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TEFAF - Maastricht's Silver Jubilee
March 11, 2012  | 

TEFAF Maastricht, the world’s finest art and antiques fair, has always insisted on exhibiting only the best. Two very different displays of artistic genius will be part of The European Fine Art Fair’s Silver Jubilee celebrations at the MECC (Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre) in the southern Netherlands from 16 – 25 March 2012. An exhibition of master drawings by some of the greatest artists in history, including Leonardo da Vinci, Guercino, Rembrandt van Rijn and Peter Paul Rubens, has been loaned by the Fondation Custodia in Paris. In sharp contrast the first-ever BMW Art Car, created by the American artist Alexander Calder in 1975, will also be on show at TEFAF 2012.

The loan exhibition of rarely-seen masterpieces in the TEFAF Paper section of the Fair is entitled The Director’s Choice: Master Drawings from the Fondation Custodia in Paris. The Fondation, just a short distance from the Assemblée Nationale in the French
capital, houses the superb collection built up by Frits Lugt (1884-1970) and his wife To Lugt-Klever (1888–1969). Lugt, one of the most important figures in the history of Dutch collecting, acquired drawings, paintings, miniatures, prints, sculpture and many other
works of art.

The exhibition at TEFAF will focus entirely on Lugt’s collection of drawings and has been selected by Ger Luijten, director of the Fondation Custodia, around the theme ‘studying on paper’. Lugt wanted to understand the artistic process and so his collection focuses strongly on preparatory drawings for paintings and works done by artists to practice. The exhibition concentrates on ten different types of drawings, including draperies, nudes, figure studies, faces, animals, trees and studies of light and dark. Rare sketchbooks will be included in the show.

Among the highlights of the exhibition will be Drapery study by Leonardo da Vinci, a work on linen which perfectly illustrates the Renaissance master’s technique, a closely related study by Lorenzo di Credi, a stunningly beautiful red chalk "Study of a nude
child for the infant Christ," seated on the Virgin’s knee by Guercino and "The healing of the mother-in-law of St Peter" by Rembrandt van Rijn.

The BMW Art Car project was founded in 1975 by the French racing driver and auctioneer Hervé Poulain who asked the American artist Alexander Calder to produce a bodywork design for the car Poulain drove in the Le Mans 24 Hours race. Since Calder’s work, many of the world’s most renowned artists have created BMW Art Cars, including David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons. Now the original Calder car, created just a year before his death, will go on display at TEFAF 2012. Calder, whose abstract mobiles were some of the most innovative scultures of the 20th century, produced a bodywork design with strong bold lines and powerful colours for the BMW 3.0 CSL.

Several exhibitors at TEFAF 2012 will have works by Calder for sale. Salis & Vertes of Zürich and Salzburg will have Turkish Delight, made in in 1974 just a year before the BMW Art Car. Other dealers with Calders on their stands will include Hammer Galleries
of New York, Kukje Gallery/Tina Kim Gallery of Seoul and New York, Galerie Berès of Paris, Keitelman Gallery of Brussels and Ben Brown Fine Arts from London. New Showcase exhibitor Didier Ltd, also from London, will be bringing three pieces of
jewellery by Calder to the Fair.

Other events marking TEFAF’s Silver Jubilee will include a symposium to discuss the art market and an exhibition of works of art sold over the past 25 years at the Fair at the
Museum aan het Vrijthof in Maastricht. The symposium, Change and Challenges – the art market’s past 25 years and its future, will be held at the MECC on the morning of Friday 16 March. Dr Clare McAndrew will launch her Art Market Report The International Art Market in 2012 at the symposium. Speakers will include Professor Rachel Pownall, Associate Professor of Finance at Tilburg University, and Fabian Bocart, Quantitative Research Director at Brussels-based Tutela Capital. A panel discussing whether art should be bought for love or as an investment will include a leading museum curator, a private collector, a senior figure from an art investment fund and a tax expert. The Museum aan het Vrijthof. TEFAF has become the principal sponsor of this museum
in Maastricht as a way of thanking the city for the hospitality that it has shown the Fair over the past 25 years. The museum has recently been renovated and expanded and during TEFAF 2012 will display 25 works sold by the original TEFAF exhibitors at the Fair. The exhibition from 14 to 25 March will include a Pieter Brueghel painting sold by the London dealer Johnny van Haeften, a work by Lucas Cranach sold by Bernheimer-Colnaghi of Munich and a Louis XVI table by J.H. Riesener, a sale by Salomon Stodel Antiquités of Amsterdam.

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