The 2017 Summer Olympia Art & Antiques Fair

The Art & Antiques Fair Olympia, Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, London W14, 26th June – 2nd July 2017

Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill who will be speaking at The Art & Antiques Fair on ‘Incorporating Antiques in Design’ on Thursday 29 June at 12.30-13.30.

This is this fair’s forty-fifth year and as ever potentially offers much to its visitors. There is no doubt that change is inevitable and that emphasis and focus changes as one generation of collectors is succeeded by another. Styles of living change and what may have been our ideal does not necessarily resonate with our children and grandchildren.

It is therefore probably a sound idea to launch an Interior Design Talk Series at this year’s fair. The speakers include Henrietta Spencer Churchill, Douglas Mackie, Christopher Vane Percy, April Russel, Emma Burns from Sibyl Colefax and John Fowler, Susie Rumbold and Caroline de Cabarrus from Hotspur Design and the wide-ranging topics covered include Incorporating Antiques in Design and how to Decorate your House in a Day.

The fair’s director Mary Claire Boyd said, ‘We are excited about our new Interior Design Talk Series. There is a strong demand for advice from experts on how to incorporate art and antiques into interiors and previous designer talks have been very well attended. We are taking it to the next level this year by hosting top designers throughout the run of the fair.’ Perfect for inspiration to go out into the fair afterwards and buy!

It is also interesting to note that the number of picture dealers attending this year’s fair will be double that of last year’s. This increase is made up by new and some returning former exhibitors. The Chicago-based show, Sculptural Objects Functional Art and Design Fair (SOFA) who first showed three-dimensional contemporary art and design last year also returns.

Galerie Boccara
Sonia Delaunay.
Serpent Noir’, wool tapestry,151 x 308cm

As these changes evolve over the Fairs I wish this Olympia Fair a fair wind in its voyage to different waters.

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

Tribal Art and Ceramics in London’s New Bond Street

I take pleasure in sharing these two shows with you. They are at The Fine Art Society 148 New Bond Street, London W1.

 

Gordon Reece – The Art of Collecting, until 16th June 2017 

DSC_6706
30 Zula People, Democratic Republic of Congo
Female caryatid stool
First half of the 20th century
Wood
Height 18 1/2 in (47 cm)
Provenance: Private collection, Rwanda

This collaboration with Gordon Reece the esteemed dealer in Asian and African artefacts is a veritable treat.  His love of the objects is reflected in what he buys and they are eminently liveable with as this show which sees them displayed among the Fine Art Society’s furniture and artworks skilfully proves. A great celebration of Tribal Art.

‘Installation view, including two Lega masks and a Suku standing figure’

 

DSC_6725
41 Bembe People, Democratic Republic of Congo
A rare standing reliquary figure (Muzidi)
First half of the 20th century
Cane, fibre, cloth and buttons
Height 41 in (104.1 cm)
Provenance: Private collection, USA; purchased by Gordon Reece Gallery in New York in 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hylton Nel – For Use and Display, until 16th June 2017

Hylton Nel
Cat with Pope’s shoes

The South African ceramicist Hylton Nel shows his flair for creating both useful and decorative objects. You will discern influences from Chinese, Staffordshire and European ceramics in them and he uses many ideas in their decoration whether sexual, whimsical or written prose.  A delight and one understands why his works are eagerly snapped up.

Hylton Nel
Green Tree and Figures

 

Hylton Nel
A Game of Notes

 

 

www.thefineartsociety.com/

‘Designing the Future’

Giacomo Balla: Designing the Future, Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square, London N1, until 25th June 2017

Giacomo Balla
Iridescent Interpenetrations, 1913
Watercolour on paper, 24 x 18 cm
Courtesy The Biagiotti Cigna Foundation

This special show focuses on Giacomo Balla (1871-1958) a self-taught artist who was one of the founding figures of the Futurist movement but in 1937 moved away from its mainstream. The 116 works on show come from the Biagiotti Cigna Collection and give a full picture of Balla’s work which included furniture and clothing design

Giacomo Balla
Expansion of Spring, 1918
Oil on board, 45 x 55 cm
Courtesy The Biagiotti Cigna Foundation

 

Giacomo Balla
Lines of Force of an Enamelled Landscape, 1917-18
Oil and enamel on paper, 41 x 56 cm
Courtesy The Biagiotti Cigna Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.estorickcollection.com

A striking exhibition!

Aaron Kasmin: UP IN SMOKE, Sims Reed Gallery, 43A Duke Street, St. James’s, London SW1, until 9th June 2017

Aaron Kasmin,
Bottoms Up, 2016.
Coloured pencil, 30x21cm.
Sims Reed Gallery

For his second exhibition with the gallery Aaron revisits the theme of American feature matchbooks with twenty-eight pencil drawings.  It is great fun especially as one can see part of his collection of original matchbooks too.

Aaron Kasmin,
Pumps, 2016.
Coloured pencil, 30x21cm.
Sims Reed Gallery

Aaron Kasmin,
Sea Shell Restaurant, 2016.
Coloured pencil, 30x21cm.
Sims Reed Gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aaron sums up his enthusiasm saying:  “These new works reflect a joint celebration of the joy of collecting and creating works inspired by the sheer inventiveness and genius of feature matchbooks. The matchbooks are small, ephemeral and almost forgotten; the ingenuity of the imagery in what must be the golden age of graphic design is here in minute form. To me they conjure up the glamour of early to mid-twentieth century American life. The glitz inherent in nightclubs and bars hark back to the post-prohibition era with movie stars and opulent parties evoked and captured in the novels of Scott Fitzgerald and Raymond Chandler, and re-created in the nostalgic films of Woody Allen.”

Aaron Kasmin,
Special Delivery, 2017.
Coloured pencil, 21x15cm.
Sims Reed Gallery

 

Vintage Matchbooks
Sims Reed Gallery

 

http://gallery.simsreed.com

Der Rosenkavalier

Harmony and Opulence: Erté and Der Rosenkavalier, Bonhams London, 101 New Bond Street, London W1, 22nd – 26th May 2017

Presentation of the Rose. Der Rosenkavalier, Act II

Featuring ninety set and costume designs for the famous 1980 Glyndebourne Opera production of Der Rosenkavalier this is a must for lovers of opera and the Russian artist Erté.

http://www.bonhams.com

Lord Weidenfeld

The Collection of The late Lord Weidenfeld GBE: A Life of Ideals and Ideas, Christie’s, 8 King Street, St James’s, London SW1, 18th May 2017

Lot 509
Bernardo Cavallino (Naples 1616–?1656)
Saint Dorothy
oil on canvas
27.7/8 x 22.7/8 in. (72 x 58 cm.)
Estimate: £150,000-200,000
© Christie’s Images Limited 2017

This is a very rare and final chance to see the private world of the publisher and philanthropist George Weidenfeld (1919-2016). He was created Baron Weidenfeld of Chelsea in 1976. He had co-founded the famous publishing firm Weidenfeld and Nicolson in 1948. It was after the War too that he started collecting and this auction reveals his many interests – Old Master paintings, 20th century works on paper, furniture, sculpture and the decorative arts. His collection of books is left to the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem.

The dining room of Lord Weidenfeld’s Bennison decorated Chelsea apartment
© Christie’s Images Limited 2017

The setting for this very personal collection was Lord Weidenfeld’s Chelsea Embankment apartment which had been wonderfully decorated for him by the famous antique dealer and decorator Geoffrey Bennison and which remained virtually unchanged for over forty years!

Lot 569
A REPOUSSÉ PARCEL-GILT COPPER BUST OF POPE URBAN VIII
WORKSHOP OF GIAN LORENZO BERNINI, ROME, MID-17TH CENTURY
30 in. high, 24 in. wide, the bust and socle
Estimate: £30,000-50,000
© Christie’s Images Limited 2017

 

Lot 577
A REGENCY BRASS-INLAID INDIAN ROSEWOOD LIBRARY TABLE
CIRCA 1810-20, ATTRIBUTED TO GILLOWS
31.1/4 in. (79 cm.) high; 76.1/2 in. (194.5 cm.) wide; 48.1/2 in. (123.5 cm.) deep
Estimate: £40,000-60,000
© Christie’s Images Limited 2017

 

Lot 582
A LARGE CHINESE BLUE AND WHITE BALUSTER VASE FITTED AS A TABLE LAMP
19TH CENTURY
The porcelain, 17.1/4 in. (44 cm.) high
Estimate: £2,000-4,000
© Christie’s Images Limited 2017

 

 

 

 

http://www.christies.com

The Love of Books!

The Library of the Late Hubert Dingwall, Dreweatts & Bloomsbury  Auctions, 16-17 Pall Mall, St James’s, London SW1Y 5LU, Thursday, 27th April 2017

Hubert Dingwall
(Images courtesy of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions)

I think it totally appropriate that the dedicated book collecting of Hubert Dingwall (1912 – 2001) should be celebrated in this inaugural auction at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auction’s new Pall Mall saleroom.

Lot 215 – Annie R. Rentoul, Elves and Fairies, edited by Grenby Outhwaite, first edition, Melbourne & Sydney, 1916, est. £600 – £800
(Images courtesy of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions)

An Oxford graduate Dingwall started collecting books in his early 20s often browsing the booksellers’ barrows in Charing Cross Road seeking out bargains (I wish they were still there). But as collectors often do he started going to more established dealers and later became a good client of the renowned firm Maggs Bros. Ltd.

Lot 69 – Cervantes Saavedra (Miguel de) El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha,1780, est. £10,000-15,000
(Images courtesy of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions)

There are more than fifteen hundred books in the auction and estimates range from £100 – £15,000. The books were housed in every room of his Wimbledon home – excepting the kitchen and bathroom – but including two especially fitted-out cellar rooms.

Lot 223 – Gregynog Press.-Aesop. The Fables of Esope, 1932, One of 25 specially bound copies, est. £2,000-3,000
(Images courtesy of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions)

Dingwall summed his approach up saying: “I have remained to a great extent an accumulator. I think this is because I derive pleasure from so many different aspects of books. It is my hope that [I] give those of you who have not been bitten by the bibliomania bug an inkling of what interest is inherent in books above and beyond the reading matter they contain”.

 

Now is your chance to prove him right!

Lot 198 – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, one of 500 deluxe copies signed by the illustrator, 12 tipped-in colour plates by Arthur Rackham, 1915. est. £800-£1,200
(Images courtesy of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions)

 

http://www.dreweatts.com

A new exhibitor at The Spring Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair

The Spring Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair, Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London SW11, 4th – 9th April 2017

Alison Elliott
Tinker
Oil on gesso panel
5.91 x 4ins (15 x 10cm)
Courtesy of Jonathan Cooper
Copyright Alison Elliott

This edition is slightly earlier than usual and its special stand – The Morning Room Revisited – near the fair’s entrance updates the traditional idea of such rooms by transforming them into a space where the outside can be brought in or as a place of display for collections.

Rebecca Campbell
The Artist’s Muse
Oil on linen
35.2 x 45.75ins (89 x 116cm)
Courtesy of Jonathan Cooper
Copyright Rebecca Campbell

The highly successful gallery Jonathan Cooper makes its first appearance at the fair and I feel sure that visitors will find much of interest among its fine contemporary artworks.

 

www.decorativefair.com

http://www.jonathancooper.co.uk

Hollywood Style!

Betsy Bloomingdale: A Life in Style, Christie’s New York, live auction on April 5th 2017 and online sale March 30th-April 6th2017

The Atrium, Mrs. Bloomingdale’s Hollywood Regency villa, Los Angeles.
Photography by Spencer Lowell. Courtesy of Christie’s.

In her later years Mrs Bloomingdale summed up her thoughts on style saying: ‘To me, style in anything you do, whether dressing, entertaining, collecting, whatever, is a sureness of choice. It can be learned, it can be developed, but to be successful, it mustn’t be perceived.’

Both the online auction and the live auction reflect her philosophy whether it be in jewels, or clothes – Oscar de la Renta, Valentino and Christian Dior – or her home. A leading figure of Los Angeles society she was known for her philanthropy and her entertaining. She welcomed many legendary Hollywood figures to her home as well as the Reagans and the Annenbergs.  She kept a record of every dinner party she gave from 1959 until her death last year.

The Dining Room, Mrs. Bloomingdale’s Hollywood Regency villa, Los Angeles.
Photography by Spencer Lowell. Courtesy of Christie’s.

Her home was a fine example of Hollywood Regency and was one of the legendary designer William (Billy) Haines last remaining masterpieces.  Haines started his career as a silent movie star but his refusal to end his relationship with his long-term partner Jimmie Shields led to his MGM contract being ended in 1933.

The Bedroom, Mrs. Bloomingdale’s Hollywood Regency villa, Los Angeles.
Photography by Spencer Lowell. Courtesy of Christie’s.

However this inspired Haines (1900-1973) to set himself up as a designer of both interiors and furniture.  His clients included Joan Crawford, Jack Warner, George Cukor, the Goetzes and the Annenbergs at both their home Sunnylands, near Palm Springs and also at Winfield House, London when Mr Annenberg was the US Ambassador to the UK. As these images show Haines had a deft touch creating an 18th century feel in rooms that were very easy to use and so perfectly crafted that the owners rarely changed anything.

This sale is truly a celebration of 20th century American style and taste!

The Living Room, Mrs. Bloomingdale’s Hollywood Regency villa, Los Angeles.
Photography by Spencer Lowell. Courtesy of Christie’s.

 

www.christies.com

Vanessa Bell & Patti Smith

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961), Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London SE21, until 4th June 2017

Vanessa Bell, Virginia Woolf, c. 1912, oil on board, 40 x 34 cm, National Portrait Gallery, London, NPG 5933. © National Portrait Gallery, London

Vanessa Bell,
Virginia Woolf, c. 1912,
oil on board, 40 x 34 cm,
National Portrait Gallery, London, NPG 5933.
© National Portrait Gallery, London

This exhibition celebrates the work of Vanessa Bell who, whilst regarded as a member of the Bloomsbury Group, was also very much a stand-alone artist in her own right.

Vanessa Bell, Asheham House, 1912, Oil on board, 47 x 53.5 cm, Private Collection. © The Estate of Vanessa Bell, courtesy of Henrietta Garnett. Photo credit: Photography by Matthew Hollow

Vanessa Bell,
Asheham House, 1912,
Oil on board, 47 x 53.5 cm,
Private Collection.
© The Estate of Vanessa Bell, courtesy of Henrietta Garnett. Photo credit: Photography by Matthew Hollow

The show traces her move from her earlier Impressionist-based training to her more radical approach featuring form, colour and abstraction. Often Bell gets somewhat overshadowed by the circle she lived in – Virginia Woolf (sister), Clive Bell (husband), and fellow artists Duncan Grant and Roger Fry. We see how she rejected Victorian concepts of motherhood and home-making to create a place of freedom as her work with the Omega Workshop reveals.

Vanessa Bell 1879–1961, Design for Omega Workshops Fabric, 1913, Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on paper, Image: 53.3 × 40.7 cm, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund. 3353 - B1992.14.2 © The Estate of Vanessa Bell, courtesy of Henrietta Garnett

Vanessa Bell 1879–1961,
Design for Omega Workshops Fabric, 1913,
Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on paper, Image: 53.3 × 40.7 cm,
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund. 3353 – B1992.14.2
© The Estate of Vanessa Bell, courtesy of Henrietta Garnett

Sarah Milroy, the show’s curator, says: “Unconventional in her approach to both art and life, Bell’s art embodies many of the progressive ideas that we still are grappling with today, expressing new ideas about gender roles, sexuality, personal freedom, pacifism, social and class mores and the open embrace of non-British cultures. This is the perfect moment in which to re-evaluate Bloomsbury, and Bell’s legacy within it, and we look forward to affirming her importance to a contemporary audience.”

Vanessa Bell,
The Other Room, late 1930s,
161 x 174 cm,
Private Collection,
© The Estate of Vanessa Bell, courtesy of Henrietta Garnett. Photo credit: Photography by Matthew Hollow

 

 

Brandon Camp, 1913. From top left: Julian Stephen, Daphne Olivier, Noel Olivier, Noel Olivier, Roger Fry, Vanessa Bell Photographs by Vanessa Bell and others, in Vanessa Bell’s album, Tate (TGA 9020/3) © Tate Archive, London 2016.

Brandon Camp, 1913. From top left: Julian Stephen, Daphne Olivier, Noel Olivier, Noel Olivier, Roger Fry, Vanessa Bell
Photographs by Vanessa Bell and others, in Vanessa Bell’s album, Tate (TGA 9020/3)
© Tate Archive, London 2016.

Alongside this exhibition is Legacy: Photographs by Vanessa Bell and Patti Smith (until 4th June 2017) which features photographs by the famous musician, writer and artist, Patti Smith alongside albums belonging to Vanessa Ball. In 2003 Smith had a residency at Charleston and her comments reflect her interest in the works of the Bloomsbury Group.   – “Art was a part of everyday living. Their cups and saucers were designed by themselves, their utensils, the wallpaper, tapestries. When I first came here I found it just like home […] I felt a real longing to document this place in the same manner that I document my own home because it is very much how I live: books everywhere, things that seem very humble, very sacred, a simple wooden box, a shell, a paint tube – everything has significance.”

Patti Smith, Vanessa Bell’s Library, Duncan Grant’s painting of Vanessa Bell in her Mother’s Dress, 2006, Gelatin silver print, edition of 10, 25.4 × 20.32 cm, © Patti Smith. Courtesy the artist and Robert Miller Gallery

Patti Smith,
Vanessa Bell’s Library, Duncan Grant’s painting of Vanessa Bell in her Mother’s Dress, 2006,
Gelatin silver print, edition of 10, 25.4 × 20.32 cm,
© Patti Smith. Courtesy the artist and Robert Miller Gallery

http://www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk