LUXURYCULTURE.COM - The Modern Project


A pioneering new art venture at Paris' FIAC brought together 10 blue-chip galleries and 23 museum-quality artworks to create one über-gallery that is pitching itself as an alternative to Christie's and Sotheby's.

At Paris’ FIAC art fair, which took place October 22-25, there was one booth that stood apart from the 210 other exhibitors. Prominently positioned at the center of the Grand Palais, it was handsomely designed; a velvet rope supervised the queue that waited outside and a team of security guards stood guard. Inside, the hushed atmosphere was testament to its contents, which was sprinkled with works by Picasso, Leger, Bacon, Calder, Warhol and Lichtenstein, among others.

The brainchild of Daniel Malingue of Paris’ Galerie Malingue, The Modern Project, as the booth was called, was actually a collaboration of 10 blue-chip galleries, including L&M Arts and Gagosian, who each showed two or three artworks. Highlights of the show, which totalled 23 artworks, included a 1935-43 Mondrian, “Composition in Blue, Red and Yellow” ($35m), an Alexander Calder “stabile” ($6m), and Constantin Brancusi’s “Madamoiselle Pogany I” (in the region of $35m).

To the average art lover, the experience was akin to visiting a museum, while to the wealthy collector it was an opportunity to pick up trophy piece. “That is my hope. To present works just like Christie’s and Sotheby’s do,” Daniel Malingue told Art+Auction. He explained that the idea, “is to take some good things away from auction.”

At a time when the major auction houses are struggling to fill their sales, The Modern Project was a success in its ability to attract such important art works. It’s a fact not lost on the art market and The Modern Project has been invited to attend Art Abu Dhabi later this month, where it will exhibit works from seven galleries. Malingue hopes that the Project will “pop-up” at different settings around the world approximately every six months.

As The Modern Project prepares for its second selling exhibition and rewrites the rules of how high-quality art works are offered for sale, we take a tour of its Paris premiere.

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Galerie Malingue


Art Abu Dhabi

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