After 40 years selling modern art from many of the most respected painters and sculptors of the 20th century, London-based, Australian-born art dealer Adrian Mibus says, Fashions in art can be fickle. Some of the most successful collectors I know are the ones with the patience to learn about and enjoy works that over the decades have proven to stand the test of time. Even high-profile art buyers have been stung when they see that acclaim can be fleeting for artists whose works are untested.
At the Haughton International Fine Art & Antique Dealers Show at the Park Avenue Armory in New York October 19th to October 25th, Mibus, and his wife and partner, the Belgian-born author and dealer An Jo Fermon, will show an exciting mix of works that range from mid-century French and British artists to stars of Cubist and Post war Abstraction, to signature Pop Art and sculpture.
Credited early in his career for his rediscovery of 20th century modernist painters such as Lurcat, Marcoussis and Souverbie, Mibus also sparked the revival of a mix of artists of the Orientalist, Vienna Secession and Belle Epoque schools in the years before most galleries had taken note of their staying power among serious collectors.
Our forty years in business gives us an edge with both old clients and new. Customers of WHITFORD FINE ART
have seen works they bought at our urging become seriously appreciated --both in value and renown. We first exhibited at the Haughton Fair in New York fifteen years ago and even during the recent economic slide, when we skipped the fair, we have continued to maintain strong relations with New York-based collectors who know our reputation for identifying solid works by artists whose reputations and renown continue to grow, Mibus adds.
A member of the Society of London Art Dealers with an impressive gallery on Duke Street St. Jamess in the heart of Mayfair, WHITFORD FINE ART maintains an enormous inventory of 2500 works by more than a hundred artists ranging from Arman and Clive Barker, the subject of Fermons first major book, to Pol Bury, Calder, Cocteau, Valmier, Van Dongen, Leger, Gleizes, Andre Lhote, Dominguez and many others.
Fermon says, We are dealers in investment stock which allows our clients to benefit from our commitment to build a relationship, not just make a sale. We also greatly value the knowledge of those who appreciate a period we have long championed the Arts of the Modernist movement between 1906 and 1940. New Yorkers are particularly keen on works from that era. Our American clients know that with a committed dealer they can start their collections now and continue to get guidance and advice as their tastes and lifestyles change. No auction house can refine and upgrade an art collection, not with its constantly changing staff.
Among highlights at the WHITFORD FINE ART stand at the Haughton Fair will be a very early and important 1912 Cubist work by Andre Lhote, titled Cordes, (Tarn) which this year was included in the du Cubisme show in Paris, and two Fernand Leger gouache works from 1941 which were directly acquired from a private collection in New York, where Leger was a resident at the time.
An Jo Fermon says, Legers Danseuse and Still Life: Two Compositions long graced a New York home and it would be nice to see them have a home there again.
Equally appealing is a 1930 oil by Lhote, Nature Morte au Chinois and a unique Jacques Lipchitz sculpture in Bardiglio marble, Guitar Player in a Chair dating to 1922; Georges Valmiers Le Semaphore; and Bouquet de Fleurs, Rousseaus Fleurs de Jardin; and Leopold Survages 1956 Les Presences oil on canvas.
Fermon says there is an interesting story surrounding the painting by the legendary artist Le Douannier Rousseau, which are rarely seen on the market.
Hailed by Picasso and also by the Nabis as a hero, Le Douannier Rousseau was valued by Academic circles, and his paintings snapped up by museums. One factor contributing to the rarity of the work we are showing is that the painting has certificates of authenticity from both experts known to never agree with each others opinion - Dora Vallier and Henry Certigny!
On view too is Jean Lurcats Femme au Balcon gouache and pencil, dated 1921; Mikhail Larionovs 1911 Soldat a Cheval; the Belgian Joseph Lacasses 1946 Composite; Bela Kadars Women Planting; Albert Gleizes Tete dHomme; Oscar Dominguez Le Jour et la Nuit; Jean De Bottons Nur sue la Jetee 1928; and the Russian Marie Vassilieffs Autoportrait dans latelier 1955.
Kees Van Dongen 1903 watercolor and gouache Femme se Coiffant, is on offer as is Pierre Roys Le Grand Bateau from a private collection in Portugal; and three Jean Souverbie works, Venus, Le Char dApollon from the 30s, and Assiette de Fruits au Journal, from 1955.
Among sculpture being shown by WHITFORD FINE ART at the Haughton Fair, visitors can choose from the singular Jacques Lipchitz Guitar Player which was directly acquired from the artist by Don Jorge C. Fanelli by descent to Ricardo Fanelli; Paul Dibbles Soft Geometric No 20, from 2004; and Oscar De Clercks Le Congolais from 1920.
WHITFORD FINE ART takes seriously its obligation to provide its clients with first-rate scholarship and guidance in making their choices. The gallery has an enviable publication record and recently has produced publications on Georges Bernede, Kudditji Kngwarreve, Caziel, Clive Barker, Peter Phillips and Modern British Art. Other publications focused on Cubism, Pop Art, Mildred Bendall, Jenny Perry, Pop Art of the Sixties, Paul Van Hoeydonck, Belgian Paintings, The Surrealist Spirit in Britain, Frances Hodgkins and Paul Matthieu.
Fermon points out that clients feel comfortable returning time and again to the gallery to refine and upgrade their collections. She tells the story of an Albert Gleizes gouache on paper dating to 1913, Tête dHomme, that has three times returned and been resold a happy consequence of our friendships with clients.
Shortly after acquiring this piece in Paris, we sold it at the Palm Beach International Fine Art and Antique Fair in February 2002. During the 2006 edition of that fair, we showed a 1916 oil of a still life by the same artist, and the American owners of the Tête dHomme fell in love with it. At the time, they couldnt quite afford it and asked if they could move up from a gouache to an oil. We agreed and then re-sold the gouache to another American couple at the Haughton International Fine Art fair in May 2007. In 2011 that couple came to us to act as agents, and we successfully sold the piece again in London at Masterpiece in June 2012. This time the piece entered an important continental collection."
WHITFORD FINE ART has been a featured dealer at major world art fairs including MASTERPIECE LONDON and fairs in New York and Palm Beach.