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

Treasure Houses: The homes of the Dukes of Buccleuch and Queensberry

 

BOUGHTON

The House, its People and its Collections

By Richard, Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry

Photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg

Published by Caique Publishing Ltd
ISBN 978 0 9565948 5 3 
£17.95 / $21.80 / 81.41 TL 

 

 

 

BOWHILL

The House, its People and its Paintings

Introduced by Richard, Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry

Edited by John Montagu Douglas Scott

Photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg

Published by Caique Publishing Ltd
ISBN 978 0 9565948 2 2
£12.95 / $15.73 / 58.73 TL
 

 

DRUMLANRIG

The Castle, its People and its Paintings

By Richard, Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry

Photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg

Published by Caique Publishing Ltd
ISBN 978 0 9565948 4 6
£10.95 / $13.30 / 49.66 TL
Paperback, 96 pages, Second Edition
 

These three guidebooks are much more than just that as they provide a fascinating introduction to the houses and collections of the incumbent Dukes.  You will encounter Rembrandt, Canaletto, Van Dyck and El Greco, as well as family portraits by Gainsborough, Reynolds and Ramsay, There are miniatures, French and English furniture, Sèvres made for Louis XV, items commemorating Sir Walter Scott and the Duke of Monmouth, silver and a huge variety of textiles and rugs. It is an extensive and engaging collection in three very different houses, two, Bowhill and Drumlanrig, are in Scotland and then Boughton in England which the late John Cornforth once described as ‘the English Versailles’.

These books are of serious appeal to anyone interested in the fine and decorative arts, architecture and historic interiors.

http://www.bowhillhouse.co.uk

http://www.boughtonhouse.co.uk

http://www.drumlanrigcastle.co.uk

http://www.caiquepublishing.com

 

Stunning objects!

Gilded Interiors: French Masterpieces of Gilt Bronze, The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, W1, until 30th July 2017

F292: Perfume Burner,
Pierre Gouthière, 1774 – 1775, detail.
© The Wallace Collection

We probably all have a vision of what an 18th century French interior may look like – white and gold panelling, commodes, chairs, sumptuous fabrics, tapestries or paintings, and gilded objects such as clocks or candelabra. The latter are probably the items we pay least attention too but you most certainly won’t after visiting this SUPERB exhibition.

F269: Mantel clock,
Jean-Baptiste Lepaute, 1781, detail.
© The Wallace Collection

We are able to study these objects closely and see the great attention to detail and the exquisite chasing and gilding techniques used. Two of the items on show belonged to Marie Antoinette. The comte d’Artois, the duc d’Aumont and the Prince Regent are other important patrons and clients from the 18th century whom you will discover. Only one of the wondrous pieces does not come from the Wallace Collection and that is a pair of firedogs bought by the future George IV.  They are included because they are the same model as a pair owned by the 4th Marquess of Hertford in his Paris home*.

F131: Candelabrum,
Possibly François Rémond, France, 1783 – 1786
© The Wallace Collection

These gilded wonders, which were such an important and integral part of the homes of the great and wealthy 18th century patrons, are the creation of artists such as Pierre Gouthière, François Rémond and Claude Pition and are important examples of 18th century French taste and stunning works of art in their own right.

F164: Candlestick,
Claude-Jean Pitoin, 1781, detail.
© The Wallace Collection

The exhibition is curated by Dr Helen Jacobsen, Senior Curator and Curator of French Eighteenth-century Decorative Arts at the Wallace Collection who has also written a book on this aspect of the Collection which I shall return to later.  She has also borrowed 18th century drawings from the Bibliothèque Municipale in Besançon which are by the noted architect and designer of interiors Pierre-Adrien Pâris and they reveal how Ancient Rome was a source of inspiration while others show how that inspiration was enacted upon.

F317: Table,
attributed to François Rémond, 1785 – 1787, detail.
© The Wallace Collection

I have now visited the exhibition three times but will return again and again because each time you see new details and appreciate even more the perfection of 18th century French decorative arts.

F258: Mantel clock, The Avignon Clock,
Pierre Gouthière, France, 1771
© The Wallace Collection

 

* This was not part of Sir Richard Wallace’s bequest and they are now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

 

http://www.wallacecollection.org

Two at Tate Modern

I am most grateful to John Kirkwood for visiting and writing about these two exhibitions on my behalf.

 

Wolfgang Tillmans 2017, Tate Modern, Level 3, Boiler House & Tanks Studio, until 11th June 2017

Wolfgang Tillmans
Collum 2011
© Wolfgang Tillmans

Wolfgang Tillmans (1968 – ) is one of the most exciting and innovative artists working today and this exhibition concentrates on his production across different media since 2003.

As well as some startling photography including landscapes, portraiture and still lives there is even a Playback Room where you may sit and enjoy music and another room where you can view the video installation Instrument 2015 which shows Tillmans dancing to a soundtrack made by manipulating the sound of his own footsteps, while in the Tanks Studio his slide projection Book for Architects 2014 is being shown for the first time in the UK.

Wolfgang Tillmans
Iguazu 2010
© Wolfgang Tillmans

A disparate and interesting show but a word of warning – don’t take your maiden aunt to see it!

 

 

Alberto Giacometti, Tate Modern, Eyal Ofer Galleries, until 10th September 2017

Alberto Giacometti
Woman of Venice V
1956
Painted plaster
113.5 x 14.5 x 31.8 cm
Collection Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti, Paris
© Alberto Giacometti Estate, ACS/DACS, 2017


This is the first retrospective of Giacometti (1901 – 1966) for twenty years and takes us on a journey from his early more conventional works to his renowned elongated figures.  In the first room you are confronted by a very large group of conventionally sculpted faces staring at you which gently leads you on to the more recognisable Giacometti style.

It brings together over 250 works and includes plasters and drawings and a large number of these fragile plaster works which rarely travel are being shown for the first time in this exhibition including Giacometti’s celebrated Women of Venice 1956. Created for the Venice Biennale, this group of important works are brought together for the first time since their creation.

Alberto Giacometti
Woman with her Throat Cut
1932
Bronze (cast 1949)
22 x 75 x 58 cm
National Galleries of Scotland
© Alberto Giacometti Estate, ACS/DACS, 2017

This exhibition reasserts Giacometti’s place alongside the likes of Matisse, Picasso and Degas as one of the great painter-sculptors of the 20th century and the exhibition is a great celebration of a unique vision.

 

 

 

http://www.tate.org.uk

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

Art Medals!

Celebrating Eighty: Art in the Hand, The Goldsmiths’ Centre, 42 Britton Street, London EC1, until 20th April 2017

Stephanie Holt, Weight of the World,
Winner of the Grand First Prize
© Photography Stephen Dodd, British Museum

The British Art Medal Society’s 24th Student Medal Project seeks to keep the art of bronze casting alive and well.  This year’s delightfully engaging exhibition combines eighty contemporary art medals by students from UK art colleges with work by the renowned Iranian artist Parviz Tanavoli and some of his former students who are marking his 80th birthday.

Parviz Tanavoli, Hand on Hand
© Photography Stephen Dodd, British Museum

The noted goldsmith, sculptor and medal maker Julian Cross sums it up well saying: “The medal, as object, with all its constraints, can act like a half open door. We, the viewers, are on one side looking through the opening. But the artist has a job to do on the other side, to engage, communicate and express. The narrower the gap in the door makes the artist rise all the more to the challenge, working harder and smarter to be seen and heard. This is when the art medal comes into its element; it can be a highly charged object, beautiful or ugly, it can appear to be as soft as watercolours, as sad as a lock of hair, as violent as an explosion, as political as a revolution, it can sing, shout, whisper, cry and laugh.” 

I Count Goats, Linda Crook, 2008.
Photography Stephen Dodd, British Museum

www.goldsmiths-centre.org/whats-on

A new home!

Thompson’s Gallery in Seymour Place

Thompson’s Gallery has moved from New Cavendish Street to new premises at 3 Seymour Place, Marylebone, London W1H 5AZ.  Their opening show in this exciting new space will feature the very distinctive works of Sophie Levi and James Tweedie.  The exhibition Sophie Levi & James Tweedie – Away From Convention continues until 8th April 2017 – see the website for details of the pictures in this show.

Interior view – Thompson’s Gallery in Seymour Place

http://www.thompsonsgallery.co.uk