“Chinese Nell” and friends!

Queer British Art 1861-1967, Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1, until 1st October 2017

Solomon, Simeon 1840-1905
Sappho and Erinna in a Garden at Mytilene
1864
Watercolour on paper
330 x 381 mm
Tate. Purchased 1980


I have thought long and hard about this exhibition which marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act legislation in 1967 which meant partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales.

Paul Tanqueray (1905-1991)
Douglas Byng
1934
Vintage bromide print
239 x 193 mm
National Portrait Gallery
© Estate of Paul Tanqueray

Well done Tate Britain for its partnership with this year’s London Pride (Pride in London at Tate Britain, 2pm to 10pm 24th June). Given what still goes on in countries such as Chechnya we must be grateful for the passing of the act.

David Hockney
Life Painting for a Diploma
1962
Yageo Foundation
© Yageo Foundation

However, I do wonder, although admittedly progress has been made, how much things have really changed in our own multi-cultural society?  We know how differing faiths do not accept homosexuality as being right or acceptable.  Many families, whatever their ethnic background, struggle to accept a member of their family being gay. Gay people get homophobic abuse or are physically attacked for no reason other than they are “different”, even my partner and I have been hissed at in Westminster’s Edgware Road.

Angus McBean (1904-1990)
Quentin Crisp
1941
Bromide print
National Portrait Gallery (London, UK)
© Estate of Angus McBean / National Portrait Gallery, London

I recently saw a production of La Cage aux Folles at the Wimbledon Theatre.  I think the real time to celebrate acceptance and inclusion will be when LGBT people can say/sing the words from the show –

I am what I am
And what I am needs no excuses

– And know they don’t have to look over their shoulder. Impossible, or could we all work harder towards it?

John Craxton
Head of a Greek Sailor
1940
Oil on board
330 x 305 mm
London Borough of Camden
© Estate of John Craxton. All rights reserved, DACS 2016. Photo credit: London Borough of Camden

Among the exhibits in this somewhat politically correct exhibition is a monogrammed dressing gown that belonged to Noel Coward.  He was friends of Ian Fleming and his wife Ann and they both had houses on Jamaica.  In one of her letters Ann writes that Noel is referred to as “Chinese Nell” on the island *.  Need I say more?

Out
Keith Vaughan
Drawing of two men kissing
1958–73
Tate Archive
© DACS, The Estate of Keith Vaughan

 

*The Letters of Ann Fleming by Ann Fleming, Mark Amory (Editor), Collins Harvill, 1985

 

 

tate.org.uk

Hockney Celebrated!

David Hockney, Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1, until 29 May 2017

As I was unable to attend I asked John Kirkwood to go on my behalf – here are his thoughts:

Ossie Wearing a Fairisle Sweater 1970 Coloured pencil and crayon on paper 430 x 355 mm Private collection, London © David Hockney

Ossie Wearing a Fairisle Sweater
1970
Coloured pencil and crayon on paper
430 x 355 mm
Private collection, London
© David Hockney

This major retrospective of David Hockney to celebrate his eightieth birthday is a real trip through time as we go from his very earliest student drawings and sketches all the way through to his most recent work with iPads.

Garden 2015 Acrylic paint on canvas 1219 x 1828 mm Collection of the artist © David Hockney Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt

Garden
2015
Acrylic paint on canvas
1219 x 1828 mm
Collection of the artist
© David Hockney
Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt

Hockney’s innovative and immediately recognisable style stands out in every room.  There are what one might call ‘the old favourites’ like his portraits of Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell with their cat Percy (1970-71 and Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy (1972) and of course A Bigger Splash (1967) which the curator amusingly described as ‘painting a splash by splashing paint’ but also photography and huge screens displaying The Wolds taking Hockney back to his home county.

Billy + Audrey Wilder Los Angeles April 1982 1982 Composite Polaroid 1117 x 1168 mm David Hockney Inc. (Los Angeles, USA) © David Hockney Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt

Billy + Audrey Wilder Los Angeles April 1982
1982
Composite Polaroid
1117 x 1168 mm
David Hockney Inc. (Los Angeles, USA)
© David Hockney
Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt

There are even two new works  created specifically for the exhibition being unveiled of Hockney’s garden in Hollywood; Garden # 3 2016 and Two Pots on the Terrace 2016 which demonstrate that he has lost none of his magic and in so many ways has returned to his roots,

Domestic Scene, Los Angeles 1963 Oil paint on canvas 1530 x 1530 mm Private collection © David Hockney

Domestic Scene, Los Angeles
1963
Oil paint on canvas
1530 x 1530 mm
Private collection
© David Hockney

 

9 Canvas Study of the Grand Canyon 1998 Oil paint on nine canvases 1003 x 1689 mm Richard and Carolyn Dewey © David Hockney Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt

9 Canvas Study of the Grand Canyon
1998
Oil paint on nine canvases
1003 x 1689 mm
Richard and Carolyn Dewey
© David Hockney
Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt

 

Going Up Garrowby Hill 2000 Oil paint on canvas 2133.6 x 1524 mm Private collection, Topanga, California © David Hockney

Going Up Garrowby Hill
2000
Oil paint on canvas
2133.6 x 1524 mm
Private collection, Topanga, California
© David Hockney

 

 

www.tate.org.uk/Hockney

Amuse Bouche: Hockney

David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and 1 Still Life, Royal Academy of Arts, The Sackler Wing of Galleries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1, until 2nd October 2016

David Hockney at the Royal Academy of Arts (c) David Parry/ Royal Academy of Arts

David Hockney at the Royal Academy of Arts
(c) David Parry/ Royal Academy of Arts

Go! See!

 

Exhibition tickets for David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life must be pre-booked.

 

http://www.royalacademy.org.uk

The 2016 Works on Paper Fair

The Works on Paper Fair, The Royal Geographical Society, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW7, 11th – 14th February 2016

John Iddon Fine Art David Hockney, Anne Combing Her Hair, Lithograph ed. of 75

John Iddon Fine Art
David Hockney,
Anne Combing Her Hair,
Lithograph ed. of 75

This year’s Fair is in a new venue but it will still bring a tempting array of works on paper from over six centuries from some fifty or so European and British dealers.

Laurie Lee: The Artist loan exhibition - Laurie Lee, Self Portrait, Gouache, c.1937, 56 x 38cm

Laurie Lee: The Artist loan exhibition –
Laurie Lee,
Self Portrait,
Gouache, c.1937, 56 x 38cm

There is a very special exhibition, thanks to Jessy Lee, of drawings and paintings by her father Laurie Lee of Cider with Rosie fame.  Among those giving talks during the Fair are historian Simon Schama and the National Portrait Gallery’s Colin Wiggins.

Elizabeth Harvey Lee Jan Both (c1615/18 - 1652), Ponte Molle, Original etching, early1640s 20 x 27 cm

Elizabeth Harvey Lee
Jan Both (c1615/18 – 1652),
Ponte Molle, Original etching, early1640s
20 x 27 cm

The dealers at this well-vetted fair include among others Abbott and Holder, Chris Beetles Gallery, Marcus Campbell Art Books, Martyn Gregory, Elizabeth Harvey-Lee, John Iddon Fine Art, Kevis House Gallery, Kaye Michie, Stephen Ongpin Fine Art, Crispian Riley-Smith Fine Arts, David Simon Contemporary and John Spink.

David Simon Contemporary Peter Lloyd-Jones, The Dance, Ink, 30 x 21cm

David Simon Contemporary
Peter Lloyd-Jones,
The Dance,
Ink, 30 x 21cm

 

Stephen Ongpin Henri Lebasque (1865 - 1937), A Seated Female Nude in an Interior 20 x 19cm,

Stephen Ongpin
Henri Lebasque (1865 – 1937),
A Seated Female Nude in an Interior
20 x 19cm,

 

Crispian Riley-Smith attrib. Patrizi (1663 - 1744), Marriage Scene of Dorinda and Silvio, Red chalk, ink wash, 20 x 14cm

Crispian Riley-Smith
attrib. Patrizi (1663 – 1744),
Marriage Scene of Dorinda and Silvio,
Red chalk, ink wash, 20 x 14cm

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.worksonpaperfair.com

Literary Tales

Drawing on Childhood, The Foundling Museum 40 Brunswick Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1, until 1st May 2016

Angela Barrett, Snow White’s Mother, 1991 ©Angela Barrett

Angela Barrett,
Snow White’s Mother, 1991
©Angela Barrett

This is an exploration of characters from literature who were either found, orphaned, adopted or fostered and how they were artistically portrayed by illustrators and artists such as Thomas Rowlandson, George Cruikshank, Arthur Rackham, David Hockney and Quentin Blake.

Illustration by Jim Kay for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling © Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 2015

Illustration by Jim Kay for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling
© Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 2015

Henry Fielding’s 1749 novel The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling has been selected to be the subject of new illustrations by three contemporary artists – Chris Haughton, Pablo Bronstein and Posy Simmonds.

David Hockney, Rapunzel Growing in the Garden from Illustrations for Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm, 1969 © David Hockney

David Hockney,
Rapunzel Growing in the Garden from Illustrations for Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm, 1969
© David Hockney

The show is eloquently summed up by its curator Stephanie Chapman: “Illustrators over the past 250 years have been inspired by a rich variety of characters in fiction and folklore who have experienced an alternative childhood. A good illustrator enhances our understanding and enjoyment of the story, and the selected works in this exhibition show how talented artists across the centuries have brought to life the childhood experiences – as well as their later repercussions – of some of our best-loved fictional characters.”

Stref, from JM Barries Peter Pan The Graphic Novel, 2015, published by BC Books

Stref, from JM Barries Peter Pan The Graphic Novel, 2015,
published by BC Books

foundlingmuseum.org.uk

 

 

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1, until 17th April 2016

A drawing of Alice from Lewis Carroll's manuscript of Alice's Adventures Under Ground, written between 1862-64 (c) The British Library Board

A drawing of Alice from Lewis Carroll’s manuscript of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, written between 1862-64
(c) The British Library Board

The enduring appeal to successive generations of Lewis Carroll’s tale with its illustrations by John Tenniel is without doubt.  This show looks at how it has been an inspiration to many others over the last one hundred and fifty years whether they be artists, illustrators, musicians, designers or filmmakers.

An illustration of the Cheshire Cat by Helen Oxenbury from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (c) 1999 Helen Oxenbury, reproduced by permission of Walker Books Ltd

An illustration of the Cheshire Cat by Helen Oxenbury from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
(c) 1999 Helen Oxenbury, reproduced by permission of Walker Books Ltd

As the show’s curator Helen Melody says: Ever since its conception, the story of Alice has been analysed, appropriated, reimagined and re-illustrated, and yet despite undergoing so much change it remains remarkably true to Carroll’s original story.  This exhibition, which is part of national and international celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice, highlights the enduring place of this iconic text in British culture and we hope that visitors to Alice in Wonderland will find new enjoyment and inspiration from the collections on show.”

The Wonderland postage stamp case designed by Lewis Carroll (1889-1890) (c) The British Library Board

The Wonderland postage stamp case designed by Lewis Carroll (1889-1890)
(c) The British Library Board

 

http://www.bl.uk

MAYFAIR: Three Galleries, Four Shows

Avigdor Arikha – Paintings and Works on Paper, Marlborough Fine Art, 6 Albemarle Street, London W1, until 17thOctober 2015

Avigdor Arikha Catherine Deneuve 1984 Sugar-lift aquatint plate 46.5 x 34.5 cm Courtesy the Artist’s Estate and Marlborough Fine Art, London

Avigdor Arikha
Catherine Deneuve
1984
Sugar-lift aquatint plate
46.5 x 34.5 cm
Courtesy the Artist’s Estate and Marlborough Fine Art, London

This interesting show traces Arikha’s artistic career from the mid-60s to his death in 2010.  He started drawing when in a concentration camp during the last war and started out as an abstract artist but a meeting with Giacometti led him to change direction.  As well as his distinctive figural works there is also a selection of charming still-life pictures.

 

http://www.marlboroughfineart.com

 

 

Lee Ufan – From Point, From Line, From Wind, Pace London, 6 Burlington Gardens, London W1, until 24th October, 2015 

Copyright Lee Ufan, Courtesy Pace London

Copyright Lee Ufan, Courtesy Pace London

Downstairs at Pace is this exhibition by the Korean-born artist Lee Ufan.  The artist says of his memorable abstract works “Space means the infinite….Buddhism teaches that being is possible only because there is also nothingness, and appearance coexists with disappearance.” 

 

Upstairs is

 

Brent WaddenHow Long is Now, until 31st October 2015

Copyright Brent Wadden, Courtesy Pace London

Copyright Brent Wadden, Courtesy Pace London

These striking paintings are created from woven geometric patterns which are then stretched over canvas.  The resulting works reflect Bauhaus, First nation and Folk textiles.

 

www.pacegallery.com

 

 

David Hockney, Early Drawings, Offer Waterman, 17 St George Street, London W1, until 23rd October 2015.

David Hockney b.1937 The Luxor Hotel, 1978 coloured crayon on paper 14 x 16 7/8 inches 35.5 x 43 cm © David Hockney

David Hockney b.1937
The Luxor Hotel, 1978
coloured crayon on paper
14 x 16 7/8 inches
35.5 x 43 cm
© David Hockney

I think many of you will agree that this is a most agreeable way for Offer Waterman to open their new Mayfair gallery with a display of more than fifty of these early Hockney drawings which will then go on to be shown at New York’s Paul Kasmin Gallery.  Some of the works are on loan while others are for sale.

http://www.waterman.co.uk

 

 

Bonhams London: Highlights From The Estate of Lauren Bacall

INTERNATIONAL TOUR: Highlights From The Estate of Lauren Bacall, Bonhams, 101 New Bond Street, London W1, 15th – 19th February 2015

 

The immense living room was primarily a room for entertaining. In the far left corner is Humphrey Bogart’s wrought-iron and steel-inlaid slate games table, and to the left is the Mason & Hamlin ebonized grand piano where Bacall rehearsed for Broadway musicals. Guests, including Leonard Bernstein, would play at the piano during lively cocktail parties.

The immense living room was primarily a room for entertaining. In the far left corner is Humphrey Bogart’s wrought-iron and steel-inlaid slate games table, and to the left is the Mason & Hamlin ebonized grand piano where Bacall rehearsed for Broadway musicals. Guests, including Leonard Bernstein, would play at the piano during lively cocktail parties.

Bonhams’s Vice President and Director of Business Development Jon King said: ‘Bonhams is delighted to share with the public a rare insight into the world of Lauren Bacall, the accomplished collector. Her collection is a truly a reflection of her extraordinary taste and remarkable life.’

Marcel Vertès (Hungarian, 1895-1961) ‘Marcel Vertès Painting a Portrait of Lauren Bacall’ signed, inscribed and dated Madame Humphrey Bogart quand elle était Betty Bacall / Avec ma fidèle amitié Vertès / 1953 (lower left) blue pen and ink on paper 12 3/8 x 19 1/4in (31.4 x 48.8cm) US$1,000-1,500

Marcel Vertès (Hungarian, 1895-1961)
‘Marcel Vertès Painting a Portrait of Lauren Bacall’
signed, inscribed and dated Madame Humphrey Bogart quand elle était Betty Bacall / Avec ma fidèle amitié Vertès / 1953 (lower left)
blue pen and ink on paper
12 3/8 x 19 1/4in (31.4 x 48.8cm)
US$1,000-1,500

Now it is our turn here in London to see some of the highlights of the art, antiques and other works that have graced her three homes, especially her last one in New York’s famous Dakota building.

ROBERT GRAHAM (American, 1938-2008) Elisa, circa 1994 bronze with light brown patina on brass base height overall 58 5/8in (149cm) US$20,000-30,000

ROBERT GRAHAM (American, 1938-2008)
Elisa, circa 1994
bronze with light brown patina on brass base
height overall 58 5/8in (149cm)
US$20,000-30,000

Among the highlights are bronze maquettes by Henry Moore and bronzes by the famous American sculptor Robert Graham. Her art collection included prints and paintings by artists, including David Hockney, Jim Dine, Richard Avedon, Henry Moore and John James Audubon, Sir Noel Coward, Aaron Shikler, and Georges Wakhevitch.

An amethyst, turquoise and diamond ring Jean Schlumberger, French Centering an oval-cut amethyst measuring approximately 14.75 x 13.90 x 10.00mm, within a pavé-set foliate surround, extending turquoise beads, enhanced by circular-cut diamonds; signed Schlumberger, with French assay marks, maker's mark and signed box. amethyst weighs approximately 11 carats; estimated total diamond weight 1.55 carats; mounted in 18k gold and platinum; size 7 1/4 US$8,000-12,000

An amethyst, turquoise and diamond ring
Jean Schlumberger, French
Centering an oval-cut amethyst measuring approximately 14.75 x 13.90 x 10.00mm, within a pavé-set foliate surround, extending turquoise beads, enhanced by circular-cut diamonds; signed Schlumberger, with French assay marks, maker’s mark and signed box.
amethyst weighs approximately 11 carats; estimated total diamond weight 1.55 carats; mounted in 18k gold and platinum; size 7 1/4
US$8,000-12,000

On a more personal level are pieces of her jewellery, some of which was designed by the legendary Jean Schlumberger and a specially commissioned camel brooch by the celebrated English jeweller Elizabeth Gage.

DAVID HOCKNEY (British, born 1937) Two Pembroke Studio Chairs, from Moving Focus (MCA Tokyo 276; T. 264), 1984 Lithograph in colors on HMP handmade paper, signed in pencil, dated, and numbered 46/98 (there were also 10 artist's proofs), with the blindstamp of the publisher, Tyler Graphics, Ltd., Mount Kisco, New York, with full margins. 16 x 19in (40.6 x 48.2cm) sheet 18 7/8 x 22in (47.7 x 55.9cm) US$5,000-7,000

DAVID HOCKNEY (British, born 1937)
Two Pembroke Studio Chairs, from Moving Focus (MCA Tokyo 276; T. 264), 1984
Lithograph in colors on HMP handmade paper, signed in pencil, dated, and numbered 46/98 (there were also 10 artist’s proofs), with the blindstamp of the publisher, Tyler Graphics, Ltd., Mount Kisco, New York, with full margins.
16 x 19in (40.6 x 48.2cm)
sheet 18 7/8 x 22in (47.7 x 55.9cm)
US$5,000-7,000

Miss Bacall wrote of her meeting with Henry Moore at his studio in 1975 ‘It was and will be ever a high point of my life … [it was the] realization of a dream.’ I must admit to feeling something similar when I briefly met her a few years ago here in London.

HENRY MOORE O.M., C.H. (British, 1898-1986) Standing Man and Woman signed and numbered Moore 7/9 (on the reverse of the base) bronze with gold patina, cast in an edition of 9+1 in 1981 height 7 1/4in (18.5cm) US$40,000-60,000

HENRY MOORE O.M., C.H. (British, 1898-1986)
Standing Man and Woman
signed and numbered Moore 7/9 (on the reverse of the base)
bronze with gold patina, cast in an edition of 9+1 in 1981
height 7 1/4in (18.5cm)
US$40,000-60,000

 

Opening hours are 9am – 4.30pm, and admission is free.

 

The auction is at Bonhams New York on 31st March and 1st April.

 

http://www.bonhams.com