Enjoying the International Fine Art & Antique Dealers Show

While I certainly don’ t have the money for virtually anything they were offering, I simply can’t miss out each year on the International Fine Art & Antique Dealers Show that takes place at the Park Avenue Armory each year.  This year, the show took place from October 21 through 27, and the only word I can really use to describe it is “WOW!”

It was hard to figure out where to begin, as I was wowed and amazed by so many incredible antiques that were on display.  Phoenix Ancient Art, owned by brothers Hicham Aboutaam and Ali Aboutaam, was there, displaying a marble sculpture of a female from the Aegean region of the Neolithic period.  This 7,000 year old statue may only have stood five inches tall, but it captivated everyone who saw it at the show.

Brian Haughton Gallery of London was there, showcasing a pair of realistic owls that were made by the English firm Bow in the 1750s.  The Tomasso Brothers had a gorgeous micromosaic table top on display that was made in Rome in the early nineteenth century. It had bits of ancient Roman glass in it and was just stunning.

Another exhibitor was Samina, the London specialist in antique Indian jewelry from the Mughal and Deccan courts.

The list goes on and on.  It was absolutely a privilege to be at the Show and to be witness to so many opportunities to admire and to own antiques. Now I’ll have to wait for the Art Antiques in London coming next June!

Defining New Realism

I realized after I wrote my last post about the Galerie Sonia Zannettacci that not everyone knows what New Realism is.  The Gallery features New Realism as one of its main attractions, and it’s certainly a type of art that people should know about and be able to appreciate.

Called Nouveau Realisme, or New Realism, it’s a movement that was founded in October of 1960.  A number of artists, who actually signed their names on a declaration together, said that they were coming together for a new awareness of their “collective singularity.”  Their goal was to capture everyday reality without any idealism clouding the portrayal.  The original term Nouveau Realisme was coined by art critic Pierre Restany during an early exhibition he did in May of 1960.

The reason that it was seen as being “new” rather than as simply being realism is because it was connected to the new and growing urban consumer society.  Similar “new” forms of expression were taking place in fiction with the Nouveau Roman and in the New Wave in film.  It also focused on the presentation of an object that was chosen by the artist, rather than on the making of an image.

Artists who spearheaded this field included: Yves Klein, Arman, Francois Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Pierre Restany, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely, Jacques de la Villeglé, César, Mimmo Rotella, Niki de Saint Phalle and Gerard Deschamps.

The art above is that of Martial Raysse, Soudain l’été dernier (Suddenly Last Summer), 1963.

Galerie Sonia Zannettacci on the To-Do List

Another gallery that I didn’t have the pleasure of seeing is the Galerie Sonia Zannettacci at 16, rue des Granges.  I realized after our trip in Switzerland that you simply can’t do everything the first time around. So, during a future trip, I certainly hope to be able to visit this lovely gallery that’s been open since December of 1980.

The gallery focuses on three main trends in European art. They fancy Surrealism, New Realism and Figuration Narrative.  They also enjoy featuring Photography as part of their central mission.

Some of the artists who are most strongly represented at Galerie Sonia Zannettacci are Horst Janssen, Piotr Kowalski, Olivier O. Olivier, Yvan Salomone and many others.  Right now they are featuring Kosta Alex.

I’ve been most taken with the New Realism movement and with artists such as Raymond Hains, Cesar, and Arman. Another thing to put on my to-do list for our next visit to Geneva!


The Galerie Rosa Turetsky

We didn’t get to the Galerie Rosa Turetsky while we were in Geneva last time – but I have it on my list for our next visit!  The Galerie began in the early eighties and is committed to helping young artists to confront matter, concept and use of space.

The space where the Galerie is today was opened in November of 2005 and they focus their energies on contemporary art.  I am particularly interested in seeing one artist who has been featured at the Galerie Rosa Turetsky – Roger Ackling.  Using wood found on beaches and in river banks, Ackling focuses heat on these wood pieces with a magnifying glass.  He creates intense sculptures with the natural energy of the sun, emphasizing inner energy and the natural surroundings.

Another artist whose work I’d love to catch at the Gallerie is Joan Hernandez Pijuan.  His paintings and printmaking are supposed to evoke the landscape and nature with the use of uniform neutral colors.  He draws interesting, modern waves, zigzags and diamonds that create simple but expressive impressions on viewers.

It’s always good to dream – and seeing these exceptional artists at the Galerie Rosa Turetsky is high up on my list of dreams!

Artwork by Joan Hernandez Pijuan.

A Feast for the Eyes…TACTILe Gallery

While we were in Geneva, we obviously couldn’t spend every second of the day looking at ancient art and antiques.  One place that was a must-enjoyed change of pace with the TACTILe Gallery.  They’ve been open in Geneva since 1998 and they specialize in contemporary jewelry from around Europe.

Now, I’m not a jewelry hog and I don’t spend much money on items of this sort, but it was so much fun to look through their extensive collection and to enjoy the creativity of their artists. They feature a huge range of contemporary art from: Iris Bodemer, Sophie Bouduban, Esther Brinkmann, Cathy Chotard and many others.

They are located at 8, place du Grand-Mézel and they are really a feast for the eyes…and for the pocketbook if you’ve got the cash to spend!

Picture is earrings from Annette Ehinger – boucles d’oreilles 2012 or 585, tourmaline rose, quartz enfumé

Antique Maps in Geneva

One thing that I became smitten with while we were in Geneva is old maps.  I’ve never been particularly into maps, but there was an amazing little shop in Geneva called the Village Antiques.  While we were there, I came across antique maps dating as far back as the 16th century.

One of the maps that they had, for instance, was a rare map of Henricus Hondius’ from around 1630.  It’s actually the only version of this map in which the Indian that’s standing on the right turns inward to face the Cheapeake.

Another map that they have is from their 17th Century collection and it is engraved by Peter Kaerius.

While I’m quite a historian and lover of antiques, maps are, quite honestly, something I’ve never thought too much about. It was fascinating to see how these antique maps can create insight into the time period in which they were made and into the people who interacted during that period.

Another eye-opening experience in Geneva!


Map: Copperplate engravings by Peter Kaerius (P.Van Den Keere, 1571-1646). Published in Amsterdam, around 1620

A Visit to the Jan Krugier Gallery

When I was last in New York I had the joy of visiting the Jan Krugier Gallery.  It was a major fixture in the community for decades and was located, most recently, on Madison Avenue.  I always enjoyed seeing the 19th and 20th century art and the original prints that they displayed and I loved when I’d get to see a museum-quality exhibition.

I was surprised to hear, in 2010, that the New York gallery would be closing and that everything would be centered, soon, at the Galerie Krugier & Cie in Geneva.

So, of course, it was an obvious choice while we were in Geneva to stop by and see the Geneva branch.  Tzila Krugier explained this transition and move as follows: “I have decided to center the Krugier company in Geneva where I live and where the family’s business has been conducted since 1962. Of course we will continue to be very active in New York and in the United States. Our clients here will continue to be very important to us, and our relationships with galleries and dealers, developed over the past 40 years, will be preserved and made even stronger. But I have decided that the most efficient and effective way to conduct our business is to consolidate all operations in Geneva.”

The Geneva gallery was as lovely as I remembered the New York one being.  It features many of the stunning originals that made the Jan Krugier Gallery so well known.  They explained at the gallery that Ms. Krugier is planning, at this point, to devote a good deal of time to develop the Jan Krugier Foundation which will be established in honor of her father.  The Foundation will be organizing exhibitions of the family’s incredible private collection of paintings, drawings and prints and will have them at various museums throughout the world. Now that will be something worth following!

For now, I soaked in the Picassos and greatly enjoyed the Klee that was on display. I’m hoping to catch more of their work as they start up with their Foundation.  What a treat!

Enjoying Flemish Paintings

I don’t have much time today, but wanted to recount a lovely experience we had at the De Jonckheere Gallery.  I had visited their gallery in Paris and was excited to see the new one they just opened in Geneva.  They’re located at 7 rue de l’Hôtel de Ville and specializes in the study and sale of 15th, 16th and 17th century Flemish paintings.

The new gallery is as beautiful as the one in Paris, right in the heart of the old town in Geneva.  When I visited the Parisian gallery I was struck by their detailed knowledge of paintings of this era and by their extensive catalogue of painting offerings.

Now, I was similarly impressed with the De Jonckheere Gallery.  They are incredibly knowledgeable about Flemish painting and it was a pleasure to look through the gallery and hear from their staff about their extensive selection and offerings.  Quite a good day!


A Detour to Gallerie Interart

While we were eating breakfast in our hotel one morning in Geneva, we struck up a conversation with the guests at the next table.  They were raving about their visit to the Gallerie Interart in the Old Town. While it wasn’t on my original agenda, we decided to check out this Gallery after hearing such great things.

And we definitely weren’t disappointed. Established in Geneva’s Old Town in 1992, Interart shows works of art by modern and impressionist masters.  I was immediately wooed by their impressive list in their permanent exhibition.  It includes Impressionnists and Post-Impressionnists like Monet and Pissarro, artists of the major Modern Art movements like Braque, Derain, and Gleizes and artists of the Surrealist Movement like Ernst, Dali and Brauner.

In addition, on display at the time was a collection called Selection 1950-1970 which featured major figures and movements from the post-war art period.  They showed fifteen works that can mostly from private collections. The main focus was on Vieira da Silva, de Staël and Poliakoff,  They also had a major work by Dubuffet and one by Sam Francis.

We were definitely not disappointed by our breakfast neighbor’s recommendation and were happy to be sidetracked for a few hours with their suggestion!

Picture taken from http://www.galerie-interart.com/en/home.html.

Going Back in Time with Phoenix Ancient Art

In sharp contrast to our quite modern experience in the Gallery Patrick Gutknecht was our venture to the Phoenix Ancient Art S.A. Gallery owned by brothers Hicham Aboutaam and Ali Aboutaam.  I had once visited the Phoenix Ancient Art S.A. location in New York, and I was very much looking forward to seeing what their Geneva locale held.

While small in size, the Gallery is immaculate and impressively displayed.  Each antique, spanning 7000 years of history, is offered its own glory and its own space.  As the curator explained to us, each of the displayed items is carefully selected for its historical significance and also for its beauty and artistic value.

The Gallery owners certainly take pride in their work, as is evident by the layout of the display and by the enthusiasm with which they describe each piece.  While we were there, we marveled at a bronze Egyptian mirror that came from the Middle Kingdom period (circa 1938 B.C.) and at a Hellenistic necklace and matching earrings made with Greek gold and semiprecious stones.

As described on the Phoenix Ancient Art website, this is an Egyptian bronze mirror from the Middle Kingdom period, circa 1938-1758 B.C. that stands 20.3 cm high.