The Years of La Dolce Vita – The Birth of Celebrity Culture in Focus, Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art

The Years of La Dolce VitaThe Birth of Celebrity Culture in Focus, Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square , London N1, until 29th June 2014

 Marcello Geppetti (1933-1998) Richard Burton and Liz Taylor kissing in Ischia, June 1962 MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

Marcello Geppetti (1933-1998)
Richard Burton and Liz Taylor kissing in Ischia, June 1962
MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

Rome in the1950s and 1960s saw the birth of celebrity culture and the establishment of paparazzi photographers who often are the bane of the famous but whose images the public eagerly await.

Marcello Geppetti (1933-1998) Audrey Hepburn, Rome, 1961 MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

Marcello Geppetti (1933-1998)
Audrey Hepburn, Rome, 1961
MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

It started because Italian cinema was flourishing thanks to the films of directors such as Fellini, Antonioni and Pasolini and the fact that American filmmakers wanted to use Cinecittà Studios as they were less costly than Hollywood. Stalwarts of the cinematic archive such as Ben-Hur (1959) and Cleopatra (1963) were shot there.

 Marcello Geppetti (1933-1998) Rock Hudson and Cary Grant at Cinecittà, June 1961 MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

Marcello Geppetti (1933-1998)
Rock Hudson and Cary Grant at Cinecittà,
June 1961
MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

This meant that film stars came to Rome and after working at the studio in the day time went to the vibrant Via Veneto with its bars and restaurants to relax in the evening. Thus stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Alain Delon, Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Baccall, John Wayne and Charlton Heston became targets of the paparazzi.

Marcello Geppetti (1933-1998) Carlo Ponti, Sophia Loren and Vittorio De Sica, Rome, 1961 MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

Marcello Geppetti (1933-1998)
Carlo Ponti, Sophia Loren and Vittorio De Sica, Rome, 1961
MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

However, then as now, not all stars appreciated being the focus of a camera lens in their personal time and there are some images of them trying to stop the photographer shooting them. The ones of Anita Ekberg trying to scare off paparazzi are well worth going to see on their own.

Marcello Geppetti (1933-1998) Franco Nero assaulting Rino Barillari at the Trevi Fountain, 1965 MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

Marcello Geppetti (1933-1998)
Franco Nero assaulting Rino Barillari at the Trevi Fountain, 1965
MGMC & Solares Fondazione delle Arti

Ekberg was, of course, a major star in Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life) and this eponymously titled exhibition combines the real-life images of Marcello Geppetti with behind-the-scenes shots on the film set by its cameraman Arturo Zavattini. Indeed it should be remembered that Paparazzo was the name of a charcter in the film.  It adds up to a very enjoyable and heady mixture that brings the era to life with clarity and focus.

 Arturo Zavattini (b. 1930) Set of ‘La Dolce Vita’, Marcello Mastroianni Solares Fondazione delle Arti

Arturo Zavattini (b. 1930)
Set of ‘La Dolce Vita’, Marcello Mastroianni
Solares Fondazione delle Arti

www.estorickcollection.com

Marcello Geppetti (1933-1998) Jayne Mansfield and Mike Hargitay leaving “Piccola Budapest”, Rome, October 1962

Marcello Geppetti (1933-1998)
Jayne Mansfield and Mike Hargitay leaving “Piccola Budapest”, Rome, October 1962

THE ART OF DESIGN AT CHRISTIE’S SOUTH KENSINGTON ON 4th JUNE, 2014

 

THE ART OF DESIGN

THE LEX AITKEN & ALFREDO BOURET GONZALEZ COLLECTION

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

&

SIBYL COLEFAX & JOHN FOWLER

39 BROOK STREET, MAYFAIR

AT CHRISTIE’S SOUTH KENSINGTON ON 4th JUNE, 2014

Judging by the reaction shown to previous blogs many of you are interested in interiors and this sale certainly fits the brief and I hope will inspire you.

The Yellow Room, SIBYL COLEFAX & JOHN FOWLER, 39 BROOK STREET, MAYFAIR

The Yellow Room, SIBYL COLEFAX & JOHN FOWLER, 39 BROOK STREET, MAYFAIR

Following on from the success of their collaboration last July, Christie’s have once again asked the firm of Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler to take part in this sale. The result is a very well selected group of some sixty lots that totally symbolises the elegance and style of this internationally highly regarded firm. Furniture, lighting, pictures and mirrors amply reflect the élan of their interiors. Their Associate Director Daniel Slowik says “Taste for antiques has changed considerably over the last 10 years. There are various pieces in the sale that represent the growing demand for good quality 20th-century interpretations of the original: in the manner for instance of Maison Jansen. The Empire Revival desk (lot 27) being a good example. Traditionally, a guarantee of antique authenticity had been required, but today it is positively beneficial for a piece to be from the 1940s or 50s!  Less surprising when we see the quality of design being produced.”

An Interior View, THE LEX AITKEN & ALFREDO BOURET GONZALEZ COLLECTION FROM SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

An Interior View, THE LEX AITKEN & ALFREDO BOURET GONZALEZ COLLECTION FROM SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

The other portion of the sale is the collection of Lex Aitken and his partner Alfredo Bouret Gonzalez. Although as an interior designer Aitken had an international clientele one can see a taste of London influence in his work. Not surprising really as in the early 1960s he had opened Lex Aitken Limited at 84 Pimlico Road, which then as now, was an area noted for designers. Gonzalez was a fashion illustrator and designer and opened the boutique ‘Mexicana’ that sold Mexican peasant shirts and other clothes to fashionable London. After they retired they moved back to Aitken’s homeland of Australia.

 

WWW.CHRISTIES.COM

Lot 36,  SIBYL COLEFAX & JOHN FOWLER, 39 BROOK STREET, MAYFAIR A giltwood and parcel-gilt tole ten-branch chandelier, mid-20th century Estimate: £2,000-3,000

Lot 36, SIBYL COLEFAX & JOHN FOWLER, 39 BROOK STREET, MAYFAIR
A giltwood and parcel-gilt tole ten-branch chandelier, mid-20th century
Estimate: £2,000-3,000

http://www.sibylcolefax.com

All images courtesy of CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2014

Just this week only – two exhibitions in London

I thought I should share them with you even though they are only on for a short time.

 

Tom Evetts – TERRA FIRMA, at Gallery 8, Duke Street, London SW1, until 1st June 2014

 

Tom Evetts Robin Hood’s Bay, Yorkshire (Oil on canvas, 22 x 40 inches)

Tom Evetts
Robin Hood’s Bay, Yorkshire
(Oil on canvas, 22 x 40 inches)

This talented young artist’s exhibition is in his own words “all about land and sea” and his works are certainly a celebration of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Evetts paints en plein air often starting at sunrise and continuing to sunset. He is fascinated by colour and the effect of light upon it as the day unfolds. He also acknowledges a debt to fauvism.

 

Tom Evetts is represented by Leonora Martin Fine Art

 

www.leonoramartin.co.uk

 


 

 

Eugene Brimmerberg: New Works, Art Galleries Europe, 18 Maddox St, London W1, until 31st May

 

Eugene Brimmerberg Three Ad-libs of a Feeling Soul. Evening. 65x100 Canvas, oil

Eugene Brimmerberg
Three Ad-libs of a Feeling Soul. Evening.
65×100
Canvas, oil

This show is part of the fourth Russian Art Week to be held in London and it features work from the artist’s entire career. It is his first major solo exhibition here. He says “If art ceases to be the expression of the deepest sense- that is the basis for a human being to shape the idea of its own existence- culture is bound to become a transnational phenomenon, that makes individuality forsake its historical merit, in order to recreate itself anew from the faceless existence of the present.”

 

www.eugene.brimmerberg.com

Two shows at the Coningsby Gallery in late May and early June

Two new exhibitions at the Coningsby Gallery, 30 Tottenham Street, London W1

 

This gallery which is just a stone’s throw from Goodge Street Station hosts two new exhibitions over the coming couple of weeks:

Sarah Ball | Damaged Humans, 28th May – 7th June 2014

Sarah Ball Prisoner2-shadow

Sarah Ball
Prisoner2-shadow

Sarah Ball Prostitute 5

Sarah Ball
Prostitute 5

This is the artist’s first London solo show. The basis for her works is historic photographs with many drawn from archives in the USA and Denmark. All portrayed are in some way “damaged” and it is this that draws Ball to depict their suffering whether they are a soldier, prisoner, woman or patient. The photographs she uses as a source offer clarity and insight into the subject and what they have suffered. She is able to translate this into her portraits so as to engage the viewer and to remind us that we all can experience damage of some kind. By the way she was named Welsh Artist of the Year in 2013.

 

Painting Works | John Middleton, 9th June–13th June 2014

John Middleton The path to the Temple

John Middleton
The path to the Temple

John Middleton The latest recorded sighting of Big Foot

John Middleton
The latest recorded sighting of Big Foot

It may well be argued that in John Middleton’s case life can create art. It certainly appears to have been a source of solace and a well of creativity to him. Although he has shown sculptures it is painting that he still, at the age of 74, practices daily. His works play with the lines between the figurative and abstract and it is only in the last twenty years that he has attained a sense of peace with his artistic process. He never measures time and so does not date his work – he says, ‘A piece of string has a beginning and an end. I will never remember where it starts or ends, only the in-between matters. Life is a one shot deal – just dig it while it is happening.’

 

 www.coningsbygallery.com

VERONESE: MAGNIFICENCE IN RENAISSANCE VENICE, The National Gallery & a postscript

VERONESE: MAGNIFICENCE IN RENAISSANCE VENICE, The National Gallery, London until 15th June 2014

Paolo Veronese (1528-1588) Saint John the Baptist, about 1560 Oil on canvas 247 × 122 cm Galleria Estense, Modena (4188) © Courtesy of the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo - Archivio  Fotografico della SBSAE di Modena e Reggio Emilia

Paolo Veronese (1528-1588)
Saint John the Baptist, about 1560
Oil on canvas
247 × 122 cm
Galleria Estense, Modena (4188)
© Courtesy of the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo – Archivio
Fotografico della SBSAE di Modena e Reggio Emilia

This very special exhibition brings fifty paintings from around the world together to form what is the most important body of Veronese’s work ever to be seen in this country.

Paolo Veronese (1528-1588) Perseus and Andromeda, 1575-80 Oil on canvas 260 × 211 cm Musée des Beaux - Arts, Rennes (1801-1-1) © MBA, Rennes, Dist. RMN/Adélaïde Beaudoin

Paolo Veronese (1528-1588)
Perseus and Andromeda, 1575-80
Oil on canvas
260 × 211 cm
Musée des Beaux – Arts, Rennes (1801-1-1)
© MBA, Rennes, Dist. RMN/Adélaïde Beaudoin

All types of his artistic output are well represented – portraits, altarpieces, allegorical decorations and mythological works – and they clearly show why he was so eagerly sought after by the Patrician classes of Venice and the Veneto. Indeed it would be invidious of me to single out particular works as this is an exhibition that needs to be seen as a whole.

Paolo Veronese (1528-1588) Portrait of a Gentleman, about 1555 Oil on canvas 104.5 × 108 cm Galleria Palatina, Palazzo Pitti, Florence (216) © Soprintendenza Speciale per il Polo Museale Fiorentino

Paolo Veronese (1528-1588)
Portrait of a Gentleman, about 1555
Oil on canvas
104.5 × 108 cm
Galleria Palatina, Palazzo Pitti, Florence (216)
© Soprintendenza Speciale per il Polo Museale Fiorentino

Known as Veronese (1528–1588), he was born Paolo Caliari in Verona where his father was a stonecutter. In 1541 he entered the workshop of Antonio Badile as an apprentice (he later married Badile’s daughter) and then went on to complete commissions for secular and religious patrons in the city.

Paolo Veronese (1528-1588) The Rest on the Flight into Egypt, about 1570-2 Oil on canvas 236.2 x 161.3 cm Frame: 281.3 x 205.4× 11.4 cm © Collection of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the State Art Museum of Florida, Florida State University, Sarasota Florida (SN82)

Paolo Veronese (1528-1588)
The Rest on the Flight into Egypt, about 1570-2
Oil on canvas
236.2 x 161.3 cm Frame: 281.3 x 205.4× 11.4 cm
© Collection of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the State Art Museum of Florida, Florida State University, Sarasota Florida (SN82

 

Veronese moved to Venice in the early 1550s where his great reputation as an artist became firmly established. His works with their combination of figures and architecture superbly represent to the modern viewer the grandeur and power of the Venetian Republic of that time.

As the National Gallery’s director, Dr Nicholas Penny aptly sums up: “From the deftly captured shimmer of a pearl, to the sweep and splendour of his architectural settings, Veronese’s mastery of colour, space and light, and his feeling for beauty, for opulence and grace, have captured the imagination of countless artists and art lovers ever since.”

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk


Postscript 

It would be wrong of me not to mention the very enjoyable exhibition entitled Catherine Goodman – Drawing from Veronese, (until 6 June 2014) at the same time.  It is being held at P. & D. Colnaghi and Co. Ltd, 15 Old Bond Street, London, W1 and is a joint exhibition with Marlborough Fine Art.

CATHERINE GOODMAN ‘Scorn’ II from ‘The Four Allegories of Love’ Charcoal and pastel on paper 48 x 62 cm  Image is copyright

CATHERINE GOODMAN
‘Scorn’ II from ‘The Four Allegories of Love’
Charcoal and pastel on paper
48 x 62 cm
Image is copyright

http://www.colnaghi.co.uk
http://www.marlboroughfineart.com

‘The Sixties’, Tower Bridge, until 31st December 2014

‘The Sixties’, Tower Bridge, until 31st December 2014

'The Sixties' exhibition at Tower Bridge

Visitors to Tower Bridge will, on the West Walkway of this iconic structure, be able to get a flavour of what was an equally iconic so-called “swinging” decade – ‘The Sixties’. Using 26 large-scale panels to display more than sixty images that will bring this special time back to life to those who lived through it and those who wished they had. Mods & Rockers, film stars, Prime Ministers, racing drivers, pop stars and many more, including Mary Quant and Twiggy are there to be seen.

Dudley Moore & Peter Cook, photographed by British director Bryan Forbes -® Bryan Forbes

This photograph of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore is a rare one. It was taken by the film producer and director Bryan Forbes as a publicity shot for his 1966 film The Wrong Box. Appropriately enough the exhibition was opened by his wife the actress Nanette Newman who is seen here with David Wight, Visitor Development and Services Director for the City of London Corporation.

Nanette Newman at launch of 'The Sixties'  at Tower Bridge, with David Wight, Visitor Development and Services Director, City of London Corp.

http://www.towerbridge.org.uk

Carnaby Street sign at 'The Sixties' exhibition at Tower Bridge

Kelvin Okafor | Portraits, Albemarle Gallery, London

Kelvin Okafor | Portraits, Albemarle Gallery, 49 Albemarle Street, London W1, until 31st May

Kelvin09

What does one say about these portraits that can possibly describe the skill and observational talents of Kelvin Okafor? He is an artist who seeks perfection in his wonderful drawings with their tonal qualities that brings the sitter almost literally to life. He can take up to a hundred hours from start to finish in creating one of them. Well worth it indeed.

Kelvin03

I suggest that he has a great and well deserved career ahead of him. So get along to the gallery and prepare to be amazed by this his first solo show.

Kelvin01

There is also a silent auction of the drawing of the late Stephen Sutton shown below which will end on 31st May  at 4pm.  Bids in excess of £7,500 to be placed with the gallery:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA One of the greatest privileges that the past year has brought me was getting to know Stephen Sutton who passed away early on Wednesday morning.

My original drawing of Stephen is on display as part of my exhibition. It is being sold by silent auction and all proceeds will be donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

 

http://www.albemarlegallery.com

All images are copyright