of censorship, Zeng Fanzhi depicts the face of China and its development. The exhibition, titled “Zeng Fanzhi: Parcours”, gathers sixty or so works, many of which are being shown for the first time in China. Among them, black-and-white paintings inspired by art from the Song...

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American artists in vogue on the contemporary-art market

The Artprice report reveals the names of the four best-rated artists from last year, based on an analysis spanning between July 2015 and June 2016. Four American artists are at the top of the ranking, generating 19 % of global sales. Top position goes to Jean-Michel Basquiat, for whom sales totalled $139.4 million, with a world record of $57.3 million set by a 1982 work. Basquiat is followed by Christopher Wool at $84 million, Jeff Koons at $58.5 million, and Richard Prince, coming in at $55.8 million. This new report, highlighting the importance of national markets, reveals that 99 American artists and 187 Chinese artists are in the Top 500...

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In the eyes of Malick Sidibé

Malian photographer Malick Sidibé, who died on 14 April 2016 in Bamako, is being honoured at Somerset House in London until 15 January 2017. The show is curated by French gallerist André Magnin, a specialist in and great defender of African contemporary art. Parallel to the contemporary-art fair 1:54, held in the same building, the exhibition gathers 45 original prints dating from the 1960s and 1970s, organised according to three themes: Au Fleuve Niger, Tiep à Bamako and Le Studio. To create an independent universe, the exhibition is accompanied by an original soundtrack which plunges the spectator into the atmosphere of Malian nightclubs. Nicknamed “the eye of Bamako”, the artist photographed Malian youth at a time when the country was gaining its independence. He was the first African artist to receive the prestigious Golden Lion in 2007, at the Venice Biennale. To pay homage to the photographer, gallerist André Magnin is currently preparing a retrospective exhibition on Malick Sidibé’s work, for the end of 2017. The exhibition will be accompanied by a retrospective...

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Random International at the Pace Gallery in New York

The artists’ collective Random International, known for its experimental installations, is having a show at the Pace Gallery in New York until the end of October. “On the body” is the collective’s first solo exhibition in the New York gallery, and questions identity and autonomy in the post-digital era. The works invite spectators to participate actively. Fragments, for example, is made up of 200 mirrors assembled mosaic-like, which move in harmony with one another to face the onlooker as he or she moves. The work of Random International has joined the collections of big institutions such as the MoMA in New York, the LACMA in Los Angeles and the Victoria & Albert Museum in...

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