First-Ever Chinese Contemporary Artist Spotlighted At Fair
Taking his first stab at designing a fair, next month famed fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld will turn his attention to the 26th Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris, for which the white-maned Lagerfeld will recreate a Parisian street scene packed with billions in jewelry, art and antiques. In total, 150 (mostly local) exhibitors will take part in the event, with 64 being completely new to the fair, and organizers expect at least US$50 billion in items to go on show. Lagerfeld will have plenty of space to work with, considering the Biennale has doubled in square footage this year, with areas like ”Le Salon d’Honneur” (which has undergone years of restoration work) being opened up for the event.
According to Artnet, Lagerfeld offered to do the Biennale for free after his disappointment with last year’s edition. Speaking of his attempt to recreate the atmosphere of the Belle Époque, Lagerfeld said, “This era is different and I wanted to evoke, not reconstitute.”
While it’s expected that Lagerfeld will put his trademark stamp on the fair, as he has with other large-scale events he’s done in the past (his 2009 Metier D’Arts collection show in Shanghai springs to mind), one thing that Lagerfeld has already done to set this year’s fair apart is enlist an interesting mix of jewelers. Along with the likes of Bulgari, Boucheron, Piaget, Chanel, Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier and Dior, Lagerfeld has tapped Hong Kong’s Wallace Chan to show at a stand beneath the dome of the Grand Palais. This is perhaps the greatest endorsement of Chan’s work to date, though recent years have seen his stature in the industry grow beyond the borders of Hong Kong.
Best known for his signature carving method, the “Wallace Cut” (which combines intaglio and cameo techniques), Chan’s jewelry is increasingly sought after worldwide, with one pair of his Burmese ruby and diamond earrings selling at Christie’s Hong Kong for US$468,432 just last year. The first-ever Chinese jeweler to show at the Biennale des Antiquaires, Chan’s work will likely fit right in among the other pieces of Haute Joaillerie set to dazzle audiences in Paris next month. As Terri Ottaway, curator of the GIA Museum in Carlsbad, California, recently said of Chan, “His creations are not only considered pieces of jewelry but works of avant-garde art.”
26th Biennale des Antiquaires
Grand Palais, Avenue Winston-Churchill, 75008 Paris
Public Opening: September 14-23, 2012
Hours: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM