A Private Paradise

Lionel Bulmer & Margaret Green – a private paradise, Messum’s Fine Art, 28 Cork Street, London W1, until 24th December 2015

Lionel Bulmer (1919-1992) NEAC, Night Windows, 1957, Oil on Board, H 92 x W 122 cm

Lionel Bulmer (1919-1992) NEAC,
Night Windows, 1957,
Oil on Board, H 92 x W 122 cm

This is a rather special exhibition that reveals both the artistic and private world of these two artists who met at the Royal College of Art after the war and became inseparable, so much so their friends referred to them as Margaretandlionel.

Margaret Green (1925-2003) NEAC, Walberswick Ferry, circa 1965, Oil on Board, H 39 x W 49 cm

Margaret Green (1925-2003) NEAC,
Walberswick Ferry, circa 1965,
Oil on Board, H 39 x W 49 cm

It would have been wrong not to include a work depicting Warbleswick as together with neighbouring Southwold it was a place they loved for several decades and I, for one, totally agree with them in that.

 

http://www.messums.com

BOOK REVIEW – Marc Allum

ALLUM’S ANTIQUES ALMANAC 2016

Marc Allum

Icon Books

£16.99, Demy HBK ● ISBN 9781848319356

9781848319356_lowres

Many of you will know antique specialist Marc Allum from his appearances on the BBC Antiques Roadshow and you can now enjoy more of his anecdotal insights and observations on this specialist world in this new edition for 2016.  He reveals a world filled with the unusual, passion and avarice with subtle sense of humour and common sense.  It is a book to dip into time and again.

 

http://www.iconbooks.com

BOOK REVIEW – Anna Spiro

Absolutely Beautiful Things by Anna Spiro,

published by Conran Octopus, £25 

Book Jacket

From the first look at the cover you know that this book is going to be about colour in interior decoration and this Brisbane-based designer uses it with competence and flair. She says ‘I believe in the concept of the more you layer the better. I’m a maximalist not a minimalist’.  Anna Spiro very cleverly mixes art, furniture and objects from all periods and price ranges together to create a very liveable space. While colour is key, with often a theme colour to a room, thy are set against a backdrop of white walls which helps create rooms that sing with life and joy.  It is a delight of a book full of practical suggestions for the furnishing and decorating of your home.

 

http://www.octopusbooks.co.uk

A Glimpse into the 18th Century

Jean-Etienne Liotard, The Sackler Wing of Galleries, Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1, until 31st January 2016

Jean-Etienne Liotard, Self-portrait Laughing, c. 1770 Oil on canvas, 84 x 74 cm Musee d'art et d'histoire, Geneva, inv. 1893-9 Photo Musee d'art et d'histoire, Geneva. Photography: Bettina Jacot-Descombes

Jean-Etienne Liotard, Self-portrait Laughing, c. 1770
Oil on canvas, 84 x 74 cm
Musee d’art et d’histoire, Geneva, inv. 1893-9
Photo Musee d’art et d’histoire, Geneva. Photography: Bettina Jacot-Descombes

 

Visitors to this wonderful exhibition will be left in no doubt as to the reasons why the Swiss artist Jean-Etienne Liotard (1702-1789) earned such international recognition as a portraitist in his lifetime.  There are more than seventy works by him on view – oil paintings, miniatures, drawings and most importantly his speciality – pastels.

Jean-Etienne Liotard, Woman on a Sofa Reading, 1748â??52 Oil on canvas, 50 x 60 cm Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence Photo Gabinetto Fotografico dell'Ex Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze

Jean-Etienne Liotard, Woman on a Sofa Reading, 1748â??52
Oil on canvas, 50 x 60 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
Photo Gabinetto Fotografico dell’Ex Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze

He was a well-travelled man and so as well as images of his own family and himself we meet members of British Society, the French Royal Family, the family of Maria Theresa, Continental Nobility and of course there are also the Orientalist pictures from his time in Constantinople.  These are remarkable works, even more so when one realises that he did not flatter his sitters but painted them as they looked.  It is a view into the real 18th century.

Jean-Etienne Liotard, Archduchess Marie-Antoinette of Austria, 1762 Black and red chalk, graphite pencil, watercolour and watercolour glaze on paper, heightened with colour on the verso, 31.1 x 24.9 cm Cabinet d'arts graphiques des Musees d'art et d'histoire, Geneva. On permanent loan from the Gottfried Keller Foundation, inv. 1947-0042 Photo Musee d'art et d'histoire, Geneva. Photography: Bettina Jacot-Descombes

Jean-Etienne Liotard, Archduchess Marie-Antoinette of Austria, 1762
Black and red chalk, graphite pencil, watercolour and watercolour glaze on paper, heightened with colour on the verso, 31.1 x 24.9 cm
Cabinet d’arts graphiques des Musees d’art et d’histoire, Geneva. On permanent loan from the Gottfried Keller Foundation, inv. 1947-0042
Photo Musee d’art et d’histoire, Geneva. Photography: Bettina Jacot-Descombes

One must not forget either that Liotard also painted some Still Lifes, Genre Scenes and Trompe L’Oeil.  They too as in the case of Still-life: Tea Set, c. 1770-83 (The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles) also provide a visual aid to the sort of porcelain and other objects used in the 18th century.  This picture is one of two works by him featured in the book accompanying the recent Tea, coffee or chocolate? – The rise of exotic drinks in Paris in the 18th century exhibition at Paris’s Museé Cognacq -Jay.

Jean-Etienne Liotard, Still-life: Tea Set, c. 1770â??83 Oil on canvas mounted on board, 37.5 x 51.4 cm The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, inv. 84.PA.57 Photo The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Jean-Etienne Liotard, Still-life: Tea Set, c. 1770â??83
Oil on canvas mounted on board, 37.5 x 51.4 cm
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, inv. 84.PA.57
Photo The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

http://www.royalacademy.org.uk

Jean-Etienne Liotard, L'Ecriture, 1752 Pastel on six sheets of blue paper, 81 x 107 cm Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna Photo (c) SchloB Schönbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsges.m.b.H. Photography: Edgar Knaack

Jean-Etienne Liotard, L’Ecriture, 1752
Pastel on six sheets of blue paper, 81 x 107 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Photo (c) SchloB Schönbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsges.m.b.H. Photography: Edgar Knaack

Escher

‘The Amazing World of M. C. Escher’, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London SE21 until 17th January 2016

M.C. Escher, Day and Night, February 1938, Woodcut in black and grey, 39.2 x 67.8 cm, Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, The Netherlands © 2015 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. www.mcescher.com

M.C. Escher, Day and Night, February 1938, Woodcut in black and grey, 39.2 x 67.8
cm, Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, The Netherlands
© 2015 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. http://www.mcescher.com

Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898–1972) is an artist of great appeal and even though you may think you don’t know his work you will most likely discover that you do from your childhood and teenage years – perhaps even from a Mott the Hoople LP cover, even though he refused Mick Jagger’s request to create one for the Stones. His work has influenced our popular culture; think of films such as Labyrinth, Inception and television programmes like the Family Guy and the Simpsons and even the gaming app Monument Valley.

M.C. Escher, Contrast (Order and Chaos), Feburary 1950, Lithograph, 28 x 28 cm, Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, The Netherlands. © 2015 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. www.mcescher.com

M.C. Escher, Contrast (Order and Chaos), Feburary 1950, Lithograph, 28 x 28 cm,
Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, The Netherlands.
© 2015 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. http://www.mcescher.com

As this first major UK exhibition which traces his whole career reveals he was a man of huge talent and imagination and one can totally understand why mathematicians find his work intriguing.  The gallery’s Sackler Director Ian A. C. Dejardin sums it up eloquently: “It is difficult to think of an artist with a broader appeal than M C Escher. His images are so magical, and so incredibly clever, that he creates impossible images that feel utterly real, like the very best fantasy writers. Enjoying these impossible realities, it’s easy to overlook the astonishing skill that has gone into the drawing. This exhibition is a revelation; the artist defies categorisation, but Escher is a worthy addition to Dulwich’s wonderful series of exhibitions devoted to graphic artists”.

M.C. Escher, Regular Division of the Plane with Reptiles/ Lizards no.56, November 1942, 22 x 20.7 cm, Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, The Netherlands. © 2015 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. www.mcescher.com

M.C. Escher, Regular Division of the Plane with Reptiles/ Lizards no.56, November 1942, 22 x 20.7 cm, Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, The Netherlands.
© 2015 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. http://www.mcescher.com

The works come together with archive material from the collection of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Netherlands.

M.C. Escher, Waterfall, October 1961, Lithograph, 38 x 30 cm, Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, The Netherlands © 2015 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. www.mcescher.com

M.C. Escher, Waterfall, October 1961, Lithograph, 38 x 30 cm, Collection
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, The Netherlands
© 2015 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. http://www.mcescher.com

http://www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk

John Hinchcliffe – a Celebration

John Hinchcliffe – ‘The Definitive Works of a Decorative Artist’, The Salisbury Museum, The Kings House, 65 The Close, Salisbury, Wiltshire, until 16th January 2016.

'June' reproduced by kind permission of Wendy Barber

‘June’
reproduced by kind permission of Wendy Barber

John Hinchcliffe (1949-2010) was a multi-talented man whose very individual style marked his weaving, ceramics and pictures and many of these reflect his love for nature and the rural such as is found in his lino-prints but equally so in his ceramics and textiles.  Indeed much of his work between 1986 and 1991 was done at his Sixpenny Handley studio some fourteen miles from Salisbury.

Hypericum Plate © John Hinchcliffe Estate, Photography by Jac Arnold

Hypericum Plate
© John Hinchcliffe Estate, Photography by Jac Arnold

The exhibition reveals his love of colour and experimentation in all the aspects of his work and is a visual feast through which we learn much about the artist.  It is aptly summed up by Kim van Rensburg, the museum’s exhibitions officer who said ‘These exhibits illustrate just how Hinchcliffe’s fascination with materials and surface decoration consistently challenged him, leading him to push both at the boundaries of making and use of materials.’

 

Co-curators: Wendy Barber (Hinchcliffe’s wife and design partner) and Jac Arnold

Consultant: Professor Simon Olding

 

 

http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk

http://www.johnhinchcliffe.co.uk

Christmas the Waddesdon Way!

CHRISTMAS 2015 AT WADDESDON, until 3rd January 2016

Joana Vasconcelos Lafite 2015 Waddesdon The Rothschild Collection (Rothschild Family Trusts) © Joana Vasconcelos. Photo Mike Fear © The National Trust Waddesdon Manor

Joana Vasconcelos Lafite 2015 Waddesdon The Rothschild Collection (Rothschild Family Trusts)
© Joana Vasconcelos. Photo Mike Fear © The National Trust Waddesdon Manor

The theme of Lights and Legends is one that transforms the interiors of some twenty rooms into a wintry wonderland that dazzles and enchants the visitor.  The unifying idea of light is evoked through different cultures, stories and myths from across the years. The front of the house will be the background to a son et lumière and is framed by Joanna Vasconcelos’s installation Lafite two 10 metre high candlesticks made from 574 wine bottles.

©National Trust Waddesdon Manor photo Mike Fear

©National Trust Waddesdon Manor photo Mike Fear

 

©National Trust Waddesdon Manor photo Mike Fear

©National Trust Waddesdon Manor photo Mike Fear

 

©National Trust Waddesdon Manor photo Mike Fear

©National Trust Waddesdon Manor photo Mike Fear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©National Trust Waddesdon Manor photo Mike Fear

©National Trust Waddesdon Manor photo Mike Fear

 

©National Trust Waddesdon Manor photo Mike Fear

©National Trust Waddesdon Manor photo Mike Fear

 

©National Trust Waddesdon Manor photo Mike Fear

©National Trust Waddesdon Manor photo Mike Fear

 

©National Trust Waddesdon Manor photo Mike Fear

©National Trust Waddesdon Manor photo Mike Fear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outside in the garden, in this the last year of his residency, Bruce Munro takes us on a journey that reflects our current world but is through music and sound also nostalgic.  The visitor follows a winding path through the gardens, lined with illuminated tents, whose colours change, while music, voices and static remind us of tuning-in old radios. Periodically, in both sound and light, the international Morse code distress signal interrupts and reminds us that these tents are inspired by the work ShelterBox does to provide shelter and relief to those affected by disasters, natural or otherwise.

...---... SOS © Bruce Munro 2015, Waddesdon Manor photographer Mark Pickthall

…—… SOS
© Bruce Munro 2015, Waddesdon Manor photographer Mark Pickthall

 

...---... SOS © Bruce Munro 2015, Waddesdon Manor photographer Mark Pickthall

…—… SOS
© Bruce Munro 2015, Waddesdon Manor photographer Mark Pickthall

 

...---... SOS © Bruce Munro 2015, Waddesdon Manor photographer Mark Pickthall

…—… SOS
© Bruce Munro 2015, Waddesdon Manor photographer Mark Pickthall

http://www.waddesdon.org.uk

http://www.brucemunro.co.uk/

http://www.shelterbox.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

©National Trust Waddesdon Manor photo Mike Fear

©National Trust Waddesdon Manor photo Mike Fear