A World of Beauty with TEFAF New York

TEFAF New York Fall 2016 is coming to the Park Avenue Armory and many exhibitors and organizers are getting ready. This is a unique fair that will bring together 93 top experts in fine and decorative art and design to showcase their beautiful items together in one location.

TEFAF New York is a collaborative effort taking place from October 21-26 as a joint effort between TEFAF Maastricht and Artvest. TEFAF New York and Artvest Partners created a panel of eight judges to evaluate inclusion into the fair. The list of participants includes, among many others: French & Company, Haboldt Pictura, Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Jack Kilgore & Co., Les Enluminures, Lillian Nassau, Menconi + Schoelkopf, Michele Beiny, Mireille Mosler, Otto Naumann, Phoenix Ancient Art, Primavera Gallery, Richard L. Feigen & Co., S.J. Shrubsole, Safani Gallery, Siegelson and Taylor Graham.

Phoenix Ancient Art
Phoenix Ancient Art booth design for TEFAF

Phoenix Ancient Art is centering their exhibit around items inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. Describing their collection, and the recreation of the Pantheon that they are using for their booth at the Park Avenue Armory, co-owner of Phoenix Ancient Art, Hicham Aboutaam said,

“I never miss an opportunity to visit and experience the Pantheon whenever I am in Rome. The inspiration of this domed temple, a unique masterwork of architecture, lies not only in its perfect form and unparalleled preservation, but also in the embodiment of the spirit of the Classical world seen in all of its ancient glory — all the more remarkable as it is still visible in our own time.”

TEFAF New York has lofty goals which mirror those of the TEFAF fairs that have taken place around the world. As a leading provider of art fairs, they have become a location which collectors, sellers and museum representatives see as invaluable.

Now, esteemed exhibitors like A La Vieille Russie, Adam Williams Fine Art Ltd, Phoenix Ancient Art and others will come together for this elegant and enlightening week in New York.

Exciting Return of the Spring Masters New York

New Yorkers, and many visitors from around the world, are eagerly awaiting the opening of the Spring Masters New York. With an invitation-only preview party on Thursday, May 5 and then shows on the 6th through the 9th, The third edition of the Spring Masters is shaping up beautifully.

Spring Masters 2015
Spring Masters 2015

This year’s edition will feature 62 international exhibitors who will be showcasing fine art, design, jewelry, furniture and more. All of this will be displayed in the unique hexagonal exhibition plan created by Rafael Vinoly. As described recently on Art Daily, “The vibrant eclecticism of the range of periods on view is boldly offset by the incomparable use of the Park Avenue Armory Drill Hall through architect Rafael Viñoly’s design, creating vistas and juxtapositions unlike any other art fair in the world. The fair’s signature hexagonal booths remain the most dramatic change in the Park Avenue Armory’s fair format in three decades. The non-linear arrangement creates unexpected dialogues between painting, sculpture, and design objects, encouraging a sense of discovery and aligning with the collector’s preference of cross-collecting.”

Planned exhibitors for this year include: Abellan from New York, Cahn Intenrational from Basel, Phoenix Ancient Art from New York and Geneva with co-owners Hicham Aboutaam and Ali Aboutaam, Maison d’Art from Monaco, Martin du Louvre from Paris, Rumi Galleries from Toronto and so many others.

Ring with a sphinx (1295–1069 BC), Egyptian, 19th–20th Dynasty. Phoenix Ancient Art
Ring with a sphinx (1295–1069 BC), Egyptian, 19th–20th Dynasty. Phoenix Ancient Art

The show will take place at the Park Avenue Armory and is welcoming two new exhibitors this year with strong backgrounds in highlighting Asian-based artists to the Western world. The two galleries are Yufuku Gallery from Tokyo and Sundaram Tagore from New York. Both should add an extra touch to the international flair of the show. As Jeff Rabin, co-director of Spring Masters recently said,

“In this increasingly dynamic and competitive art market, a collector’s time is limited and his/her attention fragmented. Thus one needs to create a fair that is constantly evolving and changing each year to surprise and delight this community of dedicated collectors. Every year Michael and I travel around the world to find new exhibitors to reach further towards meeting this high bar.”

The Resurgence of Ancient Art

Ancient art is making a comeback.  This has been happening for a while, in a variety of fields. Denver Art Museum’s newest exhibit features the ancient art of samurai, with Japanese suits of armor.  Some of the 140 objects being exhibited date back 900 years. Then there is the “Mnemosyne: de Chirico and Antiquity” which is joining the trend of bringing antiquities to modern day art.

Co-owners of antiquities art gallery Phoenix Ancient Art, Ali Aboutaam and his brother Hicham Aboutaam, have seen the resurgence of ancient art in recent times through various exhibitions. One of them was the Mnemosyne mentioned above, that as Hicham said, has sought to “cultivate an environment in which antiquities are appreciated in a modern context.”

It is not just gallery art that fuses the modern with the ancient.  Indeed, some sports have been doing that as well. Perhaps the best known one is yoga which, according to the Yoga Journal stems from the word “yug” (translated as to hitch up from Sanskrit). It is believed that it was developed by Patanjali, who lived more than 2,000 years ago and is known as the father of yoga.

Modern art collectors who are taking an interest in antiquities seem to be especially attracted to Cycladic art that come from the third millennium BC era on the Cyclades islands.  According to Antiquities specialist at Christie’s, Alexandra Olsman, “When the pieces are abstracted and have clean, more-modernist lines, the contemporary or modern art collectors are more drawn to them.”

Antiquities art is quite the financially successful investment, too.  In December of last year, Christie’s sold its Cycladic marble female figure from this time period for a staggering $87,500; a figure that was substantially above its pre-sale $50,000-$70,000 price estimation.

But how does an antiquities novice start the buying purchase?  According to archaeologist and American University of Rome president, Richard Hodges, the most important aspect is to “obtain an ironclad guarantee from the seller proving the legality of work they own.  Be sure the piece has a provenance with documentation of ownership that dates before 1970.”

Hear from Hicham Aboutaam of Phoenix Ancient Art about the rise in interest in antiques with modern collectors.

Unique Exhibit: Helly Nahmad Gallery & Phoenix Ancient Art

abstract-867306_640The Helly Nahmad Gallery in New York is about to open a cutting-edge exhibit called “Mnemosyne: de Chirico and Antiquity.” Partnering with antiquities dealer Phoenix Ancient Art, owned by brothers Hicham Aboutaam and Ali Aboutaam, the gallery will display paintings by Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico next to Greek and Roman antiquities.

The paintings about to go on display will include Chirico’s Neo-classical style which is a less explored aspect of his work. And they are being paired with marble statues, vases, bronze armor and other works by Phoenix Ancient Art. These pieces from the Phoenix private collections have never been exhibited alongside each other – let alone alongside Modern art.

As a release for the exhibit explains, “The exhibition hopes to help cultivate an environment where antiquity is appreciated in a modern context and vigilantly guarded for future generations to study and enjoy.”

Mnemosyne: de Chirico and Antiquity opens to the public on November 4th and will continue until December 23rd at the Helly Nahmad Gallery at 975 Madison Avenue. Due to the fragile nature of the antiques and the value of the works, attendance will be limited and large groups will need prior consent to enter.

The World of Alexander the Great

Portrait of Alexander the Great. Marble, Hellenistic artwork, 2nd-1st century BC. Said to be from Alexandria, Egypt.
Portrait of Alexander the Great. Marble, Hellenistic artwork, 2nd-1st century BC. Said to be from Alexandria, Egypt.

To learn about the world of Alexander the Great, Phoenix Ancient Art with Ali Aboutaam and Hicham Aboutaam, is proud to invite the public to its upcoming exhibition, “Alexander the Great and his World,” previewing on Thursday May 7 and exhibition starting the following day until July 31.

It was only four years ago that the Ashmolean in Oxford hosted a similar exhibition – the first time works of Alexander the Great were accessible to the public outside of Greece. Focusing on the Macedonian civilization, in the fourth century BC, an array of artifacts spanning golden crowns and finely sculpted heads were presented there.  The time span was Heracles to Alexander the Great and featured King Philip II’s burial tomb as well as jewels from Macedonian queens and other such objects.

Meanwhile, now at Phoenix, visitors can learn all about Alexander the Great of ancient times such as the fact that by the tender age of 30 he had established a substantive empire, spanning all the way from Greece to the Indus River, where he would be known for saying “the sun never set.” He did indeed become quite an inspiration since Antiquity, his legend living on until today.


Princeton University Art Museum Adds Antique from Phoenix Ancient Art

Phoenix Ancient Art Antique
Photo Bruce M. White: Acquisition from Phoenix Ancient Art

Education comes in many forms. While classroom education is important, so too is experiential learning, museum exploration and self-discovery. Many universities and institutions understand this and cultivate learning in various forms. Princeton University, for instance, has an art museum that formed in 1882. Their museum, and Department of Art and Archaeology, positioned them at the time on the cutting edge of scholarship in an era when the history of art was a new discipline. Every acquisition that they make today, such as the recent one from Phoenix Ancient Art, is newsworthy and representative of their belief in the arts.

The Museum, led today by director James Steward, is one of the nation’s most prestigious art museums. It includes more than 92,000 pieces and moves chronologically from ancient to contemporary art with concentrations on the Mediterranean regions, Western Europe, Asia, the United States, and Latin America.

The galleries are continually refreshed with new acquisitions. One recent acquisition is a bust of a woman that dates from the 25th Dynasty (750-656 BC). The antique came from Phoenix Ancient Art, owned by Hicham Aboutaam and Ali Aboutaam. The way that this woman is holding her breast in her hand shows that she was an Egyptian goddess Isis, the wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus. As explained on the Princeton University website, “The sculpture of Isis adds a new dimension to the Art Museum’s small but important collection of Egyptian art at a time when the study of ancient Egypt is occupying an increasingly prominent place in the curriculum.”