It runs this year from September 12-17, slightly later than last, to coincide with the dates of the Biennale.
As Pierre Moos, the event’s director explains in our interview, it has grown over the course of its 16-year history from a small, largely Parisian, exhibitor base to one that is truly international in terms of exhibitors and exhibits.
More than half the participants in this year’s PDM are from outside France, showing as guests in loaned gallery space.
The range of tribal fields covered means the display lives up to its branding of ‘a journey round the (tribal) worlds’. African art is still a major force here but dealers showing Oceanic, American and south-east Asian artefacts make up a similar proportion of the line-up. The mix is varied further by almost a dozen specialists in Asian art.
That diversity is underscored by this year’s special focus, which turns the spotlight to French Polynesia, as well as an exhibition and publication devoted to Tapa cloths.
Another strand of the fair’s cross-fertilisation is the exhibition devised by this year’s honorary president Javier Peres.
The Cuban-born, Berlin-based contemporary art dealer and African art collector is curating an installation at the Parcours’ Espace Tribal. This features painting and sculpture from his own collection alongside Nigerian works of art selected from the PDM’s participating dealers.
Michael Evans from the US specialises in Native American and Oceanic tribal art and has been showing at the Parcours des Mondes for the past five years.
For the 2017 edition he has decided to present a themed display: Brutal Woods: War Clubs from the South Seas.
“I started putting together a collection of clubs over a year ago and thought it would make a good show. I tried to find different examples to give an overview of the many different types of weapons made in Oceania,” he says.
Around 20 examples will be on display in the gallery he is using on the Rue Guénégaud. They are mostly from Polynesia (tying in neatly with the PDM’s French Polynesian emphasis), including strong examples from Fiji and particularly Tonga. Evans also has two rare types from Samoa, a few Aboriginal examples from Australia and a group from Melanesia, New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.
The price range is broad, from around €1500-40,000, “as I wanted to be able to offer examples to a wide range of collectors”, says Evans. He adds: “I want to try to display some as a group on the wall, like an old-time collection.”
Abla et Alain Lecomte
The Galerie Abla et Alain Lecomte shows works from sub-Saharan African and Oceania in their premises on the rue des Beaux-Arts.
Among the pieces at this year’s Parcours des Mondes will be this 11in (29cm) high wood fetish figure, from the Bateke people of Congo-Brazzaville which is priced at €45,000.
An element of Asian art was added to the Parcours des Mondes two years ago.
Eleven galleries take part this year, offering a range that encompasses items ranging from Japanese netsuke and Buddhist bronzes to painted and embroidered textiles, and lacquerwares.
Paris dealer in Asian art Jacques Barrère will feature a selection of sculptural works in his rue Mazarine Gallery during the PDM. This includes a 10th-11th century dancing group of Ganesha and a Devi from central India; a 1st-2nd century standing figure of Buddha from Gandhara and this Chinese (Northern Qi dynasty) Buddha’s head.
Made from white marble from the Hebei region, delicately carved with traditional features such as fine straight lines for the eyes and well-defined discreetly smiling lips, it is priced at €420,000.
Themed exhibitions are one of the features of the Parcours des Mondes. Following on from Hair, a display of combs and ornaments staged last year, resident dealer Yann Ferrandin will be presenting Prestige and Power. This exhibition in his rue de Seine Gallery is devoted to symbolic and utilitarian ceremonial objects serving as social markers.
Outlining the concept of his show, Ferrandin says: “Since time immemorial, tribal societies have associated an exceptional wealth and diversity of artistic creations with their practices of governance and their spiritual universes.
“These objects, reserved for use by chiefs, shamans or senior initiates, are very varied and they express conceptions of man himself as well as of relations between men.”
The display of works, most of them unpublished, covers a wide range in terms of geography, style and value, with prices from a few thousand up to around €100,000.
Michael Hamson Oceanic Art
A large 2ft 7in (79cm) high stone-carved wooden spirit board comes from Omaumere Village on Urama Island in the Papuan gulf is one of the pieces that US dealer Michael Hamson will be showing at Parcours des Mondes at the Landrot Galerie on the rue Jacques Callot.
The spirit board is a pre-contact piece of Oceanic art from the early 19th century and is priced at €65,000.