Thursday, March 14, 2013

The day before TEFAF 2013

The visiting press at Mabi's Salon before heading off to the Bonnefanten Museum for an extraordinary exhibition, "The Big Change: Revolutions in Russian Painting, 1895-1917," curated by Sjeng Scheijen, the culutral attache at the Dutch embassy in Moscow.
The day before TEFAF 2013
By Augustus Mayhew

As The European Fine Art Fair's more than 280 exhibitors from 20 countries put the finishing touches on 30,000 artifacts and art works, worth billions and vetted by renowned experts who have scrutinized each work for authenticity, condition and quality, I made my way from PBI to ATL and then hopped an overnight to Amsterdam where I received the news that my luggage was still in Atlanta.

Nonetheless, with only the clothes I was wearing, I met up with a group of art press who had flown in earlier from NYC. We jboarded a waiting car for the most pleasant two hour overland jaunt to Maastricht, only a few snow flurries, where the wine and the pastries were already being passed. Minutes later, we were at the Bonnefanten Museum, one of Maastricht's cultural jewels.
The coffee and raspberry tart were quite wonderful at Hotel Mabi's salon.
Kristen Boatright.  Kristen produces video for and
Briana Papa is with the Netherland Tourism Board  and put the press trip together.
Because of the snow and icy sidewalks, Briana arranged for cars to take us from the Hotel Mabi  to the Bonnefanten Museum.
The press gathered in the lobby of the museum for the guided tour of what turned out to be an exceptional exhibition.
The gift shop at the Bonnefanten Museum.
Sol LeWitt's sculpture is the centerpiece of the tower designed by Aldo Rossi.
The Aldo Rossi-designed tower makes for Maastricht's most sensational architectural focal point.
A view of the Bonnefanten Museum looking towards the Kennedy bridge that crosses the Maas River.
Stijn Huijts, artistic director, Bonnefanten Museum.
The press listens closely to comments about the exhibition which displays many pieces never previously shown outside of Russia.
The grand staircase ceiling leading up to the Aldo Rossi-designed tower. The Bonnefanten's grand staircase.
The sign explains the show uses Dutch transcription of Russian names that I have not translated into English.  For example, Kazimir Malevitsj is better known as Kasmir Malevich.
A portrait of Sergej Diaghilev by Leon Bakst. The show includes the work of Ilja Masjkov.
It also includes Viktor Moesatov, David Boerljoek, and Aleksandr Bogomazov.
A portrait by Ilja Masjkov. Sjeng Scheijen, Ph.D., our tour guide, is the cultural attache at the Dutch embassy in Moscow.
A 1917 painting by Boris Grigoriev.
Another painting by Boris Grigoriev.
A theatrical costume sketch by noted Suprematist artist Kasmir Malevitsj. A 1914 work by Kazimir Malevitsj.
Aristarch Lentowlov painted this 1913 view of Moscow.
A 1911 portrait of a smoker, exemplifies the style of art popularized by Russian sign makers.
One of the exhibiton's largest show galleries.
An extraordinary work by Vladimir Tatlin.
After the tour, the press corps retired to the museum's Ipanema Cafe to catch up on their Pinot and Chardonnay.
Reading material in the Ipanema Cafe.
Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. Sunset over the Maas River, Maastricht.
Next: TEFAF 2013 opens with Press Preview and By-Invitation Vernissage
Among TEFAF 2013's offerings according to a late Wednesday evening press release, a Velazquez for $14 million by Otto Naumann, a diamond brooch once owned by three Italian queens by A La Veille Russie, and a not-for-sale exhibition of eighteen rare Vincent Van Gogh drawings made possible in part by AXA ART.
Photographs by Augustus Mayhew.

Augustus Mayhew is the author of Lost in Wonderland – Reflections on Palm Beach.
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