Art market

Collectors remain cautious at Pavilion of Arts and Design in Paris as impulse buying declines

Many dealers reported mixed results from the fair



Business was mixed at the 16th edition of the Pavilion of Arts and Design at the Jardins des Tuileries (28 March-1 April). On the evening of the opening on 26 March, at the private event sponsored by HSBC, the Parisian gallery Hopkins-Custot sold nine works on paper from the 1960s by Robert Motherwell, priced between €64,400 and €273,000. Guy Cogeval, the director of the Musée d’Orsay, reserved two aquamarine green chairs (right) by Yrjö Blomstedt, for €28,000 (for the pair), which were on offer with the dealer Franck Laigneau. Business went well for the young gallerist, who had sold another set of Blomstedt chairs, as well as a frieze decorated with embroidered linen bearing neo-Egyptian motifs, 1906, for €6,000 to a private collector.

Galerie Downtown swapped its usual Prouvé and Perriand display for a baroque ensemble by Garouste & Bonetti, dating from 1999, and sold several pieces by the duo including a bed (€100,000) and a mirror (€60,000). The dealer Maria Wettergren said she had recouped the money spent on the stand, with sales including a silver piece, Cellular Chair, 2011, by Mathias Bengtsson on the opening night for €50,000.

The gallerist Jean-Louis Danant sold a pair of S400 chairs by Werner Panton, 1963-67, to a London collector for €20,000, while the Mayoral Gallery, Barcelona, sold a Miró drawing from 1934 for €325,000 to a French buyer and Jaume Plensa’s sculpture Self-portrait, 2006, for €120,000 to a US collector.

Nevertheless, not all was rosy. “We’ve done well, but people are more careful, there’s less impulse buying,” said Andrew Duncanson, the founder of Modernity gallery. He had sold six Sandra Davolio ceramics and four chairs by Arne Jacobsen for an undisclosed price. Overall, the painting galleries found business to be slower than in previous years. Meanwhile, the Jean-François Cazeaux gallery easily sold a Gandhara Buddha torso for €40,000 but had less success with its works on paper.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Collectors remain cautious at design fair'