Monday, September 08, 2014


From a geographical point of view, the most interesting and densest zone for the under $5,000 budget is in fact Europe. Small treasures are regularly turning up at regional auction sales or at Druout in Paris which hosts no less than 74 auction companies and offers some 500,000 objects and artworks every year. Apart from the historical works, for which France remains the world’s primary attic (Alibaba’s cave might be a more accurate description…), whole segments of 19th century art remain seriously under-valued. In effect, the majority of European artists (except for one or two German and English masters), and particularly French artists, are untainted by speculation. They therefore represent a dynamic and affordable source for art lovers who wish to acquire works by already recognized signatures and works that are in tune with their epoch. Take for exampleGérard GAROUSTE, whose most recently auctioned major oil painting fetched $16,000 (Untitled, 1974, Artcurial Paris, May 5, 2014) whereas his most recently sold ink drawing fetched just $700 (Personnages, 1987, Beaussant-Lefevre SARL, Paris, December 18, 2013). Then there is Jean-Michel ALBEROLA who was associated with the Free Figuration movement. In April of this year, a gouache measuring over a meter (La Main qui tient, 1998, 112 cm x 91.5 cm, Tajan Paris, April 29 2014) sold for the equivalent of $5,300. In the same month, an acrylic on paper by Ivan MESSAC, the youngest of the Narrative Figuration artists, sold for just $2,200 in Versailles (American Indian Movement, 44 cm x 43.5 cm, Versailles Enchères, April 27, 2014)... These are all artists who have works in major national museums and are part of 20th century art history.



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