ABOUT TURN: Change is afoot at the Paris Biennale, the new name for the now annual Biennale des Antiquaires. France’s National Union of Antique Dealers (SNA), which organizes the event, has elected a new president.
Mathias Ary Jan succeeded Dominique Chevalier in the role at the organization’s annual meeting on Tuesday. Publishing magnate and art collector Christopher Forbes, meanwhile, replaces Henri Loyrette as president of the commission in charge of selecting participants.
Next year’s edition could see the return of major jewelry houses to the event, organizers hope. Last September’s Biennale saw only four houses showing after Chevalier chose to scale down the presence of jewelers. Cartier led an exodus of 14 top houses.
Chevalier had expressed his disappointment that so many pulled out, and his intention was for more jewelers to participate once again in 2017.
“Historically the Biennale has always welcomed high jewelry and we will be happy to do so with this new edition,” Ary Jan told WWD. “We will work to offer collectors and the public a dazzling 2017 edition.”
Exhibitors for the Biennale will be selected by a commission made up of five members of the SNA and 10 collectors and museum curators who will choose, under Forbes, at least 120 international galleries and jewelry houses to participate. The definitive list of exhibitors are to be revealed next spring.
The only jewelers at September’s event at the Grand Palais were De Grisogono, Nirav Modi, Cindy Chao The Art Jewel and Boghossian Jewels after the top Place Vendôme houses, who were historically exhibitors at the prestigious event, pulled out after disagreements with the organizers, notably over the importance jewelry had gained at the event over the years, whether jewels less than a century old could be shown, and also over maximum stand size.
The Biennale has been through a series of upheavals since Christian Deydier was ousted as president of the SNA in July 2014. His successor Chevalier recruited former Louvre Museum director Loyrette as president of the Biennale in charge of the selection commission, and turned the event into an annual affair.