The exhibition Cindy Sherman and David Salle: History Portraits and Tapestry Paintings (until 26th November 2016) perfectly shows off Skarstedt’s new gallery at 8 Bennet Street, St James’s. The large-scale works Sherman’s History Portraits (1988-90) and Salle’s Tapestry Paintings (1989-91) highlight why both artists were leading figures in New York’s ‘Pictures Generation’ art movement and their skilful addition of extra layers to existing images, whether painted or photographic, still engages the viewer.
Another gallery to make the transition across Piccadilly to St James’s is Colnaghi who have moved to 26 Bury Street, St James’s where their new premises provide a 21st century setting for their Master paintings and sculpture. There is still time to see their opening show Vanitas (until 4th November 2016) and it is perhaps a particularly apt subject for the autumn. The thirty or so paintings and sculptures, dating from the 16th century onwards, are part of the genre which considers the idea of mortality and the impermanence of earthly pleasures. It reminds me of the phrase ‘Sic transit gloria mundi’ (thus passes the glory of the world) used in Papal coronations. So not a bad thing to bring us down to earth!