Stunning objects!

Gilded Interiors: French Masterpieces of Gilt Bronze, The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, W1, until 30th July 2017

F292: Perfume Burner,
Pierre Gouthière, 1774 – 1775, detail.
© The Wallace Collection

We probably all have a vision of what an 18th century French interior may look like – white and gold panelling, commodes, chairs, sumptuous fabrics, tapestries or paintings, and gilded objects such as clocks or candelabra. The latter are probably the items we pay least attention too but you most certainly won’t after visiting this SUPERB exhibition.

F269: Mantel clock,
Jean-Baptiste Lepaute, 1781, detail.
© The Wallace Collection

We are able to study these objects closely and see the great attention to detail and the exquisite chasing and gilding techniques used. Two of the items on show belonged to Marie Antoinette. The comte d’Artois, the duc d’Aumont and the Prince Regent are other important patrons and clients from the 18th century whom you will discover. Only one of the wondrous pieces does not come from the Wallace Collection and that is a pair of firedogs bought by the future George IV.  They are included because they are the same model as a pair owned by the 4th Marquess of Hertford in his Paris home*.

F131: Candelabrum,
Possibly François Rémond, France, 1783 – 1786
© The Wallace Collection

These gilded wonders, which were such an important and integral part of the homes of the great and wealthy 18th century patrons, are the creation of artists such as Pierre Gouthière, François Rémond and Claude Pition and are important examples of 18th century French taste and stunning works of art in their own right.

F164: Candlestick,
Claude-Jean Pitoin, 1781, detail.
© The Wallace Collection

The exhibition is curated by Dr Helen Jacobsen, Senior Curator and Curator of French Eighteenth-century Decorative Arts at the Wallace Collection who has also written a book on this aspect of the Collection which I shall return to later.  She has also borrowed 18th century drawings from the Bibliothèque Municipale in Besançon which are by the noted architect and designer of interiors Pierre-Adrien Pâris and they reveal how Ancient Rome was a source of inspiration while others show how that inspiration was enacted upon.

F317: Table,
attributed to François Rémond, 1785 – 1787, detail.
© The Wallace Collection

I have now visited the exhibition three times but will return again and again because each time you see new details and appreciate even more the perfection of 18th century French decorative arts.

F258: Mantel clock, The Avignon Clock,
Pierre Gouthière, France, 1771
© The Wallace Collection

 

* This was not part of Sir Richard Wallace’s bequest and they are now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

 

http://www.wallacecollection.org

Tribal Art and Ceramics in London’s New Bond Street

I take pleasure in sharing these two shows with you. They are at The Fine Art Society 148 New Bond Street, London W1.

 

Gordon Reece – The Art of Collecting, until 16th June 2017 

DSC_6706
30 Zula People, Democratic Republic of Congo
Female caryatid stool
First half of the 20th century
Wood
Height 18 1/2 in (47 cm)
Provenance: Private collection, Rwanda

This collaboration with Gordon Reece the esteemed dealer in Asian and African artefacts is a veritable treat.  His love of the objects is reflected in what he buys and they are eminently liveable with as this show which sees them displayed among the Fine Art Society’s furniture and artworks skilfully proves. A great celebration of Tribal Art.

‘Installation view, including two Lega masks and a Suku standing figure’

 

DSC_6725
41 Bembe People, Democratic Republic of Congo
A rare standing reliquary figure (Muzidi)
First half of the 20th century
Cane, fibre, cloth and buttons
Height 41 in (104.1 cm)
Provenance: Private collection, USA; purchased by Gordon Reece Gallery in New York in 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hylton Nel – For Use and Display, until 16th June 2017

Hylton Nel
Cat with Pope’s shoes

The South African ceramicist Hylton Nel shows his flair for creating both useful and decorative objects. You will discern influences from Chinese, Staffordshire and European ceramics in them and he uses many ideas in their decoration whether sexual, whimsical or written prose.  A delight and one understands why his works are eagerly snapped up.

Hylton Nel
Green Tree and Figures

 

Hylton Nel
A Game of Notes

 

 

www.thefineartsociety.com/

‘Designing the Future’

Giacomo Balla: Designing the Future, Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square, London N1, until 25th June 2017

Giacomo Balla
Iridescent Interpenetrations, 1913
Watercolour on paper, 24 x 18 cm
Courtesy The Biagiotti Cigna Foundation

This special show focuses on Giacomo Balla (1871-1958) a self-taught artist who was one of the founding figures of the Futurist movement but in 1937 moved away from its mainstream. The 116 works on show come from the Biagiotti Cigna Collection and give a full picture of Balla’s work which included furniture and clothing design

Giacomo Balla
Expansion of Spring, 1918
Oil on board, 45 x 55 cm
Courtesy The Biagiotti Cigna Foundation

 

Giacomo Balla
Lines of Force of an Enamelled Landscape, 1917-18
Oil and enamel on paper, 41 x 56 cm
Courtesy The Biagiotti Cigna Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.estorickcollection.com

“Love Scenes”

 Dan Llywelyn Hall – “Love Scenes”, Lights of Soho, 35 Brewer Street, London, W1, until 17th June 2017

GOLDFINGER

I have had the pleasure of writing about Dan before and I very much want to share his new exhibition of work with you. It reflects his long-term interest in the theme of love over the centuries through art or popular culture.

LOVE ARABESQUE

He has developed a strong following for his artworks whether landscapes, city scenes or portraits such as the one he painted of the Queen in 2013.  He says of this show:  “Lights of Soho occupies a building that once was central to the Paul Raymond empire; a venue familiar with scenes of erotica and physical embodiments of love. The ‘Scenes of Love’ series should feel at home here with my depictions of the greatest love encounters through the ages.”

1001 NIGHTS

https://www.LightsofSoho.com

CASABLANCA

http://www.danllywelynhall.co.uk/

 

 

 

A striking exhibition!

Aaron Kasmin: UP IN SMOKE, Sims Reed Gallery, 43A Duke Street, St. James’s, London SW1, until 9th June 2017

Aaron Kasmin,
Bottoms Up, 2016.
Coloured pencil, 30x21cm.
Sims Reed Gallery

For his second exhibition with the gallery Aaron revisits the theme of American feature matchbooks with twenty-eight pencil drawings.  It is great fun especially as one can see part of his collection of original matchbooks too.

Aaron Kasmin,
Pumps, 2016.
Coloured pencil, 30x21cm.
Sims Reed Gallery

Aaron Kasmin,
Sea Shell Restaurant, 2016.
Coloured pencil, 30x21cm.
Sims Reed Gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aaron sums up his enthusiasm saying:  “These new works reflect a joint celebration of the joy of collecting and creating works inspired by the sheer inventiveness and genius of feature matchbooks. The matchbooks are small, ephemeral and almost forgotten; the ingenuity of the imagery in what must be the golden age of graphic design is here in minute form. To me they conjure up the glamour of early to mid-twentieth century American life. The glitz inherent in nightclubs and bars hark back to the post-prohibition era with movie stars and opulent parties evoked and captured in the novels of Scott Fitzgerald and Raymond Chandler, and re-created in the nostalgic films of Woody Allen.”

Aaron Kasmin,
Special Delivery, 2017.
Coloured pencil, 21x15cm.
Sims Reed Gallery

 

Vintage Matchbooks
Sims Reed Gallery

 

http://gallery.simsreed.com

Der Rosenkavalier

Harmony and Opulence: Erté and Der Rosenkavalier, Bonhams London, 101 New Bond Street, London W1, 22nd – 26th May 2017

Presentation of the Rose. Der Rosenkavalier, Act II

Featuring ninety set and costume designs for the famous 1980 Glyndebourne Opera production of Der Rosenkavalier this is a must for lovers of opera and the Russian artist Erté.

http://www.bonhams.com

‘A Cut Above’

Pat Albeck – ‘A CUT ABOVE’, Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, 89-91 Pimlico Road London SW1, 22nd – 27th May 2017

What better way could there be for Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler to celebrate Chelsea Flower Show Week in their Pimlico Road showrooms than with this display of paper flower collages by Pat Albeck. Well-known for her textile designs she has created these works using   “a really sharp pair of nail scissors” and Italian coloured fine art paper to create these botanical studies. I am sure some of you will be reminded of pietra dura panels through the colour palette she uses.

www.sibylcolefax.com