Anne-Françoise Gavanon is the director of Frederick Mulder Ltd, a London-based private art dealer since 1971 and one of the foremost print dealers in the world. They deal in original prints and works on paper from 15th to 20th centuries, with an emphasis on Pablo Picasso. The gallery holdings of Picasso are thought to be some of the most extensive in the world, and are regularly lent out to museums. Their clients include major museums, and private and institutional clients. Gavanon is equally an art historian and has recently contributed essays to catalogues of several museum Picasso exhibitions.
Frederick Mulder Ltd aim to promote the diversity, originality and beauty of the often under-appreciated print medium, which is ‘a great point of entry to the Modern Masters, especially in relation to Picasso’, says Gavanon. ‘The top Picasso prints have fantastic wall power with prices in the low seven-digit, which compare very well to his paintings or drawings, for which one would have to put down a lot more. But you can also find beautiful works for much less’.
The other benefit of Picasso is that the artist had such a varied and versatile career: ‘If you have more traditional taste, you would choose his Neo-classical period; if you like Cubism and its radicalism, there are wonderful Cubist works on paper,’ adds Gavanon. ‘You also have lithographs and linocuts, the latter being full of colours and very contemporary and even a bit pop art, dare I say.’
Prints are technical and require connoisseurship, with the art of making the right purchase a deceptively difficult skill according to Gavanon, though when bought well they tend to steadily appreciate in value over time.