A REVIEW OF THE 2014 "PARCOURS des MONDES", ART & TRIBAL FAIR

 

(Text and photos by Michael Auliso)

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PHOTO of catalog Cover

 

Another great Parcours has and come and gone.  We invite you experience a part of it from an insider's POV.  This is not a "blog" but rather an "opinion editorial" hosted on tribalmania.com.

The Parcours fair is like going for a drink at the fountain and getting hit with a "fire hose"!  I ran into a number of American and Australian customers, first attending Parcours who were awe-struck by the volume and intensity of the Art Experience (you could see it on their faces)-- the theme exhibits often adding high notes through out.  As is mentioned in the introduction of their catalog, "it has been a high point of the calendar for all of the major global players in the tribal art world".  

Although the European economy is slowing down, and perhaps going into a potential recession, astute collectors continue to buy.  Many collectors forego purchases throughout the year,  keeping their powder dry for the Parcours.  There were 69 exhibitors this year as opposed to 65 last year.  New and official exhibitors for 2014 included:  Berz Gallery of African Art (Sausalito California), Brant Mackley Gallery (Pennsylvania), Martin Doustar (Brussels),  Jonathan Hope (London), and Indian Heritage - Frederic Rond (Paris).

I understand that pre-sales were strong as dealer's best clients came early to buy.  I saw a number of collectors providing material to dealers to take advantage of the opportunity to sell.   I noted in particular late Saturday afternoon that the most red dots were accumulated by Alain Lecompt's (Teke Exhibit) and Yann Ferrandin (making it look easy again).    As with any fair there is a "rotation" of success and it is never robust for everyone-- "success" depends on many factors like what you have, who shows up, people's enthusiasm, and a dealers profitability on consignments they have... etc. 

A group of collectors was discussing specific objects and comparing "prices".  It was a fascinating conversation to hear how each judged "value".    From a buyers point of view, they still want all the rarity and quality but they don't want "record" prices, just "reasonable" ones.  There is enough material at Parcours where a collector can  (to a point) compare and shop relative objects....   Some dealers price items aggressively, either because of what the piece is or who the dealer is.  That's fine but they risk having inventory much longer, perhaps making it harder to sell.  To be fair, however, the majority of pieces are certainly not priced out of bounds.  The days of seeing an "ordinary object" priced for multiples of its real value, ended back in 2006.  

 

 

 Renaud Vanuxem

The journey though the galleries is mostly stream of consciousness and it took me almost 4 days to see about 85 percent of it.  Some galleries I never did get to visit.  Sadly, when I returned to key galleries, initially too busy to photograph , many exciting pieces were already gone.  That was especially true of Renaud Vanexum's gallery who had an exposition titled " Sage et Feroce".   So, you must be early before things are purchased and removed, since many visitors to the Parcours are from out of town and eagerly take their purchases with them!  Who can blame them, they want to start enjoying them.

 

(Kevin Conru)  with one of the best graphic window art displays-- Pair of New Britain Banning tapas 

 

(Kevin Conru)  rue des Beaux-Arts Gallery

Characterizing buyer behavior, Kevin told me "there was an abundance of people walking around who can and will spend 2-3000 euros, then there are those who will spend 10K, looking for better pieces and they are "fewer".  Then there are those who will spend far more and they are the fewest.  At Parcours I expect to spend more time with customers to make deals work."

 

(Yann Ferrandin)  Interior of his new spacious and classy gallery on 33 rue de Seine

 

(Yann Ferrandin)

        

(Yann Ferrandin)  Left- Detail of a Batak Magic horn from Sumatra.  Right- expressive horned Dan mask

 

(Yann Ferrandin)  A unique style Baule female figure.  

 

(Yann Ferrandin) an ancient Senufo "Kipele" mask

 

(Yann Ferrandin)  Makonde mask Mozambique

 

(Yann Ferrandin)  Luba Stool

 

(Yann Ferrandin)  Maori feather box "wakahuia"

 

The fair is always a rich social experience.  Running into Marc Pinto from Perth Australia.  Marc is a dealer, field collector and traditional Tattoo artist.  I like the contrast of his Paris attire and ink.  He's wearing mostly Thai Buddhist magic tattoos.   Good chatting and thanks for the coffee man!

 

      

(Michael Hamson)  New Guinea pieces including a graphic Elema archers shield and Sepik trumpet.

 

(Michael Hamson) The scale and quality of the center Aboriginal Churinga was impressive.

 

                              

(Michael Hamson)  His catalog submission- A West Sepik province, Siasso Lagoon shield.

 

(Bruce Frank)

 

(Bruce Frank) New Guinea fiber mask

 

                    

(Bruce Frank) A New Guinea Aitpae female figure.  Right-  A refined Mende "Bundu" mask from Sierre Leone

 

 

(Galerie Guilhem Montagut)  Dramatic and effective use of window art for this exhibit: "L'ancien Soudan Francais".  

 

(Interior- Guilhem Montagut- Barcelona)  Cameroon Bamileke figure

 

Guilhem Montagut (red shirt)

 

(Guilhem Montagut) A Kuba "bwoon" Helmet mask

 

                                         

(Guilhem Montagut)  Left- Dogon ancestor figure, Right- a Senufo figure 

 

(Guilhem Montagut) Bamana Hyena mask

 

(Guilhem Montagut) Dogon "Omono" mask

 

 

(Exterior Galerie Guilhem Montagut) Running into a couple more colleagues Daniel Rootenberg, and Charles Moreau.

 

Galerie J. Visser

 

(Galerie J. Visser)

 

(Galerie J. Visser)  Amazing Asmat headhunting sculpture set against a graphic N. African painted hide.

 

              

(Galerie J. Visser)    Detail showing a decapitated individual holding their own head!  From the old days of a thriving headhunting culture.

 

 

STROLLING THE PARCOURS AT NIGHT 

 

For me a part of Parcours experience,  is studying and looking in the gallery windows at NIGHT.   I think it is cool when they leave their lights on so you can see some of the Gods and Ancestors resting.  A quiet reflective time to absorb more and summarize the day.  It also helps occupy oneself for insomnia and Jetlag.

 

 

Entwistle

 

Entwistle

 

Entwistle

 

 

Serge Schoffel

 

(Lucas Ratton)-- Evening, Rue de Seine looking through a sheer curtain

 

(Lucas Ratton) This Punu Charm from Gabon was his catalog submission

(Galerie Dodier)

 

(Galerie Dodier) Strolling the galleries and running in this contraption.  At first I thought it was the worst modification to a car I've ever seen (which it is) but then it dawned on me the intention was to duplicate the DeLorean from the 80's film Back to the Future.

 

Pierre Dartevelle's Exhibit: Continuite'.  This year he moved the larger attractive Galerie Loevenbruck space on rue Jacques Callot.

 

Galerie Schoffel de Fabry on rue Guenegaud

\

Guilhem Montagut

 

 

 

Exterior Galerie Meyer-  Michael Auliso (left) with Maori Sculptor George Nuku (right).  His sculpting skills are in high demand with a line of Museums eager to commission his work.  Anthony Meyer has exhibited his work in the past.  Continued success to you George!

 

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