For a number of years now, the Post-War and Contemporary Department, under the direction of Hugues Sébilleau, has been returning outstanding results with its sales of works from 1945 to today.
With 15 years experience Hugues Sébilleau, who had been providing his expertise and knowledge of the contemporary art market to Artcurial since 2004, after having spent several years with Briest Auctioneers as well as working in the finance sector.
The department benefits not only from their respective experience but also from their dedication and focus on customer service; buyers and sellers of works of art today demand ever more knowledge and information and Karim and Hugues intend to provide this to the widest range of clients possible.
The department’s aim is to promote and develop the market for French artists from different artistic movements (Abstraction, Narrative Figuration and the New Realists) alongside sales of works by significant international artists. Client focus, expertise and knowledge have meant many clients come to count on the invaluable advice the department can provide, a fact underlined by the various collections entrusted to the team - whether they be classic, such as the Jean Pollack, Claude and Micheline Renard, Jean Ferrero, Jacques and Madeleine Matarasso, Pierre Hebey or Jean Leymarie collections or those much more contemporary, such as ‘Projet Minimal’, Vincent Wapler or Michel Fedoroff.
Highlighting the qualities of a piece of art, the meticulous work undertaken before each sale and the successful attracting of new buyers have all led to an increase in the results of the department, through its 4 auctions per year. These figures have made a major a contribution to Artcurial’s position today as one of the major players on the European art market
After studies in the US and in France, Fabien decided to follow a career doing something he loved: firstly 10 years spent in the fashion business - starting with Paul Smith and then with APC, before his passion for contemporary furniture led him to create the Design Department at Artcurial.
By 2004, after only 2 years of activity, he was already the leader in his field in Europe. Among his successes are the sale ‘Light is More - a century of lighting’; (November 2005), where the personal collection of the designer Ingo Maurer was sold and, confirming the place of the Design Department at a world level, setting four of the highest prices reached at auction for pieces by Jean Prouvé, including the world record for a piece of furniture with the Table Trapèze, selling for €1,241,800 (including commission) in May 2014.
Fabien was appointed Vice-president of Artcurial in 2013, and since oversees all the activities relating to the XXth century - from decorative arts to contemporary art. He has notably initiated new, transversal sales, aimed at a younger, urban clientele who are seeking works of art to decorate the interiors of their homes. This was particularly the case for the highly successful MORE and Limited Edition auctions.
Under his guidance, the XXth century departments saw growth of 16% in sales volume in 2016, driven mainly by auctions involving the sale of private collections (Collection Geneviève and Pierre Hebey, Collection Brollo, Collection Vincent Wapler, Collection Michel Fedoroff, Collection Jean Leymarie, etc.) and with several record prices being set, including a Marcel Duchamp painting (sold for €1.2m in June 2016) and a Marc Newson chest of drawers - Pod of Drawers (sold for €1m in October 2016).
After several years at the Étude Briest, from 1988 to 1992, during which he played an active part in the art market and then in finance, in 2003 Hugues Sébilleau again joined Francis Briest at Artcurial’s Post-War & Contemporary department.
For 15 years, Hugues Sébilleau has developed several periods and movements, including Abstraction and the 70s, also expanding new markets and helping the department achieve remarkable results with artworks from 1945 to the present.
It is also worth noting that the oil on canvas painting 1.6.88 by Zao Wou-Ki sold for 3,518,600 € including buyer’s premium, and the acrylic on canvas painting Tabula, done in 1980 by Simon Hantaï, which was acquired for 753,000 € last June.
His analysis of the contemporary art market and its participants has also allowed Artcurial to offer renowned collections such as that of the Paris art merchant Jean Pollak in October 2011, and more recently the Michel Fedoroff collection in 2017, which allowed Artcurial to obtain the world’s record for a work by Martin Barré.
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