I started off the day in the Antiques section. A well represented section with 96 booths. This area was quite a treat and based on proximity to the entrance prime real estate for the fair. It also in my mind qualified for some of the more extravagant booths as palatial rooms with rotundas an columns were created to house the beautiful wares like the one by Robbig- Munchen.
At Piva&C Milano I found beautiful lacquered moor figures mid 18th century Venice, small 3 inch pocket globes be of which depicted Captain Cooks voyage and utensils from the 17th century with handles depicting mythological figures an allegories.
Pieter Hoogendijk, Naarden had a beautiful armoire veneered with Ebony, Rio and Hondurras Rosewood and Tortoise shell attributed to Herman Doomer mid 17th century
As usual Axel Vervoort curated a beautiful arrangement of old and new, including a Giacometti cat and an AnishKapoor marble.
Antiquites were well represented as at Charles Ede and Rupert Wace Ancient Art
Harmakhis Archeologie has exquisite Bronze Age jewelry including a pair of Salgotarjan arm spirals from 1400–1300BC and a pair o spiral bracers.
The curated contemporary show Show Your Wound was anachronistic in the setting of the fair and in my opinion continues to seem an afterthought. I completely understand the fairs need to bring contemporary into the mis but perhaps taking a cue from the Venice Biennale and giving it a central dramatic space and emphasis would be more effective.
Then we moved into the Modern section. Quite a mixed bag of works but all of high quality were shown by the 52 exhibitors.
At Cardi Gallery a wonderful Gunther Uecker Weiss from 1988 drew my eye
Galerie Karsten Greve was a real treat as usually the Galerie at shows in the states only comes with a tiny selection of works. Here they had wonderful Fontana’s – including glazed ceramic pieces – I particularly liked crucifixion -as well as Louise Bourgeois, Twombly, and Joel Shapiro works.
Van der Weghe Gallery had some spectacular works by Picasso, Basquiat and Wool
Galerie Odermatt, Vedovi, Brussels also showcased Wool, Fontana, Twombly, a tiny gem of a de Kooning, and a haunting Magritte named Elseneur
Galerie Delaive showed several Sam Francis pieces including particularly large 180×240 cm one
Hammer Galleries put together a beautiful show of Picasso and Matisse. Although they stressed in the presentation he influencers respect the two artists had for each other, the works did not necessarily make that point as the masterful exhibit by Moma has done. Still the works were beautiful and the booth a pleasure.
Landau- probably one of the less curated booths but a plethora of nice works by among others Moore, Arp, Miro, de Chirico, Picasso, Marini, Gris, Tanguy, Ernst, Modigliani and Leger.
Tefaf is definitely worth a visit. It is a wonderful experience in a wonderful city…. more on Maastricht to come. I cannot recommend the experience enough. It typically runs early to mid March… See you there in 2017?
It is unclear if the expansion move to New York will change the experience. Many of the collectors were American in particular this year and many were there for the fair, to buy. Will the dealers therefore cease to bring their top works to Maastricht and instead opt to bring them to New York? Even if some of the top dealers were to do that it would change the feel of the fair and its importance. Time will tell