Robot-generated sculptures, royal jewellery from Sweden on show at TEFAF Maastricht art fair

Barry X Ball ‘Sleeping Hermaphrodite,’ (2008–17). Photos: Relaxnews
Barry X Ball ‘Sleeping Hermaphrodite,’ (2008–17). Photos: Relaxnews
Philip Rundell “The Shield of Achilles” (circa 1823-1824).
Kees Van Dongen, ‘La plume blanche’ (circa 1910-1912).

The European Fine Art Fair — better known as TEFAF — is taking place at the Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Center through March 24.

Now in its 32nd edition, TEFAF Maastricht, which kicked off Saturday, brings together 279 dealers of art and antiques from around 21 countries. Divided in its usual eight sections — Ancient Art, Antiques, Design, Haute Joaillerie, Modern, Paintings, Paper and Tribal — the art fair has expanded its modern and contemporary section with 13 new exhibitors.

This year, the fair’s organisers have singled out a number of highlights. Among them is Barry X Ball’s “Masterpieces” series. Presented by new exhibitor Fergus McCaffrey, the series features seven works that are robot-generated recreations of iconic sculptures. Ball’s “Sleeping Hermaphrodite” is crafted from translucent pink Iranian onyx, giving a millennial twist to the Louvre’s famous sculpture “Borghese Hermaphroditus.”

Kees van Dongen’s “La plume blanche” is another showstopper of the 2019 TEFAF Maastricht. This signed oil on canvas features an anonymous woman who appears to be of North African descent, contrasting with the pale-skinned women Van Dongen usually portrayed.

Within the Design section, exhibitor Sprüth Magers presents the work of German conceptual artist Rosemarie Trockel — who specialises in mirror pieces. Among them is “Marry Mood,” a glazed ceramic piece that measures a metre high.

The Haute Joaillerie section features Queen Josefina of Sweden’s natural pearl and diamond necklace, presented by Symbolic & Chase. The jewel comes from the collection of Joséphine de Beauharnais, the 19th-century queen of Sweden and Norway. It was featured in several of Joséphine’s official portraits.

Another highlight of this year’s TEFAF Maastricht is “The Shield of Achilles,” presented by Koopman Rare Art. It is a silver-gilt and chased piece, made by the English silversmith Philip Rundell after a design by the sculptor John Flaxman. Flaxman’s design is an interpretation of Homer’s description of the shield wrought for Achilles by the god Hephaestus in “the Iliad.” – Relaxnews

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