Jean-David Cahn: TEFAF and archaeology

An archaeologist by training, born into a dynasty of well-known dealers, Jean-David Cahn started his gallery in Basel in 1999. Specialising in Greek, Roman and Egyptian archaeology, he also chairs vetting committees on western archaeology. Art Media Agency met him at his stand at TEFAF. What did you think of this year’s TEFAF? This fair is really dynamic. Several aspects have been worked on this year, namely with the arrival of new dealers. Today, TEFAF is undergoing a rejuvenation process and fine perspectives are in view with its launch of two new fairs in New York. This change was necessary. TEFAF is no longer a newcomer, but I think that the current period is promising. It will take a few years, but a dynamic has been triggered. What dynamic is that? The fair is being updated and taking on a more global reach. Expertise is also returning to the foreground, with an absolutely extraordinary concentration of experts, namely for vetting. We wish to develop this potential for the public interest, beyond the mere issue of presenting and selling work. Our ambition is to offer expertise on a wide scale. Is vetting one of the major priorities of TEFAF? The strength of vetting lies in gathering a committee in which it’s possible to talk and debate openly with the aim of validating pieces and protecting the dealer offering them for sale. “The benefit goes to the public”: this is a major TEFAF principle. If any uncertainty surrounds a piece, we prefer to exclude it from the fair. These exclusions concern pieces whose authenticity is not entirely clear or those that have undergone too many successive restorations that have ultimately changed their nature. For example, if we have a Roman sculpture representing a head, and the surface of the face has...

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Interview with Anthony Phuong of A2Z Gallery at Art Paris Art Fair 2016

A key attraction for most viewers to the A2Z Gallery’s booth at Art Paris Art Fair 2016, is the interactive work Sans repères by Hom Nguyen. Anthony Phuong, who founded the gallery in 2009 with Ziwei Phuong, invites visitors to view the large drawing through the camera on their mobile phones. Seen through the camera, the figures in the drawings develop more defined contours. The gallery, situated in Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris, intends to be bridge Europe and the Far East. To this end, they represent many artists of East Asian origin. Among the artists featured at their booth are painters Ma Desheng and Bu Hua and photographer Zhang Wei. Art Media Agency spoke to Anthony about the gallery’s experience at the fair. How many times have you been to the fair?  This is my 6th edition. How has this year’s fair been compared to previous years?  We’ve received many visitors. For this year, at the beginning, I had received mostly French clients, and this weekend it’s been mostly European. I like the selection this year; I love the work of Guillaume Piens, which highlights galleries promoting new artists. It’s great to discover new things. What do you like about fairs?  I think it’s is essential today for a gallery to participate in fairs. This is the place where we meet many collectors and potential customers. The next fair we’re heading to is probably Art 16 in London in May this...

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Interview with Baudoin Lebon at the Art Paris Art Fair 2016

Founded in 1976, the Paris-based gallery Baudoin Lebon dedicates itself to modern and contemporary sculpture, painting and photography. The gallery has been representing a significant number of Korean artists for twenty years, born out of a long-established partnership and personal ties between Baudoin Lebon and Korea. Four Korean artists are featured at their booth at the Art Paris Art Fair: Kim Tschang-Yeul, Shin Sung-Hy, Chae Sung-Pil and Oh Se-Yeol. AMA spoke to Baudoin Lebon himself about the gallery’s experience at the fair. Are you a regular at the fair? We’ve been here for twelve years. At the beginning, Art Paris Art Fair was held at the same time as FIAC. So I was at FIAC then. Then they decided to do the fair in spring, so I went there for the second year. How has this year’s fair been compared to the others? For business, it’s been very slow. I think it’s been the same case for many other galleries. It’s usually uneven for business. For me, art fairs are more a kind of vitrine or advertisement to promote the artists the gallery represents. But the audience is very good, we see a lot of collectors and people interested. People have shown interest in the Korean artists this year. There was a significantly international audience at the opening, a few Americans, Belgians and Germans. Todays it’s been more French. Where is the gallery heading to next? The AIPAD Photography Show in New York in April, and after that the Art Busan in South Korea in...

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Christine Phall, a real feel for drawing

Interview with Christine Phal, president of Drawing Now, on her first impressions of the fair’s 10th birthday, possibly marking a new stage in its evolution. This is also the opportunity to review the announcement of the winner of the 6th Prix Drawing Now, this year awarded to Jochen Gerner, represented by the gallery Anne Barrault (Paris). How did the opening go? The VIP opening was very successful with high-quality visitors including institutions, collectors and a very enthusiastic public. We felt a real desire in them to discover the fair’s latest edition. How do you see the fair’s energy? We are reaping what we sowed in the last nine editions. We agree that there is relatively little theory on drawing in Europe, and we have contributed to promoting research on drawing. We are very close to and feel a great deal for this medium that we defend. We set up a contemporary-drawing donation fund five years ago to accompany the Prix Drawing Now, promoting an artist under fifty years old. When we place the spotlight on a country, we do so in an in-depth manner to explore a territory demonstrating true drawing expression. This is done by reflecting on graphic creation in this country but also on the structures bearing this creation, in other words the institutional network including galleries, museums and collectors. This year, we are presenting a transversal focus on Germany because German gallerists were amongst the first foreigners to take part in Drawing Now. There is also a very strong graphic tradition in Germany, with graphic-arts cabinets that gather 17th century drawings as well as contemporary drawings, unlike the far more compartmentalized approach in France. Old drawings were often preparatory works, or accompanied other works being produced. But contemporary artists treat drawings as works in themselves, an...

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Art Paris Art Fair: from Korea to Africa – Interview with Guillaume Piens

Guillaume Piens, fair manager of Art Paris Art Fair, discussed with Art Media Agency the highlights of this new edition as well as his new projects for the fair. Could you introduce briefly focus on Korea? The focus is of great magnitude; it includes eighty-eight Korean artists, who are represented by 26 galleries. We present both historical and contemporary artists, which is quite rare in Paris. We also organize many ancillary events like the monumental installation Kiwon Park, Flash Wall, an evocation of the wall that divides Korea and questions the notion of ‘border’. Flash Wall is a ‘peace’ wall, installed in front of the Grand Palais, on which visitors may submit peaceful messages. Initially this installation was performed in Berlin, another divided city. This is a message I am glad to convey these days … We also present a program designed by Sang Chun-A, which includes performances at various facilities across the space of the fair and in the VIP club. I refer in particular to the performance of Sulki & Min, Materials,  Yeesookyung with When I Become You which addresses the issues of tradition and modernity, and  Young in Hong’s Let Us Dance, is a flash mob inspired by student demonstrations that took place in Seoul in 1988. At that time, they accused the younger generation of passivity during the transition to democracy! The artist was inspired by this event and asked high school girls to choreograph, forming a group that will unfold in the central aisle of the fair. There will also be a conference at the Korean Cultural Center about the Korean scene, bringing together the best experts on the subject. Finally, there is the spectacular installation of Chung Hyun at the Palais Royal Man Standing, which rounds off this celebration of the Korean scene. How did you prepare for the event? Many trips. This edition is the result of three...

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