Richard Harrison – a show dedicated to the memory of Brian Sewell

Richard Harrison – This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Brian Sewell 1931-2015, Albemarle Gallery, 49 Albemarle Street, London W1, until 9th April 2016

Pinnacles oil on linen 180 x 150 cm (71 x 59 in)

Pinnacles
oil on linen 180 x 150 cm (71 x 59 in)

In June 2015 Brian Sewell, despite being seriously ill, visited the artist’s studio to see his work and wrote a commentary on it and I share the final paragraph of that with you here.

We should see Harrison as a visionary prophet, young and formidable in mind, a painter of undiminished turbulent enquiry with all the advantages of practice, education, maturity and broad experience. Many may agree with this feeling for his work while disagreeing with my deeper interpretation. So be it. By all means see him only as a painter. Live with the marks and colours of his brush. Slowly become aware of words forming in your mind. Some of these words will be mine.

Brian Sewell

 

I certainly would not disagree with him;

The Sun’s Warm Glow oil on linen 183 x 152.5 cm (72 x 60 in)

The Sun’s Warm Glow
oil on linen 183 x 152.5 cm (72 x 60 in)

 

http://www.albemarlegallery.com

Hauser & Wirth

Mark Wallinger ID, Hauser & Wirth, 23 Savile Row, London W1, until 7th May 2016

Mark Wallinger id Painting 37 2015 Acrylic on canvas 360 x 180 cm / 141 3/4 x 70 7/8 in Photo: Alex Delfanne

Mark Wallinger
id Painting 37
2015
Acrylic on canvas
360 x 180 cm / 141 3/4 x 70 7/8 in
Photo: Alex Delfanne

This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery and indeed it takes place in both their North and South galleries as there is much to capture our attention and I shall give a taste of it here.  As its title might suggest the artist has used Freud’s terms id, ego and superego as a basis for his works.  The large Id paintings involve the viewer as they become involved with what feelings the artist is portraying.

Superego 2016 Stainless steel, glass mirror, motor 350 x 160 x 160 cm / 137 3/4 x 63 x 63 in Photo: Alex Delfanne

Superego
2016
Stainless steel, glass mirror, motor
350 x 160 x 160 cm /
137 3/4 x 63 x 63 in
Photo: Alex Delfanne

The mirrored sculpture Superego – inspired by the Scotland Yard sign – dominates us and impedes us because despite the reflective nature of its material we are unable to see ourselves in it. His new video work is Orrery.  An orrery is of course a model that shows the solar system and for his video Wallinger depicts the New Fairlop Oak which sits in the centre of the Fulwell Cross roundabout in Barkingside taken from a car.  The revolving world around the tree is both representational of Britain and also our planet’s orbit around the sun and thus our place in the universe.

Mark Wallinger Orrery (film stills) 2016 4-channel video installation, sound 4 minutes 37 seconds looped

Mark Wallinger
Orrery (film stills)
2016
4-channel video installation, sound
4 minutes 37 seconds looped

 

http://www.hauserwirth.info

Botticelli – two London exhibitions

Botticelli and Treasures from the Hamilton Collection, The Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2, until 15thMay 2016

Sandro Botticelli Centre of Hell. The full figure of Lucifer (Divine Comedy, Inferno XXXIV,2), around 1481-1495, Pen and brown ink over metal pen on parchment, 63,2 x 46,3 cm © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett / Philipp Allard

Sandro Botticelli
Centre of Hell. The full figure of Lucifer (Divine Comedy, Inferno XXXIV,2), around 1481-1495,
Pen and brown ink over metal pen on parchment, 63,2 x 46,3 cm
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett / Philipp Allard

In 1882 the 12th Duke of Hamilton sold the collection of drawings by Sandro Botticelli which depicted scenes from Dante’s Divine Comedy as well as almost all his fabled collection of illuminated manuscripts to the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett (Prints and Drawings Museum).

Sandro Botticelli Dante and Beatrice in the second planetary sphere of Paradise (Divine Comedy, Paradiso VI), around 1481-1495, Pen and brown ink over metal pen on parchment, 32,5 x 47,6 cm © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett / Philipp Allard

Sandro Botticelli
Dante and Beatrice in the second planetary sphere of Paradise (Divine Comedy, Paradiso VI), around 1481-1495,
Pen and brown ink over metal pen on parchment, 32,5 x 47,6 cm
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett / Philipp Allard

Now we are fortunate – and I do emphasise that – to have some thirty of them in this exhibition alongside some of the illuminated manuscripts including the stunning Hamilton Bible, which appears in Raphael’s portrait of Pope Leo X in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

Cristoforo Orimina Genesis (in the so called “Hamilton-Bible”), around 1350-60 book illumination and gold on parchment, 37,5 x 26,5 cm © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett / Jörg P. Anders

Cristoforo Orimina
Genesis (in the so called “Hamilton-Bible”), around 1350-60
book illumination and gold on parchment, 37,5 x 26,5 cm
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett / Jörg P. Anders

Dating from 1480-1495 Botticelli’s drawings on vellum depict scenes from the three parts of Dante’s work. In Hell and Purgatory Dante is guided by Virgil but in Paradise he is led by his beloved Beatrice. These are powerful, exquisite works and the suffering and torment depicted in the first two parts might serve as a reminder to mend our own ways where necessary.

courtauld.ac.uk

 

 

Botticelli Reimagined, V&A Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 until 3rd July 2016

Installation view of Botticelli Reimagined (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Installation view of Botticelli Reimagined
(c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This is certainly a major show covering a period of some five hundred years and includes some fifty works by Sandro Botticelli himself. Rather strangely in my opinion the exhibition starts in a rather glitzy Global, Modern, Contemporary Section which features a whole variety of works, including scenes from Dr No and the The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, which are inspired by Botticelli’s painting the Birth of Venus.

Installation view of Botticelli Reimagined (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Installation view of Botticelli Reimagined
(c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Botticelli was rather neglected in the three hundred years after his death but was re-discovered in the 19th century by artists of the Pre-Raphaelite group, some of whom acquired his works, and thus the second section features works by Burne-Jones, Rossetti and William Morris which reflect this interest as well as paintings by Degas and Gustave Moreau.

Installation view of Botticelli Reimagined (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Installation view of Botticelli Reimagined
(c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The third and final section Botticelli in his Own Time takes us to the master himself. There are some fine works, including five Divine Comedy drawings, to be enjoyed. Among the paintings is The Mystic Nativity, his only signed and dated painting and Portrait of a Lady known as Smeralda Bandinelli (c. 1470-5) which was once owned by Rossetti. I do wonder whether the stark white walls of this section were the right foil for these works and whether the layout is a bit cramped but having said that this is a memorable exhibition for the right reasons. Botticelli certainly still reigns!

vam.ac.uk

MICHAEL WERNER

Allen Jones: Maîtresse, Michael Werner Gallery, 22 Upper Brook Street, London W1, until 29th April 2016  

Allen Jones. “Maîtresse I (A film by Barbet Schroeder)”, 1978

Allen Jones. “Maîtresse I (A film by Barbet Schroeder)”, 1978

In 1975 Jones was commissioned to produce a movie poster for Barbet Schroeder’s film Maîtresse which told the story of a small-time crook (Gerard Depardieu) and his obsessive romance with a professional dominatrix (Bulle Ogier).

Jones kept the original painting and then between 2008 and 2015 he worked on a series of canvases where he explored the themes of space and colour around the original poster’s motif.  They and the original are shown here together along with works on paper which reveal his thought processes.

Allen JOnes. “London Derrière (Maîtresse II)”, 2008

Allen JOnes. “London Derrière (Maîtresse II)”, 2008

http://www.michaelwerner.com

Celebrating the Image – Three London Exhibitions

Avedon Warhol, Gagosian, 6-24 Britannia Street, London WC1, until 23rd April 2016

My camera and I, together we have the power to confer or to take away.

—Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon Audrey Hepburn, actress, New York, January 20, 1967 Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon
Audrey Hepburn, actress, New York, January 20, 1967
Photograph by Richard Avedon
© The Richard Avedon Foundation

 

This is a major exhibition which celebrates two outstanding post-war talents whose common link was portraiture which they often repeated or serialized. Avedon, of course through photography and Warhol through his screen prints. It is a delightful experience and well worth a visit.

Andy Warhol Miriam Davidson , 1965 Spray paint and silkscreen ink on canvas 80 1/4 x 80 1/2 inches 203.8 x 204.5cm Private Collection © 2015 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Andy Warhol
Miriam Davidson , 1965
Spray paint and
silkscreen ink on canvas
80 1/4 x 80 1/2 inches
203.8 x 204.5cm
Private Collection © 2015 The Andy Warhol
Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights
Society (ARS), New York.

They always say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

—Andy Warhol

http://www.gagosian.com

 

 

Vogue 100: A Century of Style, National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London WC2, until 22nd May 2016

The Beatles, by Peter Laurie, 1964 Condé Nast Archive London

The Beatles, by Peter Laurie, 1964 Condé Nast Archive London

The British version of Vogue was started a hundred years ago during the First World War as it was no longer possible to ship Vogue from America. It was an instant hit and continues to this very day to be at the forefront of fashion design and photography as the many images in this exhibition celebrate.

 

http://www.npg.org.uk

 

 

Performing for the Camera, Tate Modern, The Eyal Ofer Galleries, Level 3, Bankside, London SE1, until 12thJune 2016

Claude Cahun, 1894 - 1954 Self Portrait 1927 Image courtesy of the Wilson Centre for Photography

Claude Cahun, 1894 – 1954
Self Portrait
1927
Image courtesy of the Wilson Centre for Photography

Some five hundred images, ranging from the beginning of photography to our “selfie” age of today illustrate how the relationship between photography and performance has developed. Sometimes it becomes serious art while at other times is more humorous and relaxed. It is a history that has strong resonance as any of us could be a “performer” caught in a camera lens.

Erwin Wurm, b.1954 One Minute Sculpture, 1997 c-print Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong

Erwin Wurm, b.1954
One Minute Sculpture, 1997
c-print
Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong

http://www.tate.org.uk

 

Ely House Auction

ELY HOUSE, Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts, Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions, Ely House, 37 Dover Street, London W1, 23rd March 2016.

 

George II carved walnut settee with striking scrolling arm supports finely carved with acanthus decoration and boldly carved cabriole front legs, possibly by Giles Grendey, (est. £20,000-30,000)

George II carved walnut settee with striking scrolling arm supports finely carved with acanthus decoration and boldly carved cabriole front legs, possibly by Giles Grendey, (est. £20,000-30,000)

Taking place in a wonderful building, which has been home to Mallett since 2012, the sale offers a tempting selection of very fine English and Continental furniture as well as an array of decorative arts, including unique and unusual items.

Late 18th century Chinese porcelain punch bowl, (est. £2,000-3,000)

Late 18th century Chinese porcelain punch bowl, (est. £2,000-3,000)

Viewing

Ely House, 37 Dover Street, London W1S 4NJ

Saturday 19th March, 11.00am-4.30pm

Sunday 20th March, 11.00am-4.30pm

Monday 21st March, 10.00am-5.00pm

Pair of Genoese commodes, each with two drawers decorated 'sans traverse' with foliate scrolls and swags on a pale green background, the scroll legs terminating in gilt sabots, 86.5cm high, 61cm deep, (est. £30,000-50,000)

Pair of Genoese commodes, each with two drawers decorated ‘sans traverse’ with foliate scrolls and swags on a pale green background, the scroll legs terminating in gilt sabots, 86.5cm high, 61cm deep, (est. £30,000-50,000)

http://www.dreweatts.com

Capturing Life

Impressionism: Capturing Life, The Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2, until 5th June 2016

Young Woman Seated, 1876 Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) Oil on canvas 66 x 51 cm © The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham

Young Woman Seated, 1876 Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) Oil on canvas 66 x 51 cm
© The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham

The emphasis of this delightful exhibition is on the figure in Impressionist paintings and the twenty-eight works on show come from UK collections. The colours in the 1876 painting Young Woman Seated by Renoir provided the inspiration for the four themed areas of the show – ‘Painting of the Future’, ‘Private Worlds, Public Gaze’, ‘Modern Life’ and ‘Impressionism in Britain’ – but the lay-out is cleverly designed so that the visitor can see glimpses of each area wherever they are in the exhibition space and thus looking forward or glancing back they may experience the full impact of this very special show.

Study of a Harvester, about 1900 Sir George Clausen (1852-1944) Black chalk and pastel on brown paper, 38.8 27.5 cm © The Holburne Museum. Photo © Dan Brown

Study of a Harvester, about 1900 Sir George Clausen (1852-1944) Black chalk and pastel on brown paper, 38.8 27.5 cm
© The Holburne Museum. Photo © Dan Brown

Many of the artists included were part of the first Impressionist exhibition in Paris in 1874 but exponents of Impressionism in the United Kingdom are also recognised with the inclusion of artists such as Sisley, Steer and especially Sir George Clausen through a group of eight of his works on paper, including pastels, from the Holburne’s own collection.

The Fisherman, 1884 Jean-Louis Forain (1852-1931) Oil on canvas 94.7 x117 cm © Southampton City Art Gallery / Bridgeman

The Fisherman, 1884 Jean-Louis Forain (1852-1931) Oil on canvas 94.7 x117 cm
© Southampton City Art Gallery / Bridgeman

Seriously, don’t miss this exhibition!

Hélène Rouart in her Father’s Study, about 1886 Edgar Degas (1834-1917) Oil on canvas 162.5 x 121 cm © National Gallery, London

Hélène Rouart in her Father’s Study, about 1886 Edgar Degas (1834-1917) Oil on canvas 162.5 x 121 cm
© National Gallery, London

 

http://www.holburne.org