Treasures discovered at TEFAF Maastricht 2017
Author: Andrea Seehusen & Julian Stalter
The flower sculpture at the entrance to TEFAF sets the tone at the extremely elegant art fair in Maastricht which opened on March 9th. Everyone seems to have wondered what it would be like this year and stops to take their first photographs at the entrance.
The beauty of the preview in the morning is that it is still relatively quiet at the fair and you can wander and discover, even though you greet many familiar faces and stop for a chat. I decided to start calmly in the „Works on Paper“ section upstairs. It was a treat to stop at The Galleria Borghese showing treasures from Rome for the first time at TEFAF. The extraordinary Villa that hosts the Museum was conceived since the very beginning as an exhibition space, embodying the history and development of Italian collecting from the 17th century - when Cardinal Scipione Borghese started the collection.
Staying in the Works on Paper section and enjoying a cup of coffee I come across a rare Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-New York-1988) at W&K-Wienerroither & Kohlbacher based in Vienna and New York. The „Untitled“ (Head) painted in acrylic and oilstick on paper in 1983 was complemented by a second work, the „Untitled“ (Frame) in 1987. The frame made of wooden slats with nails contains paper with small drawings in graphite, colored pencil and acrylic. The second frame is akin to a thick layer of American pop culture and politics that engulfs Basquiat's personality.
Because I come from a family of goldsmiths, I cannot ignore the jewlery section of TEFAF. Cartier, Hemmerle and Van Cleef & Arpels as well as the beautiful antique jewlery booths are a woman’s dream. The most innovative work with stones and metal I found at Wallace Chan from Hong Kong-China. The earrings, necklaces and brooches are sculptures in themselves. They are not as heavy as they look, because Mr. Chan works in titanium. His experiments with stones are amazing, for example, he places an aquamarine on a diamond to enhance the sparkling.
I was so happy to see new works by Fabrizio Plessi at Beck & Eggeling. It has been relatively quiet around him for the last years. We did a project together fort he BMW Brand Centers in Munich and Berlin in 2005/2006. He once said to me „once you have an idea in your head, it will not go away. It grows and wants to be realized. Soon after he said this, I started my own company IAM-International Arts Management.
A sunbeam of inspiration coming from the skies, sending plentiful colors to the earth. That was my first association when seeing this beautiful work by Frank Stella: „Hacilar Level lc.“. It was showed at Pearl Lam Galleries and was made of epoxy and spray paint on cast aluminum. This almost meditative Eureka-Moment leaves the canvas and manifests itself in a sculpture. A work to stop and contemplate.
Delft reloaded in the Netherlands. The hue of blue that got it’s name from the city in Holland is once again used and transferred into a new context. The artist Katsu Yoaokitakes traditional Japanese skull motives and gives them a European touch by using porcelain and Delft Blue, that once represented the epitome of bourgeoisie merchants in Northern Europe.