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Pascal de Sarthe

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Biography

Pascal de Sarthe (born 1958) is a French-born, American art dealer, curator and collector based in Hong Kong. He is the founder and owner of de Sarthe Gallery in Hong Kong and in Beijing, China. He previously owned and ran galleries in Paris, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Arizona. In the field since 1977, he specializes in paintings and sculptures by French Impressionists, and Asian and Western modern, post-war and contemporary artists.

Early life

De Sarthe was born in France. His appreciation for art began at an early age and by the time he was 11, he bought canvases, brushes and oil paintings to imitate the paintings found in a book about Chaim Soutine. He continued to create art until around 1977, when he started to focus exclusively on art dealing and collecting.

Career

Paris gallery (1977-81)

In 1977, de Sarthe opened his first gallery, in Paris, France. The gallery initially focused on the sale of secondary market masterpieces from French Impressionist and Modern artists before shifting to a diverse selection of international artists, with works by modern masters as well as emerging talents.

From 1978 to 1980, de Sarthe ran the Galerie-Association Katia Pissarro in Paris, featuring a rotating exhibition each month by French avant-garde artists.

United States galleries (1981-2010)

In 1981, de Sarthe moved with his wife and newborn baby to San Francisco, California, to open Pascal de Sarthe Gallery there. It remained open until 1990. He then opened Pascal de Sarthe Gallery in Los Angeles in 1990, and Pascal de Sarthe Fine Art in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1994. All of his galleries in the United States specialized in French Impressionists, as well as modern and contemporary masters.

de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong (2011-present)

In 2011, de Sarthe and his wife Sylvie relocated to Hong Kong to open de Sarthe Gallery, which specializes in Asian and Western 19th and 20th century master paintings and sculptures as well as contemporary art. Following three decades of regular traveling to Asia, de Sarthe opened the Hong Kong gallery. The gallery opened with the retrospective Zao Wou-Ki Paintings: 1950s-1960s. It was an exceptionally rare show of early works, with the time period covering Chinese artist Zao Wou-Ki's work completed while in Paris and Hong Kong. One of the few known surviving paintings that Zao created on his 1958 trip to Hong Kong was included in the 2011 exhibition. Finding work from this period was difficult because virtually nothing from the period is available on the market, and so de Sarthe spent months persuading clients to part with the works. It was the first foreign-run gallery to open with a significant show by an Asian artist. In 2011, Zao was the top-selling living Chinese artist at auction, with $90 million in total sales. Experts consider him to be "one of the most significant figures in post-1945 abstraction." At a November 2011 Christie's Hong Kong auction, de Sarthe bought an oil painting by Zao for HK$35.38 million. It was the top selling item in the sale. Zao died in Switzerland on April 9, 2013.

The gallery's second exhibition was a solo show dedicated to American photographer David LaChapelle, one of the photographer's first shows in Asia. De Sarthe was LaChapelle's exclusive dealer in Asia at that time.

At the 2012 Hong Kong International Art Fair, de Sarthe sold No. 313, a nearly 9-foot-tall oil painting by Chu Teh-Chun for over $3 million. In 2013, de Sarthe and his wife Sylvie bought the 1932 ink and gouache on silk painting La Marchande de Riz by Nguyen Phan Chanh at an auction by Christie's International in Hong Kong for HK$3.03 million (US$390,000), setting a record for a work by a Vietnamese artist.

At Art Basel Hong Kong in 2013, de Sarthe Gallery exhibited Chen Zhen's Le Rite Suspendue/Mouille installation. This was Art Basel's first fair in Asia, after Art Basel Hong Kong bought Hong Kong International Art Fair in 2011. At Art Basel 2015, de Sarthe Gallery showed works from three Chinese masters, Zao Wou-Ki, Chu Teh-Chun and T'ang Haywen. He showed Zao's 10.12.1960, the largest of Zao's work from that time period, and a painting that had never before been publicly shown. The show also featured Zao's Vent de Poussiere from 1955, when Zao realized he was not a Western artist, but a Chinese artist living in a Western world. Zao's works at Art Basel ranged in price from $1 million to $15 million. At Art Basel Hong Kong in 2016, de Sarthe sold works by Park Seo-Bo, Zao Wou-Ki and Ma Sibo, among other artworks exhibited, and also displayed major works by Gutai artists, Alexander Calder, Gerhard Richter and Joan Miró.

In 2013, de Sarthe Gallery put on an exhibition showcasing Auguste Rodin's bronze sculptures, titled Auguste Rodin – Bronzes, Exceptional Early Casts. It included such iconic pieces as The Thinker, The Kiss and Eternal Springtime.

De Sarthe Gallery had a booth at the first ever Art Silicon Valley San Francisco in California in 2014, displaying works by artists including Robert Indiana, Yayoi Kusama, T'ang Haywen, Bernar Venet, John Wesley, Lin Jingjing, Wang Guofeng, Zhao Jinhe and Zhou Wendou. The 2014 exhibit Pioneers of Modern Chinese Painting in Paris presented a rare collection of masterpieces by first- and second-generation Chinese artists who went to Paris in the 1920s and then in the late 1940s and early 1950s to learn Western techniques. Artists included Xu Beihong, Lin Fengmian, Sanyu, Wu Guanzhong, Zao Wou-Ki and Chu Teh-Chun. The October 2015 exhibition Gutai focused on artists from the Gutai group, dating from the early 1960s and 1970s, including Tsuyoshi Maekawa, Sadamasa Motonaga, Shozo Shimamoto, Kazuo Shiraga, Atsuko Tanaka, Chiyu Uemae and Jiro Yoshihara. The gallery's 2016 exhibition on Robert Rauschenberg featured six of the American artist's works created from 1968 to 2005, when he was transitioning from his "Combines" works, blending found objects with collage and painting, to transfer drawings and silk printing.

de Sarthe Gallery, Beijing (2014-present)

In 2014, de Sarthe opened a new space in Beijing, China, with his son Vincent de Sarthe as director. The gallery focuses on Chinese contemporary artists. The first exhibition there was devoted to the work of Beijing-born multimedia and installation artist Zhou Wendou.

List of galleries

  • de Sarthe Gallery, Paris, France (1977-81)
  • Pascal de Sarthe Gallery, San Francisco, California (1981-90)
  • de Sarthe Contemporary, San Francisco, California (1986-90)
  • Pascal de Sarthe Gallery, Los Angeles, California (1990-94)
  • Pascal de Sarthe Fine Art, Scottsdale, Arizona (1994-2010)
  • de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong (2011-present)
  • de Sarthe Gallery, Beijing (2014-present)

Notable exhibitions

  • 19th Century Masters: An Introduction to French Impressionism, Pascal de Sarthe Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 1981
  • French Impressionism: Van Gogh, Cezanne, Monet, Pascal de Sarthe Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 1982
  • 3 Post Impressionists: Signac, Van Rysselberghe, Cross and Petitjean, Pascal de Sarthe Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 1984
  • Marc Chagall, Paintings and Watercolors, Pascal de Sarthe Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 1985
  • Mimmo Rotella, Decollages 1950-1959, de Sarthe Contemporary, San Francisco, CA, 1986
  • Pointillism: Cross, Seurat, Signac, Van Rysselberghe, Pascal de Sarthe Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 1989
  • Modern Masters: Paintings, Sculptures and Drawings, Pascal de Sarthe Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, 1990
  • Colorfield: Frankenthaller, Olistki, Morris Louis, Noland, Pascal de Sarthe Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, 1991
  • Postwar Masters: Guston, Kline, de Kooning, Motherwell, Rothko, Pascal de Sarthe Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, 1991
  • Yves Klein – Ad Reinhardt, Robert Irwin, Pascal de Sarthe Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, 1993
  • POP: Indiana, Lichtenstein, Oldenburg, Warhol, Wesselman, Pascal de Sarthe Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, 1993
  • Robert Indiana (retrospective), Shanghai Art Museum, China, 2002
  • Robert Indiana, Major Works From the '60s, C&M Gallery, New York, NY, 2004
  • Keith Haring, Bentley Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ, 2009
  • David LaChapelle, MoCA Taipei, Taiwan, 2010
  • Zao Wou-ki Paintings: 1950s-1960s, de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong, 2011
  • David LaChapelle solo show, de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong, 2011
  • John Wesley, de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong, 2011
  • Chen Zhen, de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong, 2011
  • Hans Hartung: Paintings 1960s-1970s, de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong, 2012
  • Bernar Venet, Hong Kong Cultural Centre & Museum of Art Piazzas (collaboration with Le French May), Hong Kong, 2012
  • Chu Teh-Chun – Nature in Abstraction, de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong, 2012
  • James Lee Byars, de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong, 2012
  • Mariko Mori, de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong, 2013
  • Auguste Rodin – Bronzes, Exceptional Early Casts, de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong, 2013
  • Robert Indiana – Decade Autoportrait, de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong, 2013
  • Pioneers of Modern Chinese Painting in Paris, Hong Kong, 2014
  • T'ang Haywen – The Colours of Ink, de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong, 2014
  • Zao Wou-Ki: Ink and Watercolor, de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong, 2015
  • Hsiao Chin – 60 Years of Abstraction, Harmony and Form, de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong, 2015
  • Gutai, de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong, 2015
  • Robert Rauschenberg,de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong, 2016

Notable art fairs

  • Chicago Art Fair, Chicago, IL, 1980s
  • Art Taipei, Taiwan, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • Hong Kong International Art Fair, Hong Kong, 2012
  • Art Silicon Valley San Francisco, 2014
  • Art Basel, Hong Kong, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Art Beijing, 2015, 2016
  • Art Shenzhen, 2016

Milestones

Year Event
1977 Opens first gallery in Paris, France.
1979 Starts managing Galerie Pissarro in Paris, France.
1981 Opens Pascal de Sarthe Gallery in San Francisco, California.
1986 Opens de Sarthe Contemporary in San Francisco.
1990 Opens Pascal de Sarthe Gallery in Los Angeles, California.
1994 Opens Pascal de Sarthe Fine Art in Scottsdale, Arizona.
2011 Opens de Sarthe Gallery in Hong Kong.
2014 Opens de Sarthe Gallery in Beijing, China.
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