A Portrait of Robert Fraser

A Strong Sweet Smell of Incense – A Portrait of Robert Fraser, Curated by Brian Clarke, Pace London, 6 Burlington Gardens, London, W1, until 28th March 2015

A general view, including Richard Hamilton's Swingeing London 67 (a), 1968-69 and Peter Blake's The Beatles, 1962, 1963-1968. © R. Hamilton. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2015 © Peter Blake. All rights reserved, DACS 2015.

A general view, including Richard Hamilton’s Swingeing London 67 (a), 1968-69 and Peter Blake’s The Beatles, 1962, 1963-1968.
© R. Hamilton. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2015
© Peter Blake. All rights reserved, DACS 2015.

This is a very special and personal exhibition concentrating on the noted art dealer Robert Fraser whose gallery in the 1960s and the 80s was the pre-eminent gallery in London. He was an advocate of Neo-Expressionism, Pop Art and Op Art and first opened the Robert Fraser Gallery in 1962 with a show of works by Jean Dubuffet. Over the years he exhibited many other artists including Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg and Brian Clarke who is the curator of this present exhibition.

Jean Dubuffet Cherche-Aubaine (after maquette dated 30 July-December 1973), 1973-2014 polyurethane paint on epoxy resin 399 cm x 211 cm x 117 cm (157-1/16" x 83-1/16" x 46-1/16") work,  27 cm x 269 cm x 200 cm (10-5/8" x 105-7/8" x 78-3/4") plinth © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015

Jean Dubuffet
Cherche-Aubaine (after maquette dated 30 July-December 1973), 1973-2014 polyurethane paint on epoxy resin
399 cm x 211 cm x 117 cm (157-1/16″ x 83-1/16″ x 46-1/16″) work,
27 cm x 269 cm x 200 cm (10-5/8″ x 105-7/8″ x 78-3/4″) plinth
© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015

Fraser was not just a gallery owner but a power force and despite living in India for much of the 1970s on his return the gallery was once again a centre not only for art but also for music and culture. Fraser introduced the Beatles to Peter Blake and subsequently was involved in the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover.

An installation view, including Robert Mapplethorpe, Self Portrait, 1980; Jamie Reid, Large scale screen-printed promotional poster for Sex Pistols' "Never Mind the Bollocks" album, 1977 and Jim Dine's Five Palettes, 1963. © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2015 © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

An installation view, including Robert Mapplethorpe, Self Portrait, 1980; Jamie Reid, Large scale screen-printed promotional poster for Sex Pistols’ “Never Mind the Bollocks” album, 1977 and Jim Dine’s Five Palettes, 1963.
© ARS, NY and DACS, London 2015
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Fraser is depicted in a portrait by Basquiat and in Richard Hamilton’s Swingeing London 67 screenprint that reproduces the famous image of Fraser and Mick Jagger handcuffed together in a police van, and in various documentary photographs and his office has also been recreated.

Recreation of Robert Fraser's office, including Jann Haworth's  Cowboy, 1964 and Claes Oldenburg's London Knees (1966) © Jann Haworth © Claes Oldenburg

Recreation of Robert Fraser’s office, including Jann Haworth’s Cowboy, 1964 and Claes Oldenburg’s London Knees (1966)
© Jann Haworth
© Claes Oldenburg

This is in some ways a bitter-sweet exhibition because it recalls times gone by but it is definitely one that should not be missed.

Installation View, including Francis Bacon's Portrait of John Edwards, 1988 and  Jean-Michel Basquiat's ROB'T FRAZER, 1984 © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS 2015.

Installation View, including Francis Bacon’s Portrait of John Edwards, 1988 and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s ROB’T FRAZER, 1984
© The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015.
© The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS 2015.

http://www.pacegallery.com/london

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