Pangolin London

Breon O’Casey (1928-2011): Sculpture, Painting and Collage, Pangolin London, Kings Place, 90 York
Way, London, N1, until 14th March 2015

Crow II 2004,  Bronze with coral bead  Edition of 5 31 x 46 x 26 cm  Image courtesy of Pangolin London and the artist’s estate

Crow II 2004,
Bronze with coral bead
Edition of 5 31 x 46 x 26 cm
Image courtesy of Pangolin London and the artist’s estate

It is not surprising that as the oldest son of the noted Irish dramatist Seán O’Casey the artist’s work reflects his Irish heritage.  He was a member of the St Ives School and was apprenticed to both Denis Mitchell and then Barbara Hepworth in the late 50s and early 60s. He painted, wove and made
jewellery and it was the latter that inspired him to turn to sculpture when almost in his seventies.

Untitled 1995,  Acrylic on paper    48 x 57 cm  Image courtesy of the  artist’s estate

Untitled 1995,
Acrylic on paper
48 x 57 cm
Image courtesy of the artist’s estate

While his paintings are more abstract in nature his sculptures are of things that live and move and as this important retrospective shows well worth celebrating.

Aphrodite 2008,  Bronze Edition of 3 141 x 79 x 55 cm  Image courtesy of Pangolin London and the artist’s estate

Aphrodite 2008,
Bronze Edition of 3
141 x 79 x 55 cm
Image courtesy of Pangolin London and the artist’s estate

pangolinlondon.com

London’s Guildhall Art Gallery

The Guildhall Art Gallery, Guildhall Yard, London, EC2

Guildhall Small Size-2

The gallery has undergone a transformation which certainly benefits art lovers and those interested in the history of the ‘Square Mile’.

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The Gallery’s display of Victorian paintings has been imaginatively rehung with works such as those depicting home, work, leisure and religion now grouped thematically which has meant that now there is nearly double the amount of paintings on view.

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Other new displays within the building include ‘City of London: Plenty and Progress’, ‘Picturing London: 400 Years’, and ‘Landscapes of Sir Matthew Smith’. The Gallery’s Principal Curator Julia Dudkiewicz says ‘The Guildhall Art Gallery is a real hidden gem in the heart of the City. It was one of the first public galleries in London, predating Tate Britain by 15 years, and today houses one of the largest and best collections of Victorian art in the world.’

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http://www.guildhallartgallery.cityoflondon.gov.uk/gag

BOOK REVIEW: Paparazzi!

Paparazzi!
Photographers, Stars, Artists
Edited by Clément Chéroux

Hardcover
320 pages
479 illustrations
ISBN: 978-2-08-020193-5
£40

9782080201935_Paparazzi_UK_cv.inddIn an age when I suppose it could be suggested with all the use of mobile phones for taking photographs that we could be considered to be paparazzi. However I think that once you have read this in-depth study of the paparazzi industry most will agree that we have a long way to go to capture some of the iconic images of celebrities such as Jackie O, Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Diana, Britney Spears, Mick Jagger, and OJ Simpson.

Diana and Marilyn Shopping 2000 © Alison Jackson

Diana and Marilyn Shopping
2000
© Alison Jackson

It seems strange to be writing this review so soon after the death of Anita Ekberg who was the star of Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita which was part of the origins of this photographic phenomenon as one of the characters in the film was a photographer called Paparazzo. The book looks at the processes, tricks of the trade, the relationship between celebrity and photographer in detail and features interviews with some of the more prominent photographers.
The impact of paparazzi images on artists such as Cindy Sherman and Richard Hamilton is also considered.

BOOK REVIEW: Private Houses of France

Private Houses of France
Living with History
Christiane de Nicolay-Mazery
Photography by Francis Hammond

Private Houses of France cover

HC w/jacket
296 pages
370 colour illustrations
ISBN: 978-2-08-020164-5
£55

If, like me, you are fascinated by other peoples’ homes and their style then this is most definitely a book for you. Whether Renaissance or 19th century the interiors and architecture depicted within the book’s pages will inspire and delight both the serious and the amateur decorator and collector.

The Château de Condé, in the Picardy region, had the privilege of welcoming the most cultivated spirits of its time. It stands as a beguiling witness to the effervescent spirit of eighteenth-century France and the bucolic charms of Watteau’s fêtes galantes. © Francis Hammond

The Château de Condé, in the Picardy region, had the privilege of welcoming the most cultivated spirits of its time. It stands as a beguiling witness to the effervescent spirit of eighteenth-century France and the bucolic charms of Watteau’s fêtes galantes. © Francis Hammond

Some of the interiors are no longer extant which adds a sense of both nostalgia but also gratitude that they are recorded here and thus live on to be enjoyed. It is an intimate view of a special world and time.

This superlative André-Charles Boulle secretaire in the Salon des Muses, decorated by Le Sueur, is one of only three known examples; one used to be at Knole House, childhood home of Vita Sackville-West, and the other is now in Buckingham Palace. © Christina Vervitsioti-Missoffe

This superlative André-Charles Boulle secretaire in the Salon des Muses, decorated by Le Sueur, is one of only three known examples; one used to be at Knole House, childhood home of Vita Sackville-West, and the other is now in Buckingham Palace. © Christina Vervitsioti-Missoffe

BOOK REVIEW: Turquerie

Turquerie: An Eighteenth-Century European Fantasy

Haydn Williams

Turquerie

ISBN 9780500252062
Hardback
240pp
£39.95

The Seraglio, an over-door from madame de Pompadour’s music room at the château de Bellevue, by Jean-Baptiste-Marie Pierre, c. 1755, oil on canvas © Pałac w Jabłonnie, Jabłonna, photo Hubert Macioch

The Seraglio, an over-door from madame de Pompadour’s music room at the château de Bellevue, by Jean-Baptiste-Marie Pierre, c. 1755, oil on canvas
© Pałac w Jabłonnie, Jabłonna, photo Hubert Macioch

It is a delightful book which reveals how by the eighteenth century Europe’s long- established fear of the Turk had been replaced with a fascination for things deemed to have an Ottoman influence. Indeed I remember reading elsewhere that the Prince de Ligne had musicians who wore Turkish costumes.

Figures of a young sultan and sultana, Höchst manufactory, models by Johann Peter Melchior, c. 1770, hard-paste porcelain, c. 1770 © Christie’s Images, London/Scala, Florence

Figures of a young sultan and sultana, Höchst manufactory, models by Johann Peter Melchior, c. 1770, hard-paste porcelain, c. 1770
© Christie’s Images, London/Scala, Florence

This beautifully illustrated and researched book celebrates the buildings interiors, gardens, furniture, paintings and variety of objects that were created for Royal and noble patrons in detail. The final chapter looks at how the interest in things Turkish continued into the nineteenth century. Haydn Williams deserves our thanks for producing this really enjoyable book

Salon turc of Queen Maria Carolina of Naples and Sicily, Villa Favorita, Palermo, early 19th century Photo courtesy Dario di Vincenzo

Salon turc of Queen Maria Carolina of Naples and Sicily, Villa Favorita, Palermo, early 19th century
Photo courtesy Dario di Vincenzo

BOOK REVIEW: ART IN TIME

ART IN TIME
A World History of Styles and Movements

ART IN TIME angle photo
Published by Phaidon

£45.00

This is a book that takes you back from the 21st Century to the 5th Century BC and looks at one hundred and fifty of the more important artistic movements and styles but with an emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. A great plus is that it is not confined to Western art traditions but also encompasses Japan, China, Africa and Latin America as well.

FUTURISM Umberto Boccioni Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, 1913 Bronze, H: 111cm, 43 3/4 ins Museum of Modern Art, New York

FUTURISM
Umberto Boccioni
Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, 1913
Bronze, H: 111cm, 43 3/4 ins
Museum of Modern Art, New York

It provides a useful and insightful guide to how artistic styles were influenced by the culture and politics of their era and how they could influence other styles of their time and later periods. It is definitely both enjoyable and informative.

DUTCH GOLDEN AGE Carel Fabritius The Goldfinch, c 1654 Oil on panel, 33.5 x 22.8cm, 13 1/4 x 9 in Mauritshuis, The Hague

DUTCH GOLDEN AGE
Carel Fabritius
The Goldfinch, c 1654
Oil on panel, 33.5 x 22.8cm, 13 1/4 x 9 in
Mauritshuis, The Hague

Among the specialist contributing authors are:
Noit Banai, Lecturer of Visual and Critical Studies at Tufts University, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Gauvin Alexander Bailey, Professor and Bader Chair in Southern Baroque Art at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario
Lee Beard, British Academy Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London
Lucy Bowditch, Associate Professor of Art History at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York
Olga Goriunova, Assistant Professor in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies at the University of Warwick, Coventry
Katie Hill, Director of the Office of Contemporary Chinese Art and consultant lecturer at Sotheby’s Institute of Art
Monica Kjellman-Chapin, Associate Professor of Art History at Emporia State University, Kansas
Lloyd Laing, Senior Lecturer Emeritus in Archaeology, University of Nottingham
Caroline Levitt, Visiting Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London
Matthew McKelway, Associate Professor of Japanese Art History at Columbia University, New York
Jeffrey Moser, Assistant Professor of East Asian Art History at McGill University, Montreal
Stella Paul, formerly Educator-in-Charge of Exhibitions and Communication, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Alistair Rider, Lecturer in Art History at the University of St Andrews, Scotland
Robert Shane, Assistant Professor of Art History at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York
Sarah Symmons, Reader Emeritus in Art History and Theory, University of Essex
Elsje van Kessel, Lecturer in Art History at the University of St Andrews, Scotland
Alicia Volk, Associate Professor of Japanese Art History at the University of Maryland

The Queen’s Gallery – II

There is still time to see the two fascinating shows at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London SW1, until 22nd February 2015. Here is the second one.

 

Gold

Design for the Gold State Coach, Sir William Chambers and Giovanni Battista Cipriani, 1760 Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015

Design for the Gold State Coach, Sir William Chambers and Giovanni Battista Cipriani, 1760
Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015

This is perhaps an appropriate subject for an exhibition held in a royal palace especially as gold has been regarded as a symbol of status, whether temporal or ecclesiastical, in most cultures across the millennia. You will encounter the Bronze Age Rillaton gold cup, a pre-Inca gold crown from Ecuador and a tiger’s head from the throne of the Indian ruler Tipu Sultan (1785–93) and objects associated with the coronation of British monarchs.

Rillaton gold cup, c.1700 - 1500 BC Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015

Rillaton gold cup, c.1700 – 1500 BC
Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015

Gold has been used in many ways as these items from the Royal Collection confirm; gold boxes, fans, plate and ornaments, paintings, books, illuminated manuscripts, jewellery and of course the gilding of furniture and frames.

Opening shamsa (sunburst) from the Padshahnama, c.1656-7 Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015

Opening shamsa (sunburst) from the Padshahnama, c.1656-7
Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015

While you may think that it would be an over-the-top exhibition it is instead a totally absorbing and elegant look at the allure this precious metal casts upon the human psyche.

http://www.royalcollection.org.uk