ASIAN ART

ASIAN ART IN LONDON, until 8th November

This is such an exciting week because it embraces the City’s art community, including auctioneers and this year has over sixty participants. There is a cornucopia of art on display, including contemporary. One or two things I will write about separately and as some of you will already know I have already covered the two Eskenazi exhibitions (21st October). Here is just a small selection to tempt you to explore further.

Jewel encrusted Muslim Royal Cap Mughal style, made by Ezra & Sion Co, Bombay, early 20th century Green velvet cap, embroidered with twisted gold thread, gold sequins and encrusted with pearls, rubies, spinels and emeralds. Lined in satin and edged inside in leather around the base of the cap. Stamped on leather 'Primus' 'Ezra & Sion Co., 95-97 Ghendy Bazaar, Bombay' 'Perfect Ventilation - Latest Combination' Height: 10 cm; Diameter: 15.5 cm Francesca Galloway Ltd

Jewel encrusted Muslim Royal Cap
Mughal style, made by Ezra & Sion Co, Bombay, early 20th century
Green velvet cap, embroidered with twisted gold thread, gold sequins and encrusted with pearls, rubies, spinels and emeralds. Lined in satin and edged inside in leather around the base of the cap. Stamped on leather ‘Primus’ ‘Ezra & Sion Co., 95-97 Ghendy Bazaar, Bombay’ ‘Perfect Ventilation – Latest Combination’
Height: 10 cm; Diameter: 15.5 cm
Francesca Galloway Ltd

A t Francesca Galloway you will find an array of Indian treasures which includes this jewel-encrusted Mughal style cap made in the early 1900s by the Bombay firm Ezra & Sion. It bears the label , “Perfect ventilation – latest Combination” and was obviously considered the dernier cri.

SEATED BUDDHA Gandhara, 2nd/3rd century Height: 32 cm Width: 29 cm Depth: 8 cm A carved grey-brown schist architectural element formed as a square tile and with a relief sculpture of a seated Buddha to its centre, framed above by two horizontally carved stepped sections also in relief and separated to the middle by a dovetailed void. Simon Ray Ltd

SEATED BUDDHA
Gandhara, 2nd/3rd century
Height: 32 cm
Width: 29 cm
Depth: 8 cm
A carved grey-brown schist architectural element formed as a square tile and with a relief sculpture of a seated Buddha to its centre, framed above by two horizontally carved stepped sections also in relief and separated to the middle by a dovetailed void.
Simon Ray Ltd

Second and third century Gandharan sculpture can be found at Simon Ray Ltd. They come from the collection of Dr Ernst Lomnitz who was fascinated by Indian sculpture and art. It is thought that his servants used shoe polish when cleaning his home and that this contributed to the patination on the bases.

Guanyin, seated with her hands covered by her long flowing robes above her raised right knee with one foot exposed, her hair neatly tied and pinned with a ruyi-head pin and lingzhi diadem, with serene features, elongated earlobes and urna mark on her forehead and wearing a lotus flower head necklace, covered in a cream glaze. The back with an impressed double gourd mark of He Chaozong. 9 1/4 inches, 23.5cm high. Ming dynasty, circa 1630. Carved openwork wood stand with rockwork, pine and lingzhi. Formerly in the Collection of Captain Meuldijk, the Netherlands. Marchant & Son

Guanyin, seated with her hands covered by her long flowing robes above her raised right knee with one foot exposed, her hair neatly tied and pinned with a ruyi-head pin and lingzhi diadem, with serene features, elongated earlobes and urna mark on her forehead and wearing a lotus flower head necklace, covered in a cream glaze. The back with an impressed double gourd mark of He Chaozong. 9 1/4 inches, 23.5cm high. Ming dynasty, circa 1630. Carved openwork wood stand with rockwork, pine and lingzhi.
Formerly in the Collection of Captain Meuldijk, the Netherlands.
Marchant & Son

Noted dealers Marchant & Son have an exciting exhibition of over one hundred pieces of Blanc de Chine which they have taken over a decade to assemble for this special show. Chinese Export Wares are not neglected either as, for example, the stunning rare embroidered silk coverlet exhibited by Jacqueline Simcox (at 17 Ryder Street, St. James’s, London SW1) shows. Dating from the early 18th century and made for the European market it retains its original colours and allows us to see why our ancestors were such keen admirers of Oriental Art.

A large Chinese yellow silk embroidered wall hanging made for export to Europe. The design of two mermaids, rising from the sea and holding large bowls above their heads. The mermaids stand upright, their faces with a slightly smiling expression and framed with long curly hair extending down their backs. Flowers decorate their chests and more flowers and fruits surround them, cascading from the bowls above their heads.  The mermaid's fishy tails curve down amongst small waves carrying fish, sea monsters and rocks, while sailing boats and Chinese sanpans cross the water.  Branches of exotic fruits and  flowers spread upwards from the vessels to fill the background, accompanied by numerous butterflies, small birds and four larger birds, spied on by two small hunters, with blow pipes, hidden amongst the branches.  Chinese, for export to the West, 18th century Length: 249 cms (98 inches) Width  (excluding fringe): 211 cms (83 inches) Provenance: From a private European Collection Jacqueline Simcox

A large Chinese yellow silk embroidered wall hanging made for export to Europe. The design of two mermaids, rising from the sea and holding large bowls above their heads. The mermaids stand upright, their faces with a slightly smiling expression and framed with long curly hair extending down their backs. Flowers decorate their chests and more flowers and fruits surround them, cascading from the bowls above their heads. The mermaid’s fishy tails curve down amongst small waves carrying fish, sea monsters and rocks, while sailing boats and Chinese sanpans cross the water. Branches of exotic fruits and flowers spread upwards from the vessels to fill the background, accompanied by numerous butterflies, small birds and four larger birds, spied on by two small hunters, with blow pipes, hidden amongst the branches.
Chinese, for export to the West, 18th century
Length: 249 cms (98 inches)
Width (excluding fringe): 211 cms (83 inches)
Provenance: From a private European Collection
Jacqueline Simcox

This year there are a dozen or so exhibitions of Contemporary Asian Art as well so that Asian Art Week really is a celebration of ancient and modern.

‘Mudfish Bowl’ porcelain modeled and carved, celadon glaze, 13cm h x 37cm across.  Photograph by Derek Au. Sladmore Contemporary

‘Mudfish Bowl’ porcelain modeled and carved, celadon glaze, 13cm h x 37cm across. Photograph by Derek Au.
Sladmore Contemporary

I am sure that many of you will remember the celebrated Roger Law, the man behind the puppets in Spitting Image (30th anniversary this year). His interest in ceramics has grown over the years and so much so that he moved to China’s ‘porcelain city’ Jingdezhen, where for over two thousand years the Chinese have made porcelain. The beautiful ceramics he created there have their first gallery exhibition at Sladmore Contemporary.

Mari Kim  Amy Winehouse Acrylic color marker and paint on printed canvas 110cm x 148cm 2014 Shine Artists London

Mari Kim
Amy Winehouse
Acrylic color marker and paint on printed canvas
110cm x 148cm
2014
Shine Artists London

Japanese manga and anime culture is recognised in the “Eyedolls” that are created by Mari Kim. Her pictures are representations of the famous, fairy-tale characters and even super heroes, including Amy Winehouse, Supergirl and Angelina Jolie. They are being shown by Shine Artists London at the Albemarle Gallery.

Zhang Guojun Dream in Xin’An, 2014 (detail) Jingdezhen Porcelain Panel FitzGerald Fine Arts

Zhang Guojun
Dream in Xin’An, 2014 (detail)
Jingdezhen Porcelain Panel
FitzGerald Fine Arts

Making their first appearance at Asian Art London is Fitzgerald Fine Art (at the Weiss Gallery). Their group exhibition ‘The Scholar and the Sentinel’ is a combination of contemporary Chinese works in porcelain and ink by artists working in the traditional manner. The result is an exciting fusion of old and new.

http://www.asianartinlondon.com

SOME RUSSIAN ART ON SHOW IN LONDON

Oleg Tselkov – ‘ALTER EGO’, Alon Zakaim Fine Art, 5-7 Dover St. London W1, until 28thNovember 2014

Oleg Tselkov (b. 1934) Portrait with mask 2002 oil on canvas 100 x 100cm Credit Oleg Tselkov.

Oleg Tselkov (b. 1934)
Portrait with mask
2002
oil on canvas
100 x 100cm
Credit Oleg Tselkov.

Now in his eightieth year Oleg Tselkov is one of the most highly regarded and influential artists of his generation. His vibrant, powerful works have immediate impact as the figures are universal.

www.alonzakaim.com

 

Russian Avant-Garde Theatre: War, Revolution and Design 1913 – 1933, V&A Museum, London SW7, until 25 January 2015

     Costume design for Bedbug     1929     Alexander Rodchenko     © A. A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum


Costume design for Bedbug
1929
Alexander Rodchenko
© A. A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum

This exhibition which is organised in collaboration with the A. A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum shows how both the Revolution and the First World War were elements in the transformation of Russian theatre into the avant-garde. The new genre of theatrical productions saw artists, musicians and performers all working together and it also enabled exciting new designs such as the futuristic ensembles which were created by Alexander Rodchenko for The Bedbug (1929), a satirical play by Vladimir Mayakovsky.

www.vam.ac.uk

 

‘A Game in Hell’: The First World War in Russia, GRAD: Gallery for Russian Arts and Design, 3-4a Little Portland Street, London W1, until 30th November 2014

Vladimir Malevich,  Modern Lubok Postcard, 1914-1917.  Courtesy Anthony d'Offay and GRAD

Vladimir Malevich,
Modern Lubok Postcard, 1914-1917.
Courtesy Anthony d’Offay and GRAD

This exhibition looks at the significance, both artistically and historically, of the First World War, the 1917 Revolution and the ensuing Civil War. Using contemporaneous materials, many being shown for the first time, it shows personal, public and artistic response, including work by Vladimir Mayakovsky and Kazimir Malevich, whose work and influence you will encounter elsewhere in these exhibitions.

As one might expect the show also encompasses the birth of the Russia’s avant-garde which was influenced by popular prints and children’s’ drawings. It is an important exhibition as many of the items, drawn from the superb collection of Sergei Shestakov, are remarkable survivals given the nature of their materials.

www.grad-london.com

 

LEONID BORISOV – LESSONS IN GEOMETRY, Gallery Elena Shchukina, 10 Lees Place, Mayfair, London W1, until 16th January 2015

Leonid Borisov,  Heaven and Earth, 1978,  oil on canvas, metal,  64 x 110cm

Leonid Borisov,
Heaven and Earth, 1978,
oil on canvas, metal,
64 x 110cm

Leonid Borisov (1943-2013) is an artist whose works combined the influences of the Moscow art scene and those of the American abstract art while remaining rooted within the Russian avant-garde traditions. His geometric works place him as part of Soviet Nonconformist Art (1953–1986). It is the first exhibition of his works in the UK.

 

http://www.galleryelenashchukina.com

 

The Naked Body – (you have been warned)

The human body, unclothed, has long been a subject for artists over the centuries. Some, such as the new works by Paul McCarthy (Hauser & Wirth London, South Gallery, until November 1st), may prove somewhat challenging to many viewers, especially the scatological elements. However, I will share the two below for your consideration, if not necessarily approval, because they are part of our artistic heritage.

Aleah Chapin – Maiden, Mother, Child & Crone, Flowers Gallery, 21 Cork Street, London W1, until 8 November 2014

The Air Was Full, 2014  Oil on linen,  ©Aleah Chapin, courtesy of Flowers Gallery, London and New York

The Air Was Full, 2014
Oil on linen,
©Aleah Chapin, courtesy of Flowers Gallery, London and New York

One may certainly think of Rubens when one sees this new body of work by Aleah Chapin. Her basis for these paintings, which shows the different stages in a woman’s life-cycle, is derived from various intellectual concepts, including Neopaganism.

One could argue that it is also a record of how people age and how different age groups relate or interact. Indeed how society reacts.

http://www.flowersgallery.com

Egon Schiele: The Radical Nude, The Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2, until 18th January 2015

Egon Schiele (1890-1918) Erwin Dominik Osen, Nude with Crossed Arms, 1910 Black chalk, watercolour and gouache 44.7 x 31.5 cm The Leopold Museum, Vienna

Egon Schiele (1890-1918)
Erwin Dominik Osen, Nude with Crossed Arms, 1910
Black chalk, watercolour and gouache
44.7 x 31.5 cm
The Leopold Museum, Vienna

Well there is little doubt that the word “radical” may still apply to viewers’ thoughts on seeing these works because they are certainly full on. Indeed, in 1912, Schiele was even imprisoned for two months for contravening public decency and some of his works confiscated.

  Egon Schiele (1890-1918) Two Girls Embracing (Friends), 1915 Gouache, watercolour and pencil 48 x 32.7 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

Egon Schiele (1890-1918)
Two Girls Embracing (Friends), 1915
Gouache, watercolour and pencil
48 x 32.7 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

The thirty-eight drawings and watercolours in the show chart the years from his breakthrough as an artist in 1910 to his untimely death in 1918, during the Spanish Flu epidemic, at the age of twenty eight. A sad end since by 1915 his work was starting to be collected and just as his artistic star was about to rise high in the skies death intervened. What is certain is that he most certainly changed the way artists would depict the human figure in the 20th century and beyond.

http://www.courtauld.ac.uk/gallery/index.shtml

A Gallery Miscellany

‘50 Years a Master: Mediterraneo’ by Royo, Castle Fine Art, 24 Bruton Street, W1, until 8th November

Royo - Luminosa

Royo – Luminosa

Born José Mateu Hilario (b.1941) but more usually known as Royo, this artist, who has been painting for fifty years, brings the light of Southern Spain and the Mediterranean into his works. He is inspired by the women depicted in 16th and 17th century paintings but paints them with a more modern twist and sets them against a luscious floral background or against a blue sea. The demure gaze of the elegantly attired young ladies suggests power and a certain confidence, or innocence?

http://www.castlefineart.com

Two Pataphysicians – Flanagan Miró, Waddington Custot Galleries, 11 Cork Street, London W1, until 8th November 2014

Joan MIRO Femme et oiseaux / Woman and Birds 1972 60 5/8 x 34 5/8 x 19 5/8 in / 154 x 88 x 50 cm bronze cast no.EA II (artist’s proof )

Joan MIRO
Femme et oiseaux / Woman and Birds 1972
60 5/8 x 34 5/8 x 19 5/8 in / 154 x 88 x 50 cm
bronze
cast no.EA II (artist’s proof )

This rather exciting show looks at the various similarities between the works of Joan Miró and Barry Flanagan. The common area of ground between them was a mutual interest in the concept of ‘Pataphysics – ‘the science of imaginary solutions.

Barry FLANAGAN Harebell on Portland stone piers 1983 95 1/2 x 112 x 75 in / 242.6 x 284.5 x 190.5 cm bronze and Portland stone 880 kg / 2200 lb artist’s cast no. 3 of 3, edition of 5

Barry FLANAGAN
Harebell on Portland stone piers 1983
95 1/2 x 112 x 75 in / 242.6 x 284.5 x 190.5 cm
bronze and Portland stone 880 kg / 2200 lb
artist’s cast no. 3 of 3, edition of 5

‘Pataphysics was the creation of the French writer Alfred Jarry (1873-1907) and is based on the principles of metaphorical circularity and alchemical processes. It can be expressed artistically as in these sculptures where in the case of Miró found objects become transformed into something that can appear both alien and familiar, while in Flanagan’s work a more morphological aspect is seen. Exceptions become the rule.

http://www.waddingtoncustot.com

Julio Larraz – Rules of Engagement, Contini Art UK, 105 New Bond Street, London W1, until 24th November 2014

Head of Secret Police,2011, Oil on Canvas,  50x60in

Head of Secret Police,2011,
Oil on Canvas,
50x60in

This is Cuban-born artist Julio Larraz’s first major solo exhibition in the capital. His use of colour and the feeling of mystery and intrigue found in them are part of his signature style. Even backgrounds are more suggestive of place than a true observation.

Larraz observes that “I attempt to create a different reality where dreams serve as the foundations for a parallel universe”. He certainly achieves that sense of ambiguity as faces are only partly revealed, playing second fiddle to the clothing or nakedness of the figures depicted. They can create a feeling where the observer wants to be drawn in to interpret what they may be seeing or learn what a conversation may be about between figures on the canvas. Thus viewer and picture become one.

http://www.continiartuk.com

Nicola Samorì: L’Âge Mûr, Rosenfeld Porcini, 37 Rathbone Street, London w1, until 20th November 2014

 'Canton' by Nicola Samorì, 2014, oil on copper, 100x100cm

‘Canton’ by Nicola Samorì, 2014, oil on copper, 100x100cm

While there is a very contemporary feel to the works of Nicola Samorì one can see that he follows on in the traditions of 17th century Italian painting and sculpture.

In this his first UK solo show he shares with us his thoughts on the fragility of existence and time. He reinterprets old master paintings by carefully copying the original and then adding a contemporary and sculptural touch by peeling back to reveal what is beneath, just as if peeling back skin. He similarly depicts faces, again reflecting the interest of past masters in decaying flesh. His various sculptures too are highly individual whether in onyx, marble or plaster and wax.

Samorì’s works are powerful and strong and successfully achieved.

http://www.rosenfeldporcini.com

Two London Exhibitions in Battersea and Chelsea

The popular Northcote Gallery has two exhibitions which I thought I would share with you.

Tom Homewood Old fishing huts at Hastings, 2014 Oil on Panel 80 x 40cm

Tom Homewood
Old fishing huts at Hastings, 2014
Oil on Panel
80 x 40cm

The first at Northcote Gallery Battersea (110 Northcote Road, London, SW11) is ‘Coast and Country’ and is a selection of Sussex seascapes by Tom Homewood who uses what he calls “a post-war ‘west country approach’ – working on textured panels with strong mark-making and a pared-down palette that includes many shades of white, grey and ‘black’.”

Jo Barrett Still Life with Matt Black Bowl and Peach, 2014 Oil on Canvas 80 x 120cm

Jo Barrett
Still Life with Matt Black Bowl and Peach, 2014
Oil on Canvas
80 x 120cm

At their Northcote Gallery Chelsea (253 King’s Road, London, SW3) they have an exhibition of still-lifes by Jo Barrett. The secret to her pictures, which while echoing 18th century pictures remain firmly in the present, is her skilful use of light and shade.

http://www.northcotegallery.com

Piano Nobile

ANOTHER LIFE, ANOTHER WORLD – Paul Nash: Works on Paper, 1910-1946, Piano Nobile, 129 Portland Road, London W11, until 22nd November 2014

Paul Nash,  A Farm, Wytschaete, 1917.  Ink, chalk and watercolour on paper,  25.7 x 35.9 cm.  Courtesy Piano Nobile.

Paul Nash,
A Farm, Wytschaete, 1917.
Ink, chalk and watercolour on paper,
25.7 x 35.9 cm.
Courtesy Piano Nobile.

Thanks to an accidental fall into a trench when he was first sent to the Western Front in early 1917, Nash was sent back to the battlefields as a war artist. There he produced some of his great images, particularly in watercolour, a medium in which he was a master. It therefore comes as no surprise that he was a founder member of the Modern English Watercolour Society in 1923.

Paul Nash,  Coast of Spain (Near Gibraltar), c.1933.  Pencil and watercolour on paper,  18 x 25.4 cm.  Courtesy of Piano Nobile.

Paul Nash,
Coast of Spain (Near Gibraltar), c.1933.
Pencil and watercolour on paper,
18 x 25.4 cm.
Courtesy of Piano Nobile.

This very special exhibition, which covers Nash’s war and inter-war years, is drawn from private and public collections and allows us to see works that are not usually exhibited. Many of them are for sale. The accompanying hundred page fully illustrated catalogue (a must purchase) is written by Boyd Haycock and includes unpublished new research which he has garnered from the Tate Archives.

http://www.piano-nobile.com

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions

Modern & Contemporary Prints, Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions, Bloomsbury House, 24 Maddox Street, London W1

Lot 71 L.S. Lowry (1887-1976) Going to the Match Offset lithograph printed in colours, 1972, signed in pencil, the edition was 300 Est. £3,000-5,000  © Bloomsbury Auctions

Lot 71
L.S. Lowry (1887-1976)
Going to the Match
Offset lithograph printed in colours, 1972, signed in pencil, the edition was 300
Est. £3,000-5,000
© Bloomsbury Auctions

This auction on October 29th brings a good selection of affordable prints by some of the great 20th century artists such as Salvador Dali, Henry Moore and L S Lowry. Op art lovers will be tempted by a large group of works by Victor Vasarely.

Lot 264: Victor Vasarely (1908-1997) Hommage to Picasso Screenprint in colours, 1973, signed in pencil, numbered 75/90 Est. £300-500

Lot 264:
Victor Vasarely (1908-1997)
Hommage to Picasso
Screenprint in colours, 1973, signed in pencil, numbered 75/90
Est. £300-500

For the catalogue and other details go to http://www.bloomsburyauctions.com

Lot 171 Salvador Dali (1904-1989) Four Dreams of Paradise The complete set of four lithographs printed in colours, 1973 © Bloomsbury Auctions

Lot 171
Salvador Dali (1904-1989)
Four Dreams of Paradise
The complete set of four lithographs printed in colours, 1973
© Bloomsbury Auctions

Lot 171 Salvador Dali (1904-1989) Four Dreams of Paradise The complete set of four lithographs printed in colours, 1973 © Bloomsbury Auctions

Lot 171
Salvador Dali (1904-1989)
Four Dreams of Paradise
The complete set of four lithographs printed in colours, 1973
© Bloomsbury Auctions

Lot 171 Salvador Dali (1904-1989) Four Dreams of Paradise The complete set of four lithographs printed in colours, 1973 © Bloomsbury Auctions

Lot 171
Salvador Dali (1904-1989)
Four Dreams of Paradise
The complete set of four lithographs printed in colours, 1973
© Bloomsbury Auctions

Lot 171 Salvador Dali (1904-1989) Four Dreams of Paradise The complete set of four lithographs printed in colours, 1973 © Bloomsbury Auctions

Lot 171
Salvador Dali (1904-1989)
Four Dreams of Paradise
The complete set of four lithographs printed in colours, 1973
© Bloomsbury Auctions