TEFAF Maastricht 2024 Highlights: Artists. Part 2

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TEFAF Maastricht 2024 Highlights

TEFAF Maastricht is widely regarded as the world's premier fair for fine art, antiques, and design, bringing together 7,000 years of art history under one roof.

Alberto Giacometti
Giacometti frequently used his brother Diego as a model, regarding his next-of-kin as a kind of reflection of himself. In this way, rendering Diego in both paint and bronze allowed the artist to create a self-portrait while looking at another person.

Giacometti regarded each sitting as a moment of meeting his brother anew, saying, “When he poses for me, I don’t recognize him.” In the presence of someone who is, as it were, “his double,” Giacometti “more than ever is witness to the mystery of existence, like Hamlet thinking of Yorick."

Louise Bourgeois
Two hands stretch far upwards in a gesture of help, almost into the sky. In their red colouring, they express a long and terrible cry for help. How lost and repressed must this person be in order to long for freedom - and the white colour also suggests purity and innocence - that one would seek freedom from the mother in such a way? What kind of oppression has taken place that the hands and arms are so bloody red?

The woman's skirt dominating the picture is silent in majestic dominance and purity, concealing as well as possible what has happened beneath it. But the past cannot remain hidden. As a real event, it characterises those affected and has an impact on their environment.

Completing this selection of major Nouveau Réalisme works, a monumental accumulation of bronze propellers by Arman will adorn our booth. Titled 10.000 knots, this unique piece is typical of Arman’s fondness for textual and visual puns, converted here in a play on words between nautical miles and the intertwined aspect of the welded and henceforth useless propellers.

Niki de Saint Phalle
Niki de Saint Phalle’s Dragon Rouge, from 1964, is a major and rare sculpture by the artist. An assemblage of plaster, various fabrics, toys and figurines forms a monster whose plastic entrails consist of toy soldiers, airplanes, a gun, horses and wild animals.

The dragon devours the childlike imagery of a certain fantasized virility, that of mimicking war; it is, moreover, crowned by a spider whose role, both maternal and voracious, perfectly illustrates the ambiguity of women’s status in Niki de Saint Phalle’s work.

Jean-Pierre Cassigneul
Cassigneul began painting portraits of elegant and enigmatic women in 1963 and they remain his favourite and most celebrated subject; their timeless appeal making Cassigneul one of the most successful contemporary French painters.

A striking, insouciant nude in a light blue, panelled interior rests her elbow on a table-top of dark gold, her delicate form obscured by an opulent bouquet of bright pink and pale yellow roses. Her bobbed hair and bold eye make-up recall French film stars of the 1960s, such as Mireille Darc in Jean-Luc Goddard’s Week-End (1967).

Claudio Parmiggiani
A radically iconoclastic spirit pervaded the artist’s work since the 1960s, and in 1970 he produced his first Delocazione (‘delocation’), transforming the readymade, a work of shadow and imprints created using fire, dust and smoke. These works had an extremely strong visual and emotional impact, creating a dialogue with its surroundings, constituting an expression of the artist’s spirituality: invisible yet almost tangible. 

On the one hand, the objects here remain the everyday, industrial thing, as it was before with Duchamp when he got his hands on it; on the other, thanks to the artistic intervention, it becomes something that can be displayed in an exhibition and thus to be observed as a work of art.
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