A Portrait of Robert Fraser

A Strong Sweet Smell of Incense – A Portrait of Robert Fraser, Curated by Brian Clarke, Pace London, 6 Burlington Gardens, London, W1, until 28th March 2015

A general view, including Richard Hamilton's Swingeing London 67 (a), 1968-69 and Peter Blake's The Beatles, 1962, 1963-1968. © R. Hamilton. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2015 © Peter Blake. All rights reserved, DACS 2015.

A general view, including Richard Hamilton’s Swingeing London 67 (a), 1968-69 and Peter Blake’s The Beatles, 1962, 1963-1968.
© R. Hamilton. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2015
© Peter Blake. All rights reserved, DACS 2015.

This is a very special and personal exhibition concentrating on the noted art dealer Robert Fraser whose gallery in the 1960s and the 80s was the pre-eminent gallery in London. He was an advocate of Neo-Expressionism, Pop Art and Op Art and first opened the Robert Fraser Gallery in 1962 with a show of works by Jean Dubuffet. Over the years he exhibited many other artists including Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg and Brian Clarke who is the curator of this present exhibition.

Jean Dubuffet Cherche-Aubaine (after maquette dated 30 July-December 1973), 1973-2014 polyurethane paint on epoxy resin 399 cm x 211 cm x 117 cm (157-1/16" x 83-1/16" x 46-1/16") work,  27 cm x 269 cm x 200 cm (10-5/8" x 105-7/8" x 78-3/4") plinth © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015

Jean Dubuffet
Cherche-Aubaine (after maquette dated 30 July-December 1973), 1973-2014 polyurethane paint on epoxy resin
399 cm x 211 cm x 117 cm (157-1/16″ x 83-1/16″ x 46-1/16″) work,
27 cm x 269 cm x 200 cm (10-5/8″ x 105-7/8″ x 78-3/4″) plinth
© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015

Fraser was not just a gallery owner but a power force and despite living in India for much of the 1970s on his return the gallery was once again a centre not only for art but also for music and culture. Fraser introduced the Beatles to Peter Blake and subsequently was involved in the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover.

An installation view, including Robert Mapplethorpe, Self Portrait, 1980; Jamie Reid, Large scale screen-printed promotional poster for Sex Pistols' "Never Mind the Bollocks" album, 1977 and Jim Dine's Five Palettes, 1963. © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2015 © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

An installation view, including Robert Mapplethorpe, Self Portrait, 1980; Jamie Reid, Large scale screen-printed promotional poster for Sex Pistols’ “Never Mind the Bollocks” album, 1977 and Jim Dine’s Five Palettes, 1963.
© ARS, NY and DACS, London 2015
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Fraser is depicted in a portrait by Basquiat and in Richard Hamilton’s Swingeing London 67 screenprint that reproduces the famous image of Fraser and Mick Jagger handcuffed together in a police van, and in various documentary photographs and his office has also been recreated.

Recreation of Robert Fraser's office, including Jann Haworth's  Cowboy, 1964 and Claes Oldenburg's London Knees (1966) © Jann Haworth © Claes Oldenburg

Recreation of Robert Fraser’s office, including Jann Haworth’s Cowboy, 1964 and Claes Oldenburg’s London Knees (1966)
© Jann Haworth
© Claes Oldenburg

This is in some ways a bitter-sweet exhibition because it recalls times gone by but it is definitely one that should not be missed.

Installation View, including Francis Bacon's Portrait of John Edwards, 1988 and  Jean-Michel Basquiat's ROB'T FRAZER, 1984 © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS 2015.

Installation View, including Francis Bacon’s Portrait of John Edwards, 1988 and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s ROB’T FRAZER, 1984
© The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015.
© The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS 2015.

http://www.pacegallery.com/london

Four Contemporary Exhibitions

João Onofre – Tacet, Marlborough Contemporary, 6 Albemarle Street, London W1, until 10th January 2015

João Onofre, Tacet, 2014
. Still from single channel HD video, colour, sound, 7’40’’, variable dimensions.  Courtesy Marlborough Contemporary, © the artist.

João Onofre, Tacet, 2014
. Still from single channel HD video, colour, sound, 7’40’’, variable dimensions.
Courtesy Marlborough Contemporary, © the artist.

The centrepiece of the Portuguese artist João Onofre’s new show is Tacet a dramatic re-interpretation of the composer John Cage’s ‘silent’ work 4’33’’. As in the original Onofre’s musician does not play the instrument but in this case he sets fire to it instead, and the resulting sound dominates the work.
Other pieces include an aquatint series where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights together with an unseen image is converted into binary code and Screenplay for an Overdue Film (Haiku Version, 2013-14).

marlboroughcontemporary.com

Alicia Dubnyckyj: Megalopolis, Sarah Myerscough Gallery, 15-16 Brooks Mews, Mayfair, London W1, until16th December 2014

The City at Night, London, 2014. Gloss Paint on MDF Board, 122 x 153 cm

The City at Night, London, 2014. Gloss Paint on MDF Board, 122 x 153 cm

Alicia Dubnyckyj makes a welcome return to the gallery with her abstract but complex cityscape paintings that succinctly capture contemporary London. These works are particularly appropriate given the even greater popularity of London as a tourist attraction following the Olympics. While being a celebration of the city’s architecture some may feel they show how the contemporary buildings are becoming more dominant.

sarahmyerscough.com

L’Utopia Della Pittura – Alessandro Pizzo, Renato Pengo, Moor House, 120 London Wall, City of London EC2, until 10th December 2014

Pagine 2009 Mixed media 150x100cm © Renato Pengo

Pagine 2009 Mixed media 150x100cm © Renato Pengo

ArtMoorHouse’s new show is an exhibition of two artists from Padua and it proves what a great exhibition space this location is. The special “twist” to this display is that the well-established and acclaimed artist Renato Pengo hangs alongside the talented young painter Alessandro Pizzo. They have over the last few years had a continuous dialogue and this exhibition is the successful outcome of this process.

Contrasti Liquidi 14 2013 Enamel on canvas 80x80cm © Alessandro Pizzo

Contrasti Liquidi 14 2013 Enamel on canvas 80x80cm © Alessandro Pizzo

http://www.tburnsarts.com

The Road To Elysium, HEIST’s Fine Art Photography anti-gallery, Notting Hill, London W2, until 12th January 2015.

AES   F, Jungle Elegy at The Road to Elysium, Heist

AES F, Jungle Elegy at The Road to Elysium, Heist

You may wonder why it is called an anti-gallery, but that is easily explained because the works are shown within a “domestic” space to great effect. The photographs’ subject matter is the concept of Utopia and looks at various issues, including political and social ones, as well as more aesthetic ideas.

Among the contributing artists are AES+F, Amanda Charchain, Madame Peripetie, Richard Mosse, Melvin Sokolsky and Laurent Badessi. All is summed up by the gallery’s founder Mashael Al Rushaid who said “We are delighted to present so many talented photographers and their works in this exhibition. We are incredibly proud of the variety of pieces, all of which are as thought provoking as they are artistically stunning.”

Open: By appointment

http://www.heist-online.com

The Maas Gallery

Sarah Adams, The Maas Gallery, 15a Clifford Street, London W1, until 29th November 2014

Porthmissen: uplit Oil on linen; signed 100 x 100 cms

Porthmissen: uplit
Oil on linen; signed
100 x 100 cms

I know that on occasion ceramic collectors have been prepared to camp outside overnight to be the first in the queue for when a selling exhibition opens but last year this happened at The Maas Gallery for this artist because one customer wanted a picture so much.

Revelation: Newtrain Oil on linen; signed 70 x 100 cms

Revelation: Newtrain
Oil on linen; signed
70 x 100 cms

If it were to happen again I would not be the least surprised for Sarah Adams’ paintings of the North Cornwall coast are virtuoso pieces that sweep up the viewer into a pleasurable mixture of drama and calm that will always be quite special.

Carnewas: warm light Oil on linen; signed 120 x 120 cm

Carnewas: warm light
Oil on linen; signed
120 x 120 cm

http://www.maasgallery.com

all images ©

Jessica Carlisle

Piers Secunda The Rise of Oil, Jessica Carlisle, 83 Kinnerton Street, London SW1,18th -23rd November 2014

Balakhani Oil Wells, 1893, 2013. Azerbaijani oil and varnish on industrial floor paint with cast paint nuts and bolts. 50 x 60 x 6cm

Balakhani Oil Wells, 1893, 2013. Azerbaijani oil and varnish on industrial floor paint with cast paint nuts and bolts. 50 x 60 x 6cm

The artist’s concept for this new show is that if crude oil is such a basic component in our everyday life, be it travel agriculture, energy and of course plastic, then it must also be a useful tool for artists.

Oil Field Chain Drive, 1920's, 2013 Californian crude oil and varnish on industrial floor paint with cast paint nuts and bolts 38 x 47 x 6cm

Oil Field Chain Drive, 1920’s, 2013 Californian crude oil and varnish on industrial floor paint with cast paint nuts and bolts 38 x 47 x 6cm

As you can see his special technique of oil screen-printing onto cast-paint slabs is the perfect vehicle for showing the early story of the oil industry in these mono-prints.

http://www.jessicacarlisle.com

© all images

A painting by Norman Blamey sells for over five times its estimate at auction

 image002

This very striking oil on board mural of `St Andrew the Fisher of Men` was originally painted by Norman Blamey OBE (1914-2000) for Ruislip’s Lutheran Church of St Andrew and it recently sold for £3200 against a pre-sale estimate of £600 at Wellers Auction House in Guildford.
His approach to sacred and secular subjects was meticulous realism and in some he emulated early Renaissance masters with his use of crystalline geometry and one can also see a debt to Stanley Spencer. Only in recent years has he been given his due recognition.

http://www.wellersauctions.com

LONDON ART WEEK 4 to 11 July 2014

LONDON ART WEEK 4 to 11 July 2014

 

Bicci di Lorenzo (1373-1452) Three Roundels: Virgin Mary, Christ as Ecce Homo and Saint John the Baptist Tempera and gold on panel Diameter of each: 24 cm Moretti Fine Art

Bicci di Lorenzo (1373-1452)
Three Roundels: Virgin Mary, Christ as Ecce Homo and Saint John the Baptist
Tempera and gold on panel
Diameter of each: 24 cm
Moretti Fine Art

London Art Week was launched last year with great success and major sales.  It unites Master Drawings & Sculpture Week and Master Paintings Week and has become a magnet for museums, collectors and enthusiasts.

 

Egyptian bronze seated cat Late Dynastic Period 25th-31st Dynasty, 715-332 BC Height: 14.4 cm Rupert Wace Ancient Art

Egyptian bronze seated cat
Late Dynastic Period
25th-31st Dynasty, 715-332 BC
Height: 14.4 cm
Rupert Wace Ancient Art

It emphasizes the high levels of quality and connoisseurship that can be found in London and reaffirms its importance as a leading centre of the art world. The London-based dealers and auction houses need the active support of both local and national government so that London may retain and expand on its pre-eminent position.

 Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) Kneeling Blue Caryatid, c. 1911 Blue crayon, 430 x 265 mm Richard Nathanson

Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920)
Kneeling Blue Caryatid, c. 1911
Blue crayon, 430 x 265 mm
Richard Nathanson

I offer a small selection of some of the many wonderful works which await you:

 

Virgin and Child Enthroned, c. 1380 France, Paris Limestone with traces of polychromy Height: 66; width: 42; depth: 19 cm Sam Fogg

Virgin and Child Enthroned, c. 1380
France, Paris
Limestone with traces of polychromy
Height: 66; width: 42; depth: 19 cm
Sam Fogg

 

 

 

Hubert Robert (1733-1808) Village scene with a lady reading beside a pond Oil on oval canvas, 43 x 34 cm William Thuillier

Hubert Robert (1733-1808)
Village scene with a lady reading beside a pond
Oil on oval canvas, 43 x 34 cm
William Thuillier

 www.londonartweek.co.uk

Attributed to the Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna Portrait of Catherine the Great as Minerva Saint Petersburg, last quarter of the 18th century, cameo in jasper Cameo: 6.5 x 4.7 cm Overall: 11.5 x 9 cm Trinity Fine Art Ltd, Carlo Orsi and Walter Padovani

Attributed to the Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna
Portrait of Catherine the Great as Minerva
Saint Petersburg, last quarter of the 18th century, cameo in jasper
Cameo: 6.5 x 4.7 cm
Overall: 11.5 x 9 cm
Trinity Fine Art Ltd, Carlo Orsi and Walter Padovani

Virgin and Child Enthroned, c. 1380 France, Paris Limestone with traces of polychromy Height: 66; width: 42; depth: 19 cm Sam Fogg

Virgin and Child Enthroned, c. 1380
France, Paris
Limestone with traces of polychromy
Height: 66; width: 42; depth: 19 cm
Sam Fogg

 Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) Study (tronie) of an Old Man, c. 1615-1618 Oil on panel, 48 x 37.5 cm The Weiss Gallery

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)
Study (tronie) of an Old Man, c. 1615-1618
Oil on panel, 48 x 37.5 cm
The Weiss Gallery

www.masterdrawingsandsculptureweek.co.uk,

Pierre-Antoine Demachy (1723-1807) Clearing the Area in Front of the Louvre Colonnade, View taken from the Ruins of the Hotel du Petit Bourbon, c. 1764 Oil on panel, 49 x 64 cm Deborah Gage (Works of Art) Ltd

Pierre-Antoine Demachy (1723-1807)
Clearing the Area in Front of the Louvre Colonnade, View taken from the Ruins of the Hotel du Petit Bourbon, c. 1764
Oil on panel, 49 x 64 cm
Deborah Gage (Works of Art) Ltd

www.masterpaintingsweek.co.uk

 Louis-Nicolas de Lespinasse (1734-1808) View of the banks of the river Neva facing downstream between the Winter Palace of Her Imperial Majesty and the buildings of the Academy of Sciences Pen, grey and brown ink, watercolour and gouache over pencil, 217 x 648 mm Didier Aaron Ltd

Louis-Nicolas de Lespinasse (1734-1808)
View of the banks of the river Neva facing downstream between the Winter Palace of Her Imperial Majesty and the buildings of the Academy of Sciences
Pen, grey and brown ink, watercolour and gouache over pencil, 217 x 648 mm
Didier Aaron Ltd

Unravelling Uppark, until 2nd November 2014

Unravelling Uppark, until 2nd November 2014

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This is a really good way to bring both the story of the house and contemporary works together. The Unravelled artists are specifically commissioned to create works that help weave both architectural and human strands. At Uppark, which is their third and final project with the National Trust, they have much to focus upon, especially the story of Sir Harry Fetherstonhaugh who inherited Uppark in 1774. A bit of a lad he was a friend of the Prince Regent, and part of his household for a time was Emma Hart, later the celebrated Emma Hamilton more better known as Lord Nelson’s paramour. In his middle years Sir Harry settled down only to upset the apple cart, aged seventy, by marrying his twenty year old dairy maid Mary Anne Bullock.

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The first thing that you see as you approach the house’s portico is Agnes Jones’s two iron ‘line drawing’ sculptures Io (Mary Ann Bullock) the Greek nymph who was seduced by Zeus and Euthenia (Emma Hart) the goddess of Prosperity.

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Visitors are recommended to visit the dairy and stables first. In the dairy you will hear Gen Doy’s A Milkmaid’s Song inspired by Sir Harry’s marriage to Mary Ann Bullock.

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The stables are the site for Caitlin Heffernan’s Remnants which subtly contrasts the difference between the landed classes and their stable hands using various pieces of tack, hay, jewels and also pieces of fabric retrieved after Uppark’s horrific fire in 1989.

Thus we are introduced to another thread of the story for glorious Uppark, which had survived relatively unchanged since the 18th century, was hit by a disastrous fire in August 1989. The roof and ceilings were destroyed but fortunately not the walls and even more so much of the plasterwork and woodwork survived. Many of the ground floor rooms’ contents were saved too. The National Trust’s restoration of the building is a triumph.

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In the Staircase Hall Matt Smith’s Garniture: The Bullock Buckets, recalls the period fire buckets in the house and brings together the ideas of the Fire, Mary Anne Bullock’s being sent to Paris to be taught how to be a lady and the Sèvres porcelain collected by Sir Harry.

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The story of Emma dancing naked for Sir Harry and his guests is cleverly recreated by video artist Jini Rawlings in Amy, Emily, Emma and the Four Times of Day (Vernet) using a series of mirrors on the Dining Room table which may even be the very one on which Emma danced.

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Dish of the day: chicken in a basket, the creation of Robert Cooper and Stella Harding, is a large ceramic dish of woven basket design, whose surface is covered with collaged imagery and interwoven text that echoes the story of Emma and Mary Anne in that it highlights modern day exploitation of young people.

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In the Little Parlour Sir Harry’s father Sir Mathew Fetherstonhaugh provides the inspiration for the artist Steven Follen’s Trade a flotilla of origami toy boats. Made from metal sheets and lined with gold leaf and filled with spices which represent Sir Matthew’s links with the East India Company and shipping.

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The story of the fire and the subsequent restoration was the basis for Zoë Hillyard’s Salvage  a group of signature hand-stitched patchwork ceramics in the Red Drawing Room which sit well with the house’s own ceramic collection.

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In the Tapestry room you come across Simon Ryder’s Quartet four crystal blocks of glass laser-etched with rising and falling notes of birdsong reflecting the birdsong you can hear in the garden.

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Downstairs in the basement you will find Andrew Burton’s Vessels made up from tiny ceramic bricks. They evoke enigmatically the barrels and drinking vessels that were used in the house.

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Last and certainly not least is The House of Eloi the creation of Alice Kettle and Helen Felcey. It adds another strand to Uppark’s story since H G Wells’ books The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds and The Invisible Man are the source for this imagined world of mutant creatures that people the Doll’s House Room. You may ask why H G Wells? The answer is simply that his mother was housekeeper at Uppark in the late 19th century. The servants’ tunnels are also thought to have been an inspiration for Wells’ books.

I have long wanted to visit Uppark and never had the opportunity to do so but I was intrigued to come and see Unravelling Uppark. I am so delighted that I waited for what was a really beautiful experience and I hope that you will feel the same when you go there. Like me you may think that some of the contemporary works should remain.

Uppark House and Garden
South Harting, Petersfield GU31 5QR
Sunday-Thursday

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/uppark

http://www.unravelled.org.uk

Unravelled at Uppark, 2014. Architecture and Interior Photography by Jim Stephenson