BOOK REVIEW: Going Once

Going Once: 250 Years of Culture, Taste and Collecting at Christie’s

 going-once-jacket

ISBN: 978 0 7148 7202 5

Phaidon

£39.95

 

What better way to celebrate two hundred and fifty years as a leading art business than through the two hundred and fifty objects selected for this book.  It is a wonderful survey of these remarkable sales and the high prices achieved whether for a 3,000-year-old Assyrian frieze or Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. Paintings, furniture, gold and silver, sculpture, wine, even a London Routemaster bus are included.  One feature I like is that as well as giving the original sale price they also give today’s equivalent value.

 

This is a great book to dip into time and time again as there is much to learn and enjoy from it.

phaidon.com

Woolley & Wallis in London

Woolley & Wallis, Mayfair Office, Second Floor, 17 Clifford Street, London, W1S 3RQ

Woolley & Wallis - In Mayfair

Woolley & Wallis – In Mayfair

The noted Salisbury firm of auctioneers are opening an office in Mayfair to deal with enquiries from international and London-based clients. They will have special viewings and exhibitions, including one for this year’s Asian Art in London.

Please note it is open by appointment only for which you need to contact the relevant department.

http://www.woolleyandwallis.co.uk

The Power of Imagery

Kathy Prendergast – Atlas: A Reverie, 12 Star Gallery, 32 Smith Square, London SW1, until 9th September 2016

Installation View: Kathy Prendergast - Atlas: A Reverie Courtesy of 12 Star Gallery.

Installation View: Kathy Prendergast – Atlas: A Reverie
Courtesy of 12 Star Gallery.

This exhibition features thirty-eight wall-hung images and a freestanding work.  Using the AA Road Atlas of Europe the artist has transformed the maps into what may almost be thought to be charts of the stars but in fact using white and grey dots she denotes villages, towns and cities. In doing it in this manner she raises the question of migration and settlement in both a historical and contemporary way.

 

ec.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/

 

A New Childhood: Picture Books from Soviet Russia, House of Illustration 2 Granary Square, King’s Cross, London N1, until 11th September 2016

Image by Galina and Olga Chichagova. Courtesy of Sasha Lurye

Image by Galina and Olga Chichagova.
Courtesy of Sasha Lurye

This is a wonderful voyage of discovery into the world of Russian children’s books in the post-revolutionary period of the 20s and 30s with these works from the Sasha Lurye Collection. Much of the artwork has not been seen before and includes rare early 20th century Jewish books and hand-printed books made by the Segodnya Collective.  It is fascinating to learn that these books which told about contemporary life or traditional folk tales were influential on book design in Europe, including the UK.

www.houseofillustration.org.uk

 

Georgiana Houghton: Spirit Drawings, Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2, until 11th September 2016

Georgiana Houghton (1814 –1884) The Eye of God c. 1862 Watercolour on paper, 54 x 44 cm Victorian Spiritualists' Union Melbourne, Australia (The inscription on the reverse names Correggio as Houghton’s spirit guide)

Georgiana Houghton (1814 –1884)
The Eye of God
c. 1862
Watercolour on paper, 54 x 44 cm
Victorian Spiritualists’ Union
Melbourne, Australia
(The inscription on the reverse names Correggio as Houghton’s spirit guide)

Georgiana Houghton (1814-1884) was a spiritualist and medium whose drawings were part of her communications with the spirit world.  Her colourful, abstract watercolours are now considered to be a precursor of abstract art.  She believed that when executing the drawings she was being guided by spirits, including Titian, Correggio and St Luke and she duly noted on the reverse of the works whose help she had received. An intriguing show indeed.

http://courtauld.ac.uk/gallery

Masterpiece London 2016 – Preview

Masterpiece London 2016, The Bull Ring Gate Entrance, South Grounds, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3, 30thJune – 6th July 2016

Nazy Vassegh, CEO of Masterpiece with J.F. Courville, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the RBC Wealth Management 2015 Courtesy Masterpiece London

Nazy Vassegh, CEO of Masterpiece with J.F. Courville, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the RBC Wealth Management
2015
Courtesy Masterpiece London

Now in its 7th edition one can easily understand why Masterpiece has become a magnet for collectors and museum curators from around the world.  There is a great emphasis on quality and connoisseurship and the pieces on show reflect more than five thousand years of art history – and yes they are for sale.

Vetting during Masterpiece London 2015 Courtesy Masterpiece London

Vetting during Masterpiece London 2015
Courtesy Masterpiece London

Masterpiece’s chief executive Nazy Vassegh says: ‘I am delighted to announce so many exciting additions to this year’s fair. Masterpiece 2016 will have unrivalled depth and quality, and I am pleased that Masterpiece continues to strengthen every edition. We are looking forward to another great year.’

It truly is a must visit fair and allow yourself plenty of time because there are so many exciting things to see and tempt. Like me you may well want visit more than once.

Vetting during Masterpiece London 2015 Courtesy Masterpiece London

Vetting during Masterpiece London 2015
Courtesy Masterpiece London

Over the coming days I will post varied selections of what is on show.

 

http://www.masterpiecefair.com

Olympia Summer Fair 2016

The Art & Antiques Fair, Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, London W14, 27th June – 3rd July 2016

Opening Day, June 2015

Opening Day, June 2015

This Fair certainly has staying power as it is in its 44th year and continues to draw visitors in from home and abroad to see what the hundred and sixty participating dealers have to offer for their collections and homes.

Wakelin & Linfield An unusually large late 19th century two plank Spanish table in walnut with carved decoration to the legs and original ironwork supports to the base. L144” x W39” x H30.25” In the region of £25000 Provenance: Orson Welles

Wakelin & Linfield
An unusually large late 19th century two plank Spanish table in walnut with carved decoration to the legs and original ironwork supports to the base.
L144” x W39” x H30.25”
In the region of £25000
Provenance: Orson Welles

The Fair’s Director, Mary Claire Boyd sums it up: “The Art & Antiques Fair, Olympia is London’s original, quintessential art and antiques fair. Over four decades since the event was founded, we continue to pride ourselves on offering a wider choice of high quality, vetted art, antiques, furniture and collectibles than any other event in the capital.”

Art Ancient Large piece of Roman glass work, reflecting the heights achieved in glassblowing in the 1st-2nd Centuries AD

Art Ancient
Large piece of Roman glass work, reflecting the heights achieved in glassblowing in the 1st-2nd Centuries AD

Among new “features” is Showcase which highlights five specially chosen galleries and dealers – Simon Pirzada (ceramics), The Parker Gallery (Fine Art), Adam Gahlin Fine Art (Modern paintings, drawings and prints), Adam Bentley (Contemporary Art) and Store Street Gallery ((Contemporary Art).

Albermarle Gallery. SOFA LONDON Rado Kirov Monolith mirrored stainless steel 227 x 30 x 110 cm (89 x 12 x 43 in)

Albermarle Gallery. SOFA LONDON
Rado Kirov
Monolith
mirrored stainless steel
227 x 30 x 110 cm (89 x 12 x 43 in)

The well-known SOFA CHICAGO – a Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design Fair (SOFA) will have a European version at this Fair as Mary Claire Boyd, explains“We are very excited to introduce SOFA LONDON as part of The Art & Antiques Fair, Olympia for the very first time this June. SOFA is widely known in the US for its international dealers selling one-of- a-kind masterpieces. Here in London we have an elite selection of dealers who will be showcasing original works from different artists and makers using a variety of mediums. For sale will be works of art including ceramics, metal work, photography, glass works, textiles, furniture and sculptures that appear more contemporary and cutting edge than other pieces in the fair, but yet will also stand the test of time. SOFA CHICAGO attracts over 35,000 people but for those who aren’t able to cross the pond to attend we’re delighted to offer this opportunity within the UK.”

Opening Day, June 2015

Opening Day, June 2015

According to recent research there is a resurgence in the demand for antiques and again I will share Mary Claire Boyd’s observations on this: “The world of antiques can be intimidating at first glance but this research shows that there is a real thirst for antiques. They are appreciated for the qualities they can bring to people’s homes– particularly amongst the younger generation who are frustrated with spending money on furnishings that only last a few years. 

Galerie Arabesque Three-legged ottoman inlaid table. Provenance: estate of Eduard Starke-Pascha, Berlin-Constantinople

Galerie Arabesque
Three-legged ottoman inlaid table.
Provenance: estate of Eduard Starke-Pascha, Berlin-Constantinople

“While people see great benefits of purchasing antiques often they don’t realise the options and scope available to them – and the affordability.  Antiques are unique, often come with a fascinating story – and add individuality to your home.  They can also be combined very effectively with contemporary art and furniture.”

Gilden’s Art Gallery JOAN MIRÓ 1893-1983 Sun Eater | Mangeur de Soleil, 1955 Original Hand Signed and Numbered Lithograph in Colours on Arches Paper Paper size: 76.2 x 56.5 cm. / 30 x 22.3 in.

Gilden’s Art Gallery
JOAN MIRÓ 1893-1983
Sun Eater | Mangeur de Soleil, 1955
Original Hand Signed and Numbered Lithograph in Colours on Arches Paper
Paper size: 76.2 x 56.5 cm. / 30 x 22.3 in.

Very true indeed as many leading interior decorators would no doubt concur.

Tribal Gathering London Mende helmet mask ' Sowei'. Sande society. Sierra Leone

Tribal Gathering London
Mende helmet mask ‘ Sowei’. Sande society. Sierra Leone

 

Manning Fine Art “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster, printed in 1939

Manning Fine Art
“Keep Calm and Carry On” poster, printed in 1939

 

Kate Thurlow Louis XIV upholstered oak armchair, circa 1700 Provenance: Formerly in the collection of Yves St Laurent.

Kate Thurlow
Louis XIV upholstered oak armchair, circa 1700
Provenance: Formerly in the collection of Yves St Laurent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Kelly Books, June 2015

Don Kelly Books, June 2015

 

 

http://www.olympia-art-antiques.com

Call me by my name

Call me by my name: stories from Calais and beyond, Londonewcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch Street, London E2, until 22nd June 2016

Red Carpet (2015) (c) Paul Evans

Red Carpet (2015)
(c) Paul Evans

Congratulations to the Migration Museum Project for arranging this multi-media exhibition in a month that sees both Refugee Week and the EU Referendum.

Migration is certainly a hot topic in English politics as the Remain and Leave campaigns very frequently remind us. Perhaps a moment to reflect on what the word means is appropriate.

Husham’s Tent (2015) (c) Mary Turner

Husham’s Tent (2015)
(c) Mary Turner

The word migration can be used to describe the movement of people from one area or country to another.  People moving from regional areas of Britain to London (or vice versa) could be considered as migrants.  In some rural areas people buying properties to live in an area they do not originate from are described as incomers.  Yet there is not so much of a furore about such “migrations”.

Wanderers (2016) (c) Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen

Wanderers (2016)
(c) Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen

The shanty town at Calais engenders many responses and reactions from good to bad to indifferent and this exhibition allows us to get a real glimpse of what the life of the camp’s inmates is like. Sue McAlpine, the show’s curator says of it: “Visitors will journey physically and emotionally through the space, seeing refugees and migrants emerging from a nameless bunch to named individuals, neither victims nor angels but each with their own story to tell”.

As someone who fits the description of being a migrant I warmly recommend this exhibition to you.

http://www.migrationmuseum.org

A Century Ago Today – Lest we Forget

 Jutland 1916: WWI’s Greatest Sea Battle, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London SE10, until November 2018

Model of HMS Queen Mary (1912) © National Maritime Museum, London

Model of HMS Queen Mary (1912)
© National Maritime Museum, London

 Today marks the centenary of the only major naval battle of World War One – ‘Der Tag’.  Some two hundred and seventy nine ships were involved in the Battle of Jutland on the 31st May 1916 and it was a fight that resulted in no clear victory but saw serious losses of ships and the loss of more than eight thousand five hundred lives.

Admiral Sir John Jellicoe (1859-1936) © National Maritime Museum, London

Admiral Sir John Jellicoe (1859-1936)
© National Maritime Museum, London

This fascinating, but sobering, exhibition has been brought together with the help of the grandson of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, the commander of the British Grand Fleet.  Through photographs, ship models, paintings, medals and film the visitor sees the battle in context and the impact of its aftermath.

Imperial German Naval Ensign from SMS 'Moltke' 1912 that was present at Jutland. © National Maritime Museum, London

Imperial German Naval Ensign from SMS ‘Moltke’ 1912 that was present at Jutland.
© National Maritime Museum, London

For example the 14ft long shipbuilder’s model of HMS Queen Mary, which was one of the largest British battle cruisers in the fight was destroyed by enemy fire and out of its 1,266 strong crew only 18 survived.

British Naval Ensign used as a battle ensign by HMS 'Chester' 1915 at the Battle of Jutland 31 May 1916. © National Maritime Museum, London

British Naval Ensign used as a battle ensign by HMS ‘Chester’ 1915 at the Battle of Jutland 31 May 1916.
© National Maritime Museum, London

On a more cheerful note I met the grandson of Marcus Bailey, a West Indian, who had served on HMS Chester, and despite the ship being hit by 17 shells, wounding and killing 78 men, he survived. Visitors will see Bailey’s image thanks to the photograph his grandson loaned to the exhibition.

 

http://www.rmg.co.uk