Featured in Spear's Magazine: "Sotheby’s slumps in high-end art, while Christie’s achieves ‘sale of the century’"

 Spear's Magazine

Spear's Magazine

 Spear's Magazine 

Spear's Magazine 

Published in Spear's Magazine, 20 August 2018

A disappointing half-year at the auction house signals to the intensity of competition at the top, particularly with its biggest rival. 

Sotheby’s announced their half-year results last week, curiously reporting a 23 per cent rise in consolidated sales alongside a 26 per cent dip in net income compared with 2017. While it might not signal trouble for the world’s second largest auction house, it does reveal the state of 2018's auction market.

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Interview for Candid Magazine: "Speaking About Cultivating Wastelands At Rossi & Rossi Gallery, London"

 Candid Magazine

Candid Magazine

 Candid Magazine

Candid Magazine

Published in Candid Magazine, 04 August 2018

Exhibiting artworks by eight emerging Pakistani artists, Cultivating Wastelands is the second collaborative project between Project Art Divvy and Rossi & Rossi gallery in London. Currently on view until August 17that Rossi & Rossi in the art hub St. James’s, the show highlights the widespread effects of rapid industrialization and urbanization. Candid Magazine’s Ariane Belisle sat down with the curator of the exhibition and founder of Art Divvy, Zahra Khan, to discuss the exhibition.

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Featured in Spear's Magazine: "Disappointing modern art sale at Sotheby’s could belie a shifting market"

 Spear's Magazine

Spear's Magazine

 Spear's Magazine

Spear's Magazine

Published in Spear's Magazine, 20 June 2018

It was a slow start to the summer for Sotheby's as the Impressionist and Modern evening sale failed to reach its pre-sale estimate, writes Olenka Hamilton

There was disappointment for Sotheby’s Modern and Impressionist department in London this week, when it achieved its lowest total for a sale since 2012. The evening sale reaped just £87.5 million – below its pre-sale estimate and down 32 per cent from a year ago.

Expectations were low from the start, with the pre-sale estimate of £99.7 million to £124.6 million pitched lower than for the equivalent sales in three of the past four years. The auction house sold a disappointing 26 of 36 lots, ten of which fetched below-estimate prices. Even the top lot, Picasso’s 1932 painting of his lover Marie-Therese Walter, which was guaranteed before the sale, fetched £27.3 million, falling short of its £33 million estimate.

‘There were two main factors that contributed to the limp auction results at Sotheby’s,’ explains Ariane Belisle, an art advisor and curator based in London. ‘Firstly, sourcing outstanding masterpieces for the sale proved to be difficult (this was seen in a modest pre-sale estimate); and secondly the fact that Impressionist and Modern art saw very successful sales in spring 2018 – namely, Christie’s Rockefeller auction in May – which meant that the demand just wasn’t there.’

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Featured in Spear's Magazine: "Top Recommended Art Advisors"

 Spear's Magazine, No. 59, November/December 2017

Spear's Magazine, No. 59, November/December 2017

Spear's Magazine
Spear's Magazine
Spear's Magazine
Spear's Magazine

Published in Spear's Magazine #59, November/December 2017

Alternative assets continue to be a popular and stable investment option in a world where financial markets can wobble alarmingly. Over the next 20 pages Olenka Hamilton profiles our pick of the leading experts in the fields of fine art, wine and classic cars who help those HNWs who enjoy mixing pleasure and profit - beginning with art advisers. 

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Featured in Spear's Magazine: "Revealed: The 2017 top alternative assets advisers for HNWs"

 Spear's Magazine

Spear's Magazine

Published in Spear's Magazine, 30 October 2017

Spear’s unveils the elite 73 names in the fields of art, wine and classic cars servicing HNW needs today. Olenka Hamilton reports

The authoritative 2017 Spear’s Alternative Assets index is finally here — bringing HNWs the best names in wine, art and classic cars. With 16 new names across the 73-strong power index, this, our second annual guide, is a comprehensive line-up of luminaries and fresh talent, reflecting the dynamic and evolving landscape of the alternative investments.

Among those best placed to help the HNW navigate the art market, we have repeat entries from New York-based art advisory duo Guggenheim Asher as well as independent art consultant and former gallerist Thomas Gibson, who has been in the business for half a century.  Also on the list is former Spear’s award winner Viola Raikhel-Bolot of international advisory firm 1858, as well as art advisers Bettina Von Hase and Emily Tsingou. Among our London gallerists are Philip Mould, Jonathan Green and Joseph Friedman.

A new entry this year is Ariane Belisle, whose focus is on helping new collectors navigate the world of emerging art. The youngest of our art advisers, Belisle already has the ear of some of the world’s most powerful collectors.

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Featured in Spear's Magazine: "Ariane Belisle: AIB Art Advisory"

 Spear's Magazine

Spear's Magazine

Published in Spear's Magazine, 16 October 2017

Top Recommended Art Advisers

Canada-born, London-based Ariane Belisle, who specialises in postwar and contemporary art, set up AIB with the primary aim of ‘leveraging emerging artists and art with a primary focus on new collectors who may not know where to start’, she explains. She offers the full range of art advisory services, from buying, selling and collection management to shipping, valuation, framing and organising collateral loans.

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Review for Espace Magazine: "Do Ho Suh: Passage/s"

 Espace Magazine: Frissons Shivers, No. 117, Fall 2017

Espace Magazine: Frissons Shivers, No. 117, Fall 2017

Published in Espace Magazine #117, Fall 2017

Disputing Le Corbusier’s assertion that a house is merely a “machine for living in”, 20th century designer and architect Eileen Gray posited that a house should rather be viewed as “the shell of a man, his extension, his release, his spiritual emanation”. While Gray passed away in 1976, her sentiment is still relevant in our increasingly globalized world. It is echoed in the premise of Korean artist Do Ho Suh’s Passage/s on view at the Victoria Miro gallery (1 February to 18 March 2017). The show marks the first exhibition of the artist’s work in London since Staircase III was presented at Tate Modern in 2011. It also constitutes the most comprehensive display of Suh’s oeuvre since his retrospective at the Serpentine Gallery in 2002. 

Continue reading at Espace Art Actuel

Interview for Candid Magazine: "An Interview with the Curator Marine Tanguy Ahead of Art Night London"

 Candid Magazine

Candid Magazine

Published in Candid Magazine, 27 June 2017

On July 1st 2017, the streets of East London will be transformed with art, performance and music. Encouraging the public to view art and the city through a new lens, Art Night focuses on a specific area of London to explore its distinctive identity, culture and architecture. Few artists are better equipped than Marine Hardeman to create a dialogue between the city and visual arts. For this particular project, she will be spotlighting sewer drains with a ballet of lights. Candid Magazine’s Ariane Belisle sat down with the curator of the installation and CEO of MTArt, Marine Tanguy, to discuss the project.

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Text for MTArt: "Art as a Sensory Experience"

 The Feuerle Collection, Berlin

The Feuerle Collection, Berlin

Published in MTArt, 19 June 2017

Marine excitedly guided me through the deserted streets of Kreuzberg in search of The Feuerle Collection. Hidden from street view, the collection is housed in a German Second World War telecommunications bunker renovated by British architect John Pawson. Eschewing the white cube space in favor of concrete walls and dim spotlights, visitors are plunged into a world of collector Désiré Feuerle’s making.

Juxtaposing international contemporary artists with Imperial Chinese furniture and ancient Southeast Asian art, the museum’s considered curation initiates a dialogue between different periods and cultures. Presenting visitors with a reinterpretation of ancient art, the pieces can be perceived through an alternative lens. Hence, artworks by Anish Kapoor, Cristina Iglesias, Zeng Fanzhi, Nobuyoshi Araki, James Lee Byars and Adam Fuss rub shoulders with Khmer sculptures from the 7th – 13th century and Chinese pieces from the Han and Qing Dynasties (200 BC to the 18th century).

The colossal museum space – measuring 6480 m2 to be exact – is composed of two main exhibition rooms on the ground floor and the lower ground floor, housing a Sound Room, a Lake Room (reminiscent of Richard Wilson’s “oil room” art installation 20:50) and an Incense Room. Arguably, it is the setting that lends the space its divine quality. In Pawson’s own words:

“It is difficult to think of places more charged with atmosphere than these monumental concrete structures. They fall very much into the category of ‘engineers’ architecture that so appealed to Donald Judd. I knew from the beginning when I visited the site and first had that visceral experience of mass that I wanted to use as light a hand as possible. Concentrating all the effort on making pristine surfaces would never have felt appropriate here. Instead this has been a slow, considered process – a series of subtle refinements and interventions that intensify the quality of the space, so that all the attention focuses on the art.”

We are encouraged to “let the music pierce our hearts” before being led to the pitch-dark preamble Sound Room where John Cage booms out of the speakers. As we enter the exhibition space (the distant echo of Cage still with us), our irises expand to allow the little light in. Having worked with private collections for nearly a decade now, never have I seen a display quite like this one; each artwork – spotlighted with a single light – appears to be cocooned within its ethereal aura. Here, the sensory experience is privileged as the artworks take center stage.

It is precisely through this unique approach to curating that the artwork is elevated to new levels of contemplation. To redouble and rephrase, it is the oeuvre’s greater contextual framework that triggers within the beholder a genuine sense of awe.

I cannot help but draw parallels with religious iconography and pious modes of display. While the Catholic Church’s uncanny ability to violently overwhelm may raise the eyebrow of a non-believer, it is irrefutably amongst the strongest impulses for the creation of art in Europe since the inception of Christianity. Even the staunch atheist cannot help but feel besotted by the soaring nave of Notre Dame or to stand awestruck looking up at the dome of Florence Cathedral. Yet, upon hearing of viewers swooning as a result of divine piety in front of Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Ecstacy of St. Teresa (1647-1652), the cynic surely questions: Would they have done so if experiencing the sculpture in a broom closet, or in the quietly contrived setting of the Contemporary art museum? Is it only the grandiose devotional spaces where we encounter these artworks that dictate the impending enormity of our experiences?

Fused through Désiré Feuerle’s radical re-interpretation of both art and display, both concept and context are essential to the viewer’s experience. Hence, the work is not dependent of its setting but rather becomes it. Arguably, it is this transcendence that elevates these pieces to new levels of viewership.

Continue reading at MTArt

Interview for Candid Magazine: "Procedures & Materials: An Interview With Artist Scarlett Bowman"

 Candid Magazine, Issue 15, The Luxury Issue

Candid Magazine, Issue 15, The Luxury Issue

Published in Candid Magazine, 05 June 2017

Repurposing the recycled waste of contemporary culture, Scarlett Bowman’s artworks revisit the Duchampian readymade. Brightly hued fragments of discarded materials appear to hover over the off-white composite, as the semi-abstract forms they create develop an autonomous and distinctive visual language. Eschewing their preconceived utilitarian value, the pieces transcend into the symbolic realm. Through the artist’s re-appropriation of humdrum objects, the compositions simultaneously convey familiarity and strangeness, as well as completeness and provisionality. Candid Magazine’s Ariane Belisle sat down with Scarlett to talk about her practice, in light of the Procedures & Materials exhibition at Collectionair, until 24th July 2017.

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Curatorial text for Collectionair: "Procedures & Materials"

 Procedures & Materials, Collectionair, 2017

Procedures & Materials, Collectionair, 2017

Published in Collectionair, 24 May 2017

Collectionair 

24 May 2017 - 24 July 2017

In the mid-1960s, process became a marked theme within the history of art. Rooted in the Dada movement and Abstract Expressionism, materials, procedures and facture began to take precedence over the final work. Eschewing the fabricated modular units of Minimalism, the artworks intentionally left exposed traces of their creation. Echoing the common refrain ‘it’s the journey, not the destination,’ Procedures & Materials follows in this tradition, investigating new processes in art. The exhibition brings together twenty-seven works by five international contemporary artists whose practices emphasize the interaction between maker and medium.

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Art Advisory Insight for Velvenoir: "Negotiating the Private Art Sphere: Curating a Private Collection"

 Velvenoir

Velvenoir

Published in Velvenoir, 21 May 2017 

Flanked by two Eileen Gray chairs, Cy Twombly’s 1982 Naxos triptych is displayed. On the adjacent wall, Rudolf Stingel’s aluminium covered Celotex insulation board (Untitled, 2002) is juxtaposed against a Jean-Michel Frank minimalist shagreen cabinet. The pieces carry an underlying intellectual rigour that helped redefine 20th-century design, as well as Contemporary art. Engendering a haphazard narrative, the four works coalesce to form a different kind of dialogue, one that is distinct from the museum realm. Moving away from the white cube, these privately owned oeuvres – now housed in an Eaton Square townhouse – are cloistered from the rest of the world. Their chance placement and the consequential visual exchange it creates was not the work of a museum professional but rather of Jacques Grange, the esteemed French interior designer who rose to prominence after decorating Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé’s Paris residence.

 

While the artworks here are exhibited outside the museological sphere, they are still intrinsically linked to it as their history ensures that they are firmly anchored within the art canon. It is precisely this deeply interlaced relationship between the museum and the private collection that drew me to pursue a career in this field and establish AIB Art Advisory, an independent art advisory firm that offers expert investment advice and curatorial services to private and corporate clients. 

Negotiating the unique rapport between the public and private sphere, the curator vacillates between these two worlds. Acting as a gatekeeper of sorts, he/she is charged with creating and managing ties between the institution and the individual. Needless to say, there is a claustrophobically tight circularity between these two facets of the art world; hence, the profession relies heavily on one’s ability to dip in and out of both pools. Arguably this could trigger a discord when it comes to curating the private collection with the public trust. 

Today, private art collections are increasingly trying to permeate the educational realm, a realm previously dominated by museums and galleries. For instance, French Moroccan private collectors, Eli Michel and Karen Ruimy, established The Marrakech Museum of Photography and Visual Arts in 2013 to house and display their extensive collection of fine art photography. Open to the general public, the curatorial program sought to further our knowledge and understanding of post-war photography. Furthermore, foundations, such as The Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, are now providing new collectors with opportunities to exhibit their work more publicly. Similarly, Beatrix Ruf, Director of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, founded ‘Pool’, an initiative to curate exhibitions at Luma Westbau in the Löwenbräu Art Complex with artworks owned by Maja Hoffmann and Michael Ringier. In Ruf’s own words: “‘Pool’ does not interpret private collections as merely the representation of individual preferences, but rather as a contemporary document.”

This trend is echoed in the number of startups that are cropping up promising to connect collectors with institutions worldwide. Namely, Vastari raised a significant round of funding while tooting the tag line: “the exhibition connection”. Bernadine Brocker, Vastari Group’s CEO says: “The future of art and technology is a fully integrated experience where collectors, museums and experts can connect, curate, tour their shows and define best practices within international relationships.”

Deviating from the conventional curatorial structure, private art collections are remolding the public’s relationship with art. While this undoubtedly broadens our exposure to great oeuvres and deepens our knowledge of the art canon, curators need to be mindful of their responsibility when bridging the gap between public and private establishments, and managing diverging interests. This conflict, intrinsic to the art world, can be perceived when private collectors and foundations choose to employ curatorial labor. Thus, custodians of public museums often simultaneously curate private collections. While their shadow role could be justified as donor cultivation, it still raises some ethical concerns. The Trussardi Foundation, The Kadist Art Foundation, as well as the wealth management firm Northern Trust, all count amongst their advisors esteemed museum directors and chief curators, namely Massimiliano Gioni (Associate Director and Director of Exhibitions at the New Museum), Jens Hoffman (Director of Special Exhibitions and Public Programs at the Jewish Museum New York), Larry Rinder (Director of Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive), Hou Hanru (Artistic Director of the MAXXI in Rome) and Michael Darling (Chief Curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago). 

In an article written for ArtSlant, art writer Ryan Wong posits: “Within the art world, museums still set the standard for critical debate, the resuscitation and reexamination of artistic legacies, and scholarly research within the art world: their exhibitions are the most consistently reviewed, they command the largest spaces, and they attract the most visitors. But they no longer have a monopoly on that work.” The borders surrounding these two once distinct spheres – the institution and the private art collection – are beginning to erode. Hence, collecting has transitioned away from a manifestation of personal taste into a new realm; it is now a curatorial project. This relatively new phenomenon will shape our understanding of history and ultimately redefine the art canon.

 

Text for Haute Living Magazine (Chicago): "How to Survive Gallery Weekend Berlin"

 Haute Living Magazine (Chicago)

Haute Living Magazine (Chicago)

By Marine Tanguy & Ariane Belisle

Fresh off the plane from Gallery Weekend Berlin’s 13th edition – a unique art fair that unites Berlin’s major galleries with international collectors, curators and art lovers – I wanted to discuss this incredible experience for my Haute Living series Collecting Art The Smart Way.

The entire two days of gallery hopping were spent – day and night – with my partner in crime, Ariane Belisle, the founder of AIB Art Advisory, a London-based art advisory firm offering art investment advice and specialist services to private collectors and corporate clients. She is someone I love working with but have also grown to love and trust. Thus, we decided to write the entire article with our two pairs of hands, side by side on our flight back to London. 

Ariane Belisle: I contacted Marine on a gloomy London Tuesday asking her if she wanted to visit a city that was, at the time, completely foreign to us both. The plan was to fully immerse ourselves in the weekend festivities. Within a few hours, our tickets were booked and we were off to Berlin. Both avid art lovers (with incessant cravings for all that is Haribo), we came out the other side mostly unscathed with a renewed appreciation for the Berlin art scene… And perhaps a little wiser due to our run-in with the police. 

Here’s what we learned on the ground. It’s a guide we invite you to follow for Gallery Weekend Berlin 2018, although safe souls and rule lovers may want to avoid most of our advice. Risk takers and free spirits, please read on.

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Featured in The Art of Design Magazine: "Art Meets Interior Design at the Steininger Showroom in Vienna"

 The Art of Design Magazine Issue 26, May 2017

The Art of Design Magazine Issue 26, May 2017

The Art of Design
The Art of Design
The Art of Design

Published in The Art of Design Magazine Issue 26, May 2017

ART x INTERIOR at the Steininger Designers showroom in Vienna brings together thirteen artworks by nine international contemporary artists. Juxtaposed against Steininger’s iconic minimalist aesthetic and clean lines, the works subtly investigate whether the languages of art and interior design are now intertwined or simply exist in parallel. 

Continue reading at The Art of Design Magazine

Featured in Vogue Ukraine: "Открытие Lomaka Gallery в Лондоне"

 Vogue Ukraine 

Vogue Ukraine 

Published in Vogue Ukraine, 29 April 2017

26 апреля в Лондоне художница и коллекционер Ольга Ломака открыла галерею современного искусства Lomaka gallery. В дебютной групповой выставке приняли участие колумбийский художник Альбер Томедес, швейцарский концептуалист Хардисти, российский дуэт братьев Твороговых, а также французская актриса Оля Марева. Ольга Ломака признается, что новая галерея будет представлять как молодых художников, так и звезд современного искусства, "творчество которых не попадает под определенную категорию, а, наоборот, призывает взглянуть на реальность под совершенно новым углом". На открытие галереи пришли  восходящая звезда британского телевидения Малькольм Модел, модный телеведущий Принц Кассиус, модель Оливия Арбен, дизайнеры Джошуа Кейн и Мария Жеребцова.

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Interview for Velvenoir: "Exclusive Interview - Up Close & Personal: Ariane Belisle"

 Velvenoir

Velvenoir

Published in Velvenoir, 16 April 2017

Velvenoir: Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your passion for art?

Ariane Belisle: I started my academic career as a business major. After my first year at university, I enrolled in a summer course entitled “From Pollock to Pop” at The Courtauld Institute of Art in London. I remember visiting Tate Modern for the first time; Cy Twombly’s Quattro Stagioni (1993-1995) was on display. Standing in front of those paintings, everything suddenly clicked. That’s when I decided to follow my passion for art and pursue a career within this field. When I returned to Canada, I immediately changed my major to History and Theory of Art. It’s funny to think how much those four paintings changed the course of my life.

V: How important is nurturing that personal relationship with the artists you work with? 

AB: Working directly with artists is one of the most interesting aspects of my job. I love seeing their artistic practice develop over the years and ensuring my artists are receiving the coverage and attention they deserve. It’s also incredibly rewarding to place an artist’s work within a private or corporate collection, or institution. You suddenly become part of something so much bigger than yourself. 

V: Can you tell us about the process of curating your clients’ projects?

AB: Each client is so different. Established collectors tend to be more transactional; most have a clear idea of the direction they want the collection to go in. So much of my knowledge stems from working directly with these individuals. In these instances, I become instrumental to their vision, an enabler of sorts. Emerging collectors, on the other hand, tend to favor a more dialogical approach.

V: If you could be born in another period of history, when would it be?

AB: New York in the 1940s. Abstract Expressionism is my favorite art period and I would have loved to mingle with the pioneers of this movement.

V: What do you think of the art fairs, which one do you prefer?

AB: My favorite art fair is Masterpiece in Chelsea. Perhaps not the most obvious choice but I like the variety of it. Old-master paintings, antiquities, contemporary art and design rub shoulders with exquisite jewelry, first edition manuscripts and curiosities. You can even find love, as evidenced by my 2015 visit!

V: What is your daily routine when working?

AB: Every day is different. Today, I had a call with an interior design firm in the Middle East. Visited an artist’s studio in north London. Whizzed around the gallery exhibitions in Mayfair before having lunch with a client at the Connaught. Met with the owner of a design showroom about a possible collaboration with Velvenoir. Had a few calls with artists in NY and LA. And finally had dinner with my dear friend and PR manager in Kensington.   

V: What has been your most inspiring hotel experience with regards to an outstanding art and design concept?

 AB: The London EDITION in Fitzrovia

V: What advice would you give to a young art consultant following in your footsteps?

AB: Only deal art that you truly believe in and would consider buying yourself.  

V: Why did you join an international network?

AB: Art and interior design are such subjective fields. A collaborative approach to projects ensures that we can always deliver a multi-faceted proposal.