Flash News: Beirut Art Fair – The David Teiger Collection


Beirut Art Fair 2018

Art will be everywhere… art is light, it’s peace and it’s a celebration. This quote from Laure d’Hauteville, founder of Beirut Art fair, sounds like a definition of Lebanon itself. A major artistic rendez-vous for the Middle East, the Lebanese fair has been showcasing creativity from the ME.NA.SA region (Middle East, North Africa, South East Asia) since 2010, a geographical positioning that perfectly reflects Beirut’s identity as a cultural and commercial bridge between East and West. For this 9th edition, the Beirut Art Fair is spreading its wings on an exhibition area expanded by almost 50%… a sure sign of the attractiveness of Contemporary art in Lebanon and the dynamism of the country’s creativity, supported by a global diaspora.

The 2018 edition specifically explores the history of the 8th art (photography), with a flagship exhibition entitled Across Boundaries that highlights the vast Lebanese photographic legacy from 1900 to the present with a hundred works from public archives and the workshops of contemporary photographers. Exploring the everyday lives of the population, their memories of the war and their relationship to the nation, the ensemble illustrates the country’s regional exception in terms of freedom of expression. The Byblos Bank Award will reward the emergence of young photographs. Beyond this medium, “Revealing by SGBL” offers local and international galleries a chance to showcase new talent with 18 new galleries and their artists like Thomas HENRIOT (1980) (France), O’Maurice Mboa (Cameroon) and Soh Boon KIONG (1966) (Malaysia). Art Beirut also wishes to consolidate its global standing with a focus on top-bracket international artists: “Art by Bankmed” presents one of the largest collections of the American artist KAWS (1974), with forty figures. There is also a tribute to Paul Guiragossian, a major figure in the country’s artistic history who died in 1993. An Armenian-Lebanese patriarch of a family of artists, the show presents an ensemble of works from archives and other works shown to the public for the first time.

The Design Fair, which runs in parallel, is also a showcase for contemporary furniture designers. Beirut Art Fair is part of an Art Week that offers a range of artistic experiences throughout the city and a number of events in ancient archaeological sites. The 2018 edition, expanded and yet more selective, marks a clear upgrade in the fairs scope and ambitions, thereby avoiding the danger of being considered an isolated local event.

The History of Now: sale of the David Teiger collection

With the major autumn sales approaching, Sotheby’s London has announced a series of sales offering artworks from the prestigious David Teiger collection including The History of Now as part of its Contemporary Art evening sale on October 5.

Teiger’s discerning eye and meticulous attention to detail saw him, over the course of twenty years, build one of the most admired collections of Contemporary art in the world, with masterpieces by British artists such as Peter DOIG (1959), Cecily BROWN (1969) and Jenny SAVILLE (1970) joining exemplary pieces by American artists such as Jasper JOHNS (1930), Jeff Koons and Alex KATZ (1927). A visionary collector with extremely high standards, Teiger (who died in 2014), had already acquired important works by Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning and Richard DIEBENKORN (1922-1993) in the 1990s and then began to buy American folk art, including a collection of weather vanes that will be offered for sale in New York next January. Thanks to his exemplary support for curators and institutions throughout his life, he added a whole new dimension to the notion of ‘collecting art’.

Apart from the high quality of the works on offer, The History of Now sale has a very distinct attraction: almost all the works by major artists have never been auctioned before. They include Peter Doig’s Buffalo Station I and II (1997-1998), each estimated $7.7 million, Glenn Brown’s The Revolutionary Corps of Teenage Jesus (2005) estimated at $900,000 to $1.3 million and Mark GROTJAHN (1968)‘s Untitled (Yellow Butterfly Orange) (2004) estimated at $3.8 million to $5 million. The sale also includes John Currin’s oil-on-canvas Minerva estimated between $1.3 and $1.5 million and a monumental work by Chris OFILI (1968) from his “Afromantics” series that was the centerpiece of his pavilion at the 2002 Venice Biennale. The latter is expected to fetch over a million dollars.

In total, the series of sales is expected to generate over $100 million, which, according to Sotheby’s, will make the Teiger Foundation one of the most important Contemporary Art Foundations in the world. The proceeds from the Sotheby’s sales, which will continue until May 2019, will allow the Teiger Foundation to support and promote Contemporary art. For a few days, London will be the place to be for some of world’s most wealthy and seasoned collectors. And… when not at the Teiger sales, they can visit the famous Art Frieze Art Fair (4-7 October).