The recent opening of the Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech has polished Morocco’s sheen as a destination for art collectors and design aficionados. And now added sparkle comes in the form of the second Paris#Marrakech auction on December 30, hosted by French auction house Artcurial and showcasing works by contemporary African artists alongside pieces by Jacques Majorelle and his contemporaries.
The auction takes place at the Palace Es Saadi, not far from the exquisite Majorelle gardens, and will also be screened via a live link-up at Artcurial’s Paris headquarters. Following the success of the first sale in 2016 – which achieved almost €2.3m – Artcurial invited New York-based Cécilia Attias (the former Madame Sarkozy, and founder of the Cécilia Attias Foundation for Women) to be the auction’s ambassador, choosing nine of her favourites out of the 70 works sourced from various owners and private collections – including Majorelle’s Marchands de dattes dans le souk, Marrakech (estimate €200,000-€300,000); Malick Sidibé’s photograph Nuit de Noël (Happy-Club) (€15,000-€20,000); and Chéri Samba’s 2005 acrylic and glitter L’Homme qui Mange de la Peinture (estimate €40,000-€50,000).
The showcasing of 11 works by Majorelle is particularly apt as the auction coincides with the centenary of his arrival in Morocco. Of the 11 paintings under the heading “Majorelle & His Contemporaries”, the artist’s landscape Kasbah de Tasgah vallée de Télouet (Grand Atlas), estimated at €120,000-€180,000, is considered the most important example of his Orientalist style. Also included is a piece by Etienne Dinet, a contemporary of Majorelle: Le Kohl depicts two beautiful young woman sharing eye make-up secrets, and is estimated at €280,000-€380,000.