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MECC Maastricht

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Our TEFAF stand will consist of a library based on sacred proportions and inspired by classical forms. One of the centerpieces will be a monumental, monochrome Nero Cretto by Alberto Burri from 1970. Burri has been hailed as a model for abstract expressionists and together with Lucio Fontana, is one of the pioneers of monochrome reduction and the transformation of painting into the creation of three-dimensional objects. By minimal interventions of the artist himself and by focusing on the process, he created fabulous multi-layered planes with extraordinary textures and reliefs—blackened sheets of melted plastic comprising an eviscerated landscape.

The library will also feature a large collection of small and intimate drawings by ZERO-artists, such as Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, Piero Manzoni, Lucio Fontana, Jef Verheyen and Bernard Aubertin. They arrive from a private Swiss collector who cherished these studies as interesting phases in the artistic thought process.

We are also presenting an exceptional Irish console table in mahogany, made for the Morres castle in the County of Kilkenny. This frieze is centrally adorned with a grotesque mask flanked by scallops and oak leaf garlands that hang down from floral designs.

Another rare piece of furniture is the ‘Grand Repos’ armchair by Jean Prouvé (1901-1984) in curved steel from 1930, which is in an exceptional condition. Renown for its outstanding ergonomic design and sculptural presence, it is the only one of the three original pieces which is not yet in a museum collection.

In the field of archaeology, we will also present important Egyptian and Roman works of museum quality, among which a fantastic head in sandstone of most probably Senenmut, architect and dignitary for Hatschepsut (New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1479-1458 B.C.); a monumental Torso of a goddess in black granite (New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty); an unusually large canopic jar lid with the representation of Qebehsenuef in alabaster (Late Period, 664 - 332 B.C.); a wonderful head of a young Satyre (late 1st century A.D.) and a life-sized draped Venus (1st century A.D.), both in white marble.

TEFAF will also show a masterpiece, ‘Amor’, from 1960 by Shozo Shimamoto (1928) of whom we’re organizing a solo show in our gallery in Antwerp, opening on the 14th and the 15th of March. This Japanese Gutai artist was famous for his energetic and physical Action Paintings in which he wanted to reduce colour to material.

Shimamoto didn’t see his work as a personification of chromatic expression, but he wanted to introduce the concept of ‘chance’, which is crucial in Zen philosophy. Shimamoto is considered as one of the most important Gutai artists. His work is represented in many international museums. This year some large Gutai shows will be organised in the Moderna Museet (Stockholm), the MOCA (Los Angeles), an exhibition that will travel further on to Chicago and Dallas and also at the Guggenheim (New York), where Shimamoto’s work will be largely represented.

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