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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.