Writings by Ben, works by Arman and Sosno… In Paris, the exceptional auction of a collector from Nice

Writings by Ben, works by Arman and Sosno… In Paris, the exceptional auction of a collector from Nice
Writings by Ben, works by Arman and Sosno… In Paris, the exceptional auction of a collector from Nice

“I am experiencing one of the most emblematic sales of my career.” Pierre Dominique Antonini, auctioneer vibrates. Because he is from Nice and because this Friday, June 28, at 2 p.m., in the prestigious Salle Drouot, in Paris, his ivory hammer will punctuate an unusual auction.

That of a large part of Jean Ferrero’s collection. The unclassifiable character who started from nothing, an emblematic Nice figure in the art world, in turn second-hand dealer, press photographer, collector and dealer notably from the School of Nice and the new realists, had already donated part of its funds to the City of Nice.

A first sale was organized in the capital in 2015. He did it again, this time setting his sights on the Boisgirard-Antonini house, straddling Paris and Nice, and the Drouot room, to sell the rest of his fantastic heritage. Estimated between 400,000 and 500,000 euros, the collection contains 250 lots dedicated to the School of Nice.

Paintings, sculptures, objects… created by great artists of the 20th centurye century, including César, Arman, Sosno, Venet, Claude Gilli… and Ben, whose tragic disappearance in Nice on June 5, suddenly brings another dimension, another light “through works from the 60s to 80s, notably several handwritten pieces, which will express the emotion of his work”continues the auctioneer.

A work by Arman for Acropolis in 1979

Other key lots will also be auctioned. Examples: two sculptures, L’Accordéon d’Arman (1980) and La Chouette de César (1955/1960), estimated respectively at 20,000/30,000 euros and 10,000/15,000 euros or a painting by Arman, Footing painting (2000) estimated 25,000/30,000 euros.

Pieces that speak, challenge, evoke a vanished past like this accumulation of violins by Arman orchestrated for the Acropolis project in 1979. “A palace today razed… This marks time, the history of the Riviera capital in which the artists of the School of Nice participated and who now shine internationally.”

Added to the incredible inventory are erotic photos and engravings, African art… “For Jean Ferrero, this offbeat mix is ​​important. We can talk about a sweet madness that we wanted to transcribe with his agreement and that of his family.”

Estimates sometimes start very low: 100 euros for a print by Sosno, 300/400 euros a sentence by Ben, 200/500 euros a print by Max Ernst…

Perhaps the opportunity to better understand and appropriate a little of the eclecticism of an extraordinary art enthusiast.

Caesar’s Owl, signed iron sculpture (1955/1960), estimated at 30,000 euros. Photo Mathieu Saulnier.
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