Upcoming Auctions, Exhibitions and Happenings March 2010

1. Sotheby’s, Paris will offer the Rosenthal Collection of Oceanic Art in Paris on 24 March 2010. Rosenthal began collecting the art in 1967 when he lived in French Polynesia. The collector managed to acquire objects in an opportunistic fashion as he networked with collectors and well known dealers at the time. Buying early and buying well ensured that the Rosenthal collection is represented by some important pieces that should do well even in this unpredictable market. Among the special objects from New Ireland is a Malangan frieze collected on a German naval expedition of 1907 - 1909 , an Uli figure and a Rare Malangan-style figure once owned by Vlaminck, which is estimated at 250,000 - 350,000 euros. One of the two Easter island figures is estimated to sell between 100,000 and 150,000 euros. The second collected by George Harvey in 1868 while he was a crew-member of the British frigate H.M.S. Topaze is estimated at $120,000 - 180,000 euros. A great Maori nephrite Tiki that is 7" in height is estimated to sell between 100,000 and 150,000 euros.

2. The New York International Tribal and Textile Arts Show -In 2007, Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times critic Holland Cotter wrote of the New York International Tribal and Textile Show, “, "...when something is hot at this fair, the most beautiful one in New York, it
's superhot." It was high praise but well deserved for the most comprehensive and substantive ethnographic show and sale in the world.
Featuring more than 60 international specialists in textiles and cultural objects from Tribal civilizations across the millennia and around the globe, the show employs its emphasis on textiles to provide museum curators, collectors and connoisseurs not just the most important works to appear in any marketplace, but a setting exceptionally well suited to their appreciation.
The show is scheduled annually to coincide with major ethnographic auctions in New York and is a fixture on the calendars of the world’s principal galleries and collectors.

3. The New York Arts of Pacific Asia Show - The anchor of New York City’s Spring Asia Week, this show, presented since 1995, brings together an ever more prestigious assemblage of the world’s leading galleries and dealers specializing in the fine arts, textiles and objects de arte of Asia, the Subcontinent, Japan, the Pacific Islands, and the Near and Middle East.
The Arts of Pacific Asia Show takes place during the major Asian auctions at Sotheby’s, Christies, Phillips, and Doyles, and major gallery shows now adding to the luster of the most vibrant Asian art market in the world.
Collectors, major museum curators and connoisseurs are the core of Asia Week buyers, and the show’s more than 70 exhibitors gather from Asia, Europe, the UK and across America to make this rigorously vetted event the most respected Asian art fair in the world.

4. Detroit Institute of Arts, - DETROIT, MI.- "Through African Eyes: The European in African Art", 1500 to Present is the first traveling art exhibition to examine 500 years of cultural and political interactions between the peoples of African and European outsiders. It is also the first to do so from African points-of-view. "Through African Eyes" will be on view at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) April 18–August 8, 2010.
"Through African Eyes" provides riveting visual commentaries on five centuries of interactions between Africans and Europeans and Westerners—from early commercial relations to founding of European permanent settlements to European colonial rule to recent post-independence interactions with the West. On the one hand, the objects reflect subtle and not-so-subtle views of African artists about Europeans; on the other, they also document shifts in African cultural attitudes toward Europeans over the period. By casting the European as the cultural “other,” the exhibition reverses longstanding Eurocentric perspectives that have dominated African art studies. African voices, heard through recorded oral histories and personal experiences of African elders and artists, provide their own perspectives on the meanings of the objects and motivations behind their creation.
The exhibition features about 100 figurative sculptures and utilitarian objects created in wood, ivory, metals and textiles from the holdings of the DIA and other leading American and international museums and private collections. The artworks will expand the public’s understanding of Africa as a multiplicity of cultures, each with a different history of relations with Europeans. Among the countries represented are Ghana , Mali , Ivory Coast , Nigeria , Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone , Cameroon , Tanzania , Zimbabwe and South Africa.
“We are eagerly anticipating this groundbreaking exhibition,” said Graham W. J. Beal, DIA director. “Nii Quarcoopome, our curator of African art, has been conducting research and gathering objects for the exhibition for a number of years, and the new scholarship resulting from Nii’s hard work will contribute greatly to the field of African art studies.” This will be a fascinating exhibition considering that few curators in the US are as qualified to see "Through African Eyes" as Ghanaian born art historian and now curator Nii Quarcoopome. Whether he makes his case and avoids the obvious traps that will be created on this subject matter, will be intriguing to watch. One might concluded that the very small number of curators from Africa working in US Museums might to some degree be the the result of the existence of a different perspective and how that might work with different constituencies.
5. LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will present three major and diverse exhibitions to debut its new Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion. The Resnick Pavilion will open to the public in October 2010 with Eye for the Sensual: Selections from the Resnick Collection; Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700–1915; and Olmec: Masterworks of Ancient Mexico. The inaugural exhibitions will highlight the diversity of the museum’s encyclopedic collection and programming, as well as the flexibility of the Renzo Piano designed pavilion. The new 45,000 square foot building—the cornerstone of Phase II of LACMA’s ongoing Transformation—will be the largest purpose built, naturally lit museum space in the world.
Olmec: Masterworks of Ancient Mexico
Olmec is the first West Coast presentation of massive works and small scale sculptures produced by Mexico’s earliest civilization, which began around 1400 BC and was centered in the Gulf Coast states of Veracruz and Tabasco. Olmec architects and artists produced the earliest monumental structures and sculptures on the North American continent, including enormous basalt portrait heads of their rulers, which can weigh up to twenty-four tons. Small-scale jadeite objects, which embody the symbolism of sacred and secular authority among the Olmec, attest to the long distance exchange of rare resources that existed as early as 1000 BC, and Olmec artists were unsurpassed in their ability to work this extremely hard stone with elementary tools of chert, water, and sand. The opening of Olmec will coincide with Los Angeles celebrations of the bicentennial of Mexico’s independence and the centennial of the Mexican revolution. The exhibition is co-organized by Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, LACMA, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and is curated at LACMA by Virginia Fields, senior curator of Arts of the Ancient Americas.