ASIAN ART IN LONDON, until 8th November
This is such an exciting week because it embraces the City’s art community, including auctioneers and this year has over sixty participants. There is a cornucopia of art on display, including contemporary. One or two things I will write about separately and as some of you will already know I have already covered the two Eskenazi exhibitions (21st October). Here is just a small selection to tempt you to explore further.
Jewel encrusted Muslim Royal Cap
Mughal style, made by Ezra & Sion Co, Bombay, early 20th century
Green velvet cap, embroidered with twisted gold thread, gold sequins and encrusted with pearls, rubies, spinels and emeralds. Lined in satin and edged inside in leather around the base of the cap. Stamped on leather ‘Primus’ ‘Ezra & Sion Co., 95-97 Ghendy Bazaar, Bombay’ ‘Perfect Ventilation – Latest Combination’
Height: 10 cm; Diameter: 15.5 cm
Francesca Galloway Ltd
A t Francesca Galloway you will find an array of Indian treasures which includes this jewel-encrusted Mughal style cap made in the early 1900s by the Bombay firm Ezra & Sion. It bears the label , “Perfect ventilation – latest Combination” and was obviously considered the dernier cri.
Gandhara, 2nd/3rd century
Height: 32 cm
Width: 29 cm
Depth: 8 cm
A carved grey-brown schist architectural element formed as a square tile and with a relief sculpture of a seated Buddha to its centre, framed above by two horizontally carved stepped sections also in relief and separated to the middle by a dovetailed void.
Simon Ray Ltd
Second and third century Gandharan sculpture can be found at Simon Ray Ltd. They come from the collection of Dr Ernst Lomnitz who was fascinated by Indian sculpture and art. It is thought that his servants used shoe polish when cleaning his home and that this contributed to the patination on the bases.
Guanyin, seated with her hands covered by her long flowing robes above her raised right knee with one foot exposed, her hair neatly tied and pinned with a ruyi-head pin and lingzhi diadem, with serene features, elongated earlobes and urna mark on her forehead and wearing a lotus flower head necklace, covered in a cream glaze. The back with an impressed double gourd mark of He Chaozong. 9 1/4 inches, 23.5cm high. Ming dynasty, circa 1630. Carved openwork wood stand with rockwork, pine and lingzhi.
Formerly in the Collection of Captain Meuldijk, the Netherlands.
Marchant & Son
Noted dealers Marchant & Son have an exciting exhibition of over one hundred pieces of Blanc de Chine which they have taken over a decade to assemble for this special show. Chinese Export Wares are not neglected either as, for example, the stunning rare embroidered silk coverlet exhibited by Jacqueline Simcox (at 17 Ryder Street, St. James’s, London SW1) shows. Dating from the early 18th century and made for the European market it retains its original colours and allows us to see why our ancestors were such keen admirers of Oriental Art.
A large Chinese yellow silk embroidered wall hanging made for export to Europe. The design of two mermaids, rising from the sea and holding large bowls above their heads. The mermaids stand upright, their faces with a slightly smiling expression and framed with long curly hair extending down their backs. Flowers decorate their chests and more flowers and fruits surround them, cascading from the bowls above their heads. The mermaid’s fishy tails curve down amongst small waves carrying fish, sea monsters and rocks, while sailing boats and Chinese sanpans cross the water. Branches of exotic fruits and flowers spread upwards from the vessels to fill the background, accompanied by numerous butterflies, small birds and four larger birds, spied on by two small hunters, with blow pipes, hidden amongst the branches.
Chinese, for export to the West, 18th century
Length: 249 cms (98 inches)
Width (excluding fringe): 211 cms (83 inches)
Provenance: From a private European Collection
This year there are a dozen or so exhibitions of Contemporary Asian Art as well so that Asian Art Week really is a celebration of ancient and modern.
‘Mudfish Bowl’ porcelain modeled and carved, celadon glaze, 13cm h x 37cm across. Photograph by Derek Au.
I am sure that many of you will remember the celebrated Roger Law, the man behind the puppets in Spitting Image (30th anniversary this year). His interest in ceramics has grown over the years and so much so that he moved to China’s ‘porcelain city’ Jingdezhen, where for over two thousand years the Chinese have made porcelain. The beautiful ceramics he created there have their first gallery exhibition at Sladmore Contemporary.
Acrylic color marker and paint on printed canvas
110cm x 148cm
Shine Artists London
Japanese manga and anime culture is recognised in the “Eyedolls” that are created by Mari Kim. Her pictures are representations of the famous, fairy-tale characters and even super heroes, including Amy Winehouse, Supergirl and Angelina Jolie. They are being shown by Shine Artists London at the Albemarle Gallery.
Dream in Xin’An, 2014 (detail)
Jingdezhen Porcelain Panel
FitzGerald Fine Arts
Making their first appearance at Asian Art London is Fitzgerald Fine Art (at the Weiss Gallery). Their group exhibition ‘The Scholar and the Sentinel’ is a combination of contemporary Chinese works in porcelain and ink by artists working in the traditional manner. The result is an exciting fusion of old and new.