French “Fringe” Artists Find Art Market Favour – artmarketblog.com
A number of recent art auctions in America and France have produced results that suggest a surge in interest towards the work of French “fringe” artists such as Philippe Pasqua, Robert Combas both of whom have been the subject of major exhibitions over the last couple of years. The term “fringe” refers to the rejection of formal and traditional artistic practice in favour of a more unconventional and free-spirited approach to their work.
Sometimes referred to as “The French Francis Bacon”, and likened to Lucien Freud, self taught French artist Philippe Pasqua was the subject of a major exhibition at the London branch of Opera Gallery from 2011-2012 – the first time the artist had been exhibited in a London art gallery.
According to Opera Gallery, “an admittedly self taught painter, Philippe Pasqua’s oversized and heavily worked canvases have impact and intrigue that are both confrontational in size and intensity.”
A wonderful painting by Pasqua was offered for sale by Christie’s during their 16th July 2012 Open House sale which is a bi-annual auction of post-war and contemporary by established stars and cutting edge artists alike. The untitled Pasqua portrait was estimated to fetch $30,000 – $40,000 but ended up selling for US$134,500 and achieving the second highest auction price for the artist.
Also included in the Christie’s sale were two works by the French artist, ecological campaigner and musician Robert Combas. The first painting by Combas titled Adam et Eve fetched $33,750 against an estimate of $15,000 – $20,000. Three lots later, Combas’ L’enrouleur et l’enroulé blitzed the $12,000 – $18,000 for a final price of $33,750.
From February 24th to July 15th, 2012, The Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (the “MAC”) presented the first major retrospective of work by Robert Combas, a painter born in Lyon with a passion for rhythm. As an artist who rightly compares his painting to rock music!, this was a highly original exhibition to be both seen and heard.
Philippe Pasqua (b. 1965)
signed and dated ‘Pasqua Philippe 2006′ (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
98¼ x 78 5/8 in. (249.5 x 199.7 cm.)
Painted in 2006.
**Nicholas Forrest is a Sydney/London based art market analyst, art consultant and writer. He is the founder of the Art Market Blog (artmarketblog.com) which offers independent commentaries as well as research and analysis on the current art market, and has recently been published in Fabrik magazine, Verve magazine, Visual Art Beat magazine, Australian Art Collector magazine, Art & Investment magazine and many others. Nic has made several radio appearances (both nationally and internationally) as an art market expert and has received press from the likes of the New York Times, Conde Nast Portfolio and Times of London.
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