Nature Morte

NATURE MORTE, Guildhall Art Gallery, Guildhall Yard, London EC2, until 2nd April 2018

Jim Skull,
Untitled, 2009, papier maché, perles de verre 1930, 90 cm,
Photo C.Lebedinsky

Not, of course the most pleasant of subjects but one which certainly deserves our attention in an exhibition which attempts to show how 21st century artists have brought back to life, if that’s not too unfortunate a term, a genre previously synonymous with the 16th and 17th centuries.

Victoria Reynolds,
Globular Cluster, 2015, Oil on canvas(framed) 42.1 x 52.2 cm overall (16.5 x 20.5 in.)
Photographer Brian Forrest

This is one of the largest exhibitions presented at the Guildhall Art Gallery and features works by Mat Collishaw, Michael Craig-Martin, Gabriel Orozco and Marc Quinn amongst others.  This is its last stop on an acclaimed European tour and will be augmented in London with new works from London-based artists including Clare Twomey and Michael Raedecker.

Mathew Weir,
There and Not There, 2017, Oil on Canvas, mounted on board, 60 x 45 cm (unframed)
© Mathew Weir

One standout photograph by Mat Collishaw is Last Meal On Death Row, Texas (Juan Soria) which depicts the last meals ordered by prisoners on death row and each image is named after the prisoner who ordered the meal. It’s that sort of exhibition, folks!

Saara Ekström,
Clouded Yellow Bud, 2007, stop frame animation transferred on DVD, loop

Nature Morte is based on Michael Petry’s recent Thames and Hudson book of the same name and brings together historic still life paintings and modern works reflecting the language of these earlier pieces.

Alexander James,
‘The Great Leveller’, 2010, from ‘Vanitas’,Chromogenic print, mounted to polished aluminium plate, Face mounted with museum grade ar acrylic, 19 x 25 cm (2)

http://www.guildhall.cityoflondon.gov.uk/art-gallery

James White,
Raid, 2013, Oil and varnish on acrylic sheet in, Perspex box frame,
88.5 x 88.5 x 5.5 cm,
Courtesy the artist and Blain Southern

 

I am grateful to John Kirkwood for visiting and writing about this exhibition

Weapons across the centuries

The Olympia Arms Fair, The Pillar Hall, Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, London, W14, 30th September 2017, 9:00– 15:00

Patrick Mestdagh
Mughal jade handle dagger, from the Jaipur region, India, circa 1680

The Pillar Hall’s smart neo-classical inspired interior provides the backdrop for this exciting new fair. Organised by Thomas Del Mar, whose antique arms and armour auctions take place at nearby 25 Blythe Road, the fair has attracted forty dealers from the UK, USA and Europe. The pieces on view range from Bronze Age axes to First World War items.  So expect armour, firearms, pistols and swords as well as tribal weapons and a Mughal jade handled dagger.

The Pillar Hall Olympia home to the Olympia Arms Fair on 30th September 2017

It really promises to be a special event whatever your level of interest and collecting. The Arms and Armour Society and the Historical Breechloading Smallarms Association will also be attending.

Alban Arms & Armour
A fine hand-and-a-half sword, South German or Swiss circa 1550

http://www.olympiaarmsfair.com

Feline remembrances!

The Art of Steven Campbell, Marlborough Fine Art, Albemarle Street, London W1, until 21st October 2017

Steven Campbell,
Alice in Ruins, 1992-93,
oil on canvas, 269.9 x 263.7 cm,
Copyright the Estate of Steven Campbell, Courtesy Marlborough Fine Art

The retrospective on this highly acclaimed Scottish artist who sadly died in 2007 amply proves why he is so highly regarded by his peers and critics alike.  I was particularly drawn to this picture.

The look on the cat’s face so reminded me of a cat I used to have.  It is the look I would get just before he would attempt to climb the bedroom curtains if he thought he was not getting the attention he deserved at 6.30am. Both curtains and cat survived for many years!

 

http://www.marlboroughlondon.com

 

Next Sunday in Church Street NW8 – 24th September 2017

Antiques Anonymous – An Art, Antiques & Design Flea Market, Church Street, London NW8, 24th  September 2017, 11am – 5pm

In times of change in the world of Art & Antiques around the capital – Portobello Road, Spitalfields, Burlington Arcade and Grays – it is a positive delight to be able to tell you about this new venture in the Antique quarter of Church Street, NW8.

Pair of Stone Carved Lamps by Albert Tormos. Stephen Sprake.

Coinciding with the last day of the London Design Festival this inaugural Flea Market will feature more than fifty dealers from NW8 and around and should prove to be a fruitful place to shop wherever your interests lie.

1950s wheat sheaf gilt table. Samaya Ling Vintage.

It highlights the long role of Alfies Antique Market in forming a hub which has attracted many other dealers to open up in what is a ‘must’ destination of those attracted by things vintage and contemporary. One can quite understand why eighty dealers in the area have come together to form Antiques Anonymous.

 

As well as being sponsored by Alfies, Westminster City Council are also supporting it. Their spokesperson said: : “We are pleased to be working with Antiques Anonymous, to bring this Antiques, Art and Design Flea market to Church Street NW8. There has already been a great deal of interest in this first event, and I’d encourage people to visit this diverse and vibrant part of London to give it their support so that it can become a regular event on the London event calendar.”

Fornasetti 1950s brass and red lacquered ice bucket – Cupio Gallery at Alfies

PS: Street Food will be available too – so no excuse not to take your time and spend lots on things for your home!

www.antiquesanonymous.london/

#AntiquesAnonymousLondon #JoinAA #ChurchStreetFlea

Alfies Antique Market

Audrey Hepburn – Christie’s

Personal Collection of Audrey Hepburn, Christie’s King Street, London SW1, 27th September 2017

 Part II – Online Auction, 19th September – 3rd October 2017

Lot 127
BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S, 1961
Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly on the set of the 1961 Paramount production Breakfast At Tiffany’s three gelatin silver production stills
largest sheet: 14 x 11 in. (35.6 x 27.9 cm.)
Estimate: £1,000-1,500 / $1,300-1,900 / €1,100-1,600
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

September is proving quite a month for sales by legendary actresses as following on the heels of the  Vivien Leigh sale at Sotheby’s we also have a sale of the possessions of Audrey Hepburn at Christie’s in London.  How does the song go ‘anything you can do I can do better’?

Lot 144
CHARADE, 1963
A COCKTAIL GOWN OF BLACK SATIN
GIVENCHY COUTURE
The two piece ensemble comprising a ftted bodice and skirt, each with a hem of semi-tubular black paillettes,
set on edge, with multiple canvas tags to the interior, as well as black woven label with canvas tag inscribed 23174,
designed for Audrey Hepburn as Regina “Reggie” Lampert in the 1963 Universal production Charade
Estimate: £50,000-80,000 / $64,000-100,000 / €55,000-86,000
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

Audrey was more than just a beautiful film star and wonderful actress.  Due to her association with Givenchy she became almost accidentally a fashion icon and is indeed regarded as one of the most iconic figures of the last century and in her last years became a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.  One of the fund raising events she was involved in for UNICEF was a concert at the Barbican by Michael Tilson Thomas entitled From The Diary Of Anne Frank and Audrey was the narrator reading excerpts from the diary.  It was extremely moving as Audrey had experienced similar wartime distress and hardship living in Holland like Anne Frank and one could feel that she found the reliving of this time somewhat painful and that the words could indeed have been her own.  Afterwards in the green room she confessed that she had been shaking before she went onstage.

Lot 178
MY FAIR LADY, 1964/REX HARRISON
A CONTINENTAL GOLD SNUFF BOX, CIRCA 1965
Rectangular box, the cover and sides set with panels of sablé engine-turning with flared thumbpiece, the base of polished gold and engraved with the inscription To / Eliza Doolittle / from / Henry Higgins
2 3/8 in. (60 mm.) wide
2 oz. (60 gr.)
Estimate £5,000-8,000 / $6,400-10,000 / €5,500-8,600
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

How well I remember sitting in the Regal Cinema in Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow in 1961 watching and loving Breakfast At Tiffany’s and now 56 years later it is regarded as one of the most-loved films of all time, even having been shown at the Royal Albert Hall with live orchestral accompaniment.

Lot 119
BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S, 1961
Audrey Hepburn’s working script for the 1961 Paramount production Breakfast at Tiffany’s, dated 3 August, 1960, the script bound with two brass brads and comprising 140 pages of mimeographed typescript including deleted scenes, with 53 pages printed on yellow and 28 on blue paper representing changes to the script with varying dates through to 21 September 1960, the majority of pages with upper right corner either snipped, torn or folded down when completed, the parts for the character of Holly Golightly marked in Hepburn’s signature turquoise ink, with words underlined in blue ballpoint pen and pencil for emphasis, passages or directions crossed out, and approximately 20 pages annotated in Hepburn’s hand with copied out lines, minor amendments and notes including:
– p.15-16: where Holly asks Paul to help find her shoes for her visit to Sing Sing, Hepburn has amended Brown alligator [shoes] to Black, and deleted the lines And if you come across a black brassiere I can use that too… and garter-belt, garter-belt, garter-belt, garter-belt… I think maybe it’s hanging in the bathroom…would you mind…
– p.114: where the directions require Holly to rattle of sentences in Portugese, Hepburn has twice added the line Eu acho che voce esta gostando do acouqueiro
– p.119: next to …but I do love Jose Hepburn has suggested the revision I am mad about Jose – blank end page: Hepburn has jotted a brief scene list… intro, H-P-Sing Sing, P’s apt. bathrobe, cocktail, Sing Sing, Doc., drunk, scene in room, day on the town, library, chicken saffron, pickup… and scrawled the details of a fight f. 274 U. airl, 11.35 A.M.
11 x 8¾ in. (27.9 x 22.2 cm.)
Estimate: £60,000-90,000 / $77,000-110,000 / €65,000-97,000
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

The sale is in two parts with Part 1 being offered at Christie’s London and Part ll in an online-only sale. The auctions  feature annotated film scripts, including Breakfast At Tiffany’s, original portraits from   photographers such as Cecil Beaton and Philippe Halsman, her personal wardrobe and many costumes  from her films including a black Givenchy cocktail dress from Charade although not the Breakfast At Tiffany’s dress which  was sold previously.

 

Lot 109
THE NUN’S STORY, 1959
TWO FOR THE ROAD, 1967
A COLOURESS PASTE TIARA
composed of a continuous series of graduated navette and circular shaped paste, to close-back settings on a sprung frame; worn by Audrey Hepburn to the London premiere of The Nun’s Story, July 1959 and as Joanna Wallace in the 1967 20th Century Fox production Two For The Road 11¼ in. (29 cm.) inner circumference
Estimate: £7,000-10,000 / $9,000-13,000 / €7,600-11,000
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

This is the first time these items, which until now have remained with her family, have been offered for sale and they give us a rare glimpse into the very private world of a remarkable woman.

 

Lot 132
A SLEEP MASK SLEEP SHADE CO., CIRCA 1960
The blue satin shade applied with pink and blue lace-trimmed fowers, marked SLEEP SHADE CO., 282 MISSION ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CAL 8 in. (20 cm.) long
Estimate: £100-150 / $130-190 / €110-160
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

 

http://www.christies.com/audreyhepburn

Lot 219
A RED DRESS COAT
VALENTINO COUTURE, SPRING/SUMMER 1971
Of red silk gazar; together with a pair of Andrea Carrano scarlet pumps
Estimate: £1,000-1,500 / $1,300-1,900 / €1,100-1,600
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

I am grateful to John Kirkwood for writing about this sale

Vivien Leigh – Sotheby’s

Vivien: The Vivien Leigh Collection, Sotheby’s, New Bond Street, London W1, 26th September 2017

 

Lot 14 A Large Collection of Photographs of Vivien and Larry
Estimate £800-1,200
Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Vivien Leigh was one of the most beautiful and talented actresses to ever grace both stage and screen and now she is once again the star of the show when Sotheby’s auctions hundreds of items belonging to her in London on 26 September.

Jewellery including a mid 19th-century diamond bow brooch, a gold ring given to Vivien Leigh by her husband Laurence Olivier and a 18th-century chrysoberyl devant de corsage.
(Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Sotheby’s)

From Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind to Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire and Karen Stone in The Roman Spring Of Mrs Stone Vivien almost reflected her own life in her films.  The feckless Scarlett ‘thinking about it tomorrow’ is Vivien in her early theatrical pursuits where she was a whirlwind jumping from (mainly) success to success then Blanche sadly shows us Vivien in her troubled years long before bi-polar personalities had been categorised.  Then finally we have Karen Stone a bewildered widow who falls for the ersatz charm of an Italian gigolo played by Warren Beatty complete with cod Italian accent.  Mrs Stone has found a new way of living and remains a sad but noble survivor.

Interior, Notley Abbey
Courtesy of Sotheby’s

When I was ten years old I saw Vivien on stage at the Kings Theatre in Glasgow in Noel Coward’s South Sea Bubble and can still recall the ‘presence’ that came across the footlights.

Lot 269 Vivien’s monogrammed luggage, all monogrammed V.L.O., and two black leather luggage labels with insert name cards printed Lady Olivier
Estimate £800-1,200
Courtesy of Sotheby’s

The items in this sale include diaries, family photographs, paintings as well as library and personal items – even the wig she wore as Blanche. I was quite surprised and delighted to see that Vivien possessed a similarly framed item exactly the same as one I recently bought in a charity shop.  It is a sketch by Ronald Searle published in Punch in January 1957 as part of his Heroes of our Time series entitled Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. – not Lady Olivier!  In it Vivien looks out from the sketch brightly and vivaciously whilst Sir Laurence is in the foreground in his Richard lll costume and make up,  including the hump, and looking out at us resignedly, cigarette clutched firmly between his fingers.

Vivien Leigh painting at an easel in a garden
Courtesy of Sotheby’s

The accompanying catalogue features many lovely photos of Vivien but then how could you take an unlovely one?

 

Lot 224 Vivien’s writing bureau, mid-18th century, acquired from Asprey in 1949
Estimate £600-900
Courtesy of Sotheby’s

 

http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/2017/vivien-leigh-collection

 

I am grateful to John Kirkwood for writing about this sale

THE LAPADA FAIR 2017

LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair, Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London W1, 15th-20th September 2017

Once again Mayfair’s Berkeley Square plays host to the LAPADA Fair – can you believe it’s their ninth year there, time really does go by quickly?

Among the 110 plus participants at the fair bringing a tempting mixture of art and antiques from all periods is Mackinnon Fine Furniture and I thought you would be interested to see this pair of George II chairs known as the Newhailes House Armchairs which they are showing at the Fair. Dating from c1750-55 their mahogany frames are beautifully carved and pierced and have Chinoiserie stretchers. They are upholstered in their original signed Aubusson tapestry covers.

The chairs, originally a set of four, were acquired by the first Lord Hailes at a sale of the contents of his aunt’s house in Greek Street and remained at Newhailes House until c1928. They were in various American collections, including the Walter P Chrysler Collection.

Slightly earlier in date are these very important George II mahogany armchairs of c1745 which come from Warwick Castle and were part of suite acquired in the 18th century for the castle and where some can still be seen in the Cedar Drawing Room. They are upholstered in early 18th century Genoese silk velvet.

Whoever buys these chairs is going to be very lucky and have many years pleasure in owning them.

 

www.mackinnonfineart.com

http://lapadalondon.com