A green statue with arms held outstretched in front with a golden mask in hand. Behind the statue shows part of an exhibition

The Art & Antiques Fair Olympia, 27 June – 2 July 2017

Celebrating its 45th edition, London’s longest running art and antiques Fair will showcase 160 of the world’s leading specialist dealers. Discover a diversity of periods and styles crossing a variety of disciplines including furniture, clocks, ceramics and glass to jewellery, textiles, sculpture and art. With over 55,000 pieces to explore, personalise your interiors with eclectic statement pieces and add irresistible treasures to your collection.

Returning as part of the Fair this year, the Sculpture Objects Functional Art & Design Fair – SOFA LONDON will present three dimensional contemporary artworks crossing the boundaries of design, fine and decorative art.

New for 2017, join the dedicated Interior Design Talk Series and learn more about the latest trends from leading international experts, including Henrietta Spencer-Churchill, Emma Burns from Sybil Colefax & John Fowler, Douglas Mackie and the BIID (British Institute of Interior Design). Listen to insightful and inspiring talks with a programme hosting speakers from leading museums and institutions including the British Museum and TATE.

Mosimanns’ Jazz Café will be serving a divine selection of dishes to enjoy for lunch and dinner, complimented by top of the range beverages for you to enjoy on your day out.

For lovers of stylish interiors the Fair is an unrivalled destination.

Simply click here to register for your complimentary e-ticket

For more information on the Fair visit olympia-art-antiques.com

Caiger Contemporary Art

Caiger Contemporary Art at Affordable Art Fair Battersea Spring

The 2017 art fair season continues this week with the Affordable Art Fair Spring edition. This is great fair for first time buyers or seasoned collectors.

Getting that spring feeling and wanting to purchase some great artworks, then this is the fair for you. There is so much amazing, wonderful original art out there, for prices that won’t break the bank, so why buy posters and cheap reproductions that you will find on any Tom, Dick or Harry’s wall?

Caiger Contemporary Art, one of our gallery partners is exhibiting this year. Find out a bit about them and their artists.

Caiger Contemporary Art says ‘Buying art should be fun, which is why we have already done the hard work for you, and have teamed up with some fantastic artists to show you how awesome it can be to buy art for your home. We want to tell you all about them and their work as we think it is great to know how something is made, why and by whom. It gives it that extra story to make you fall in love with it even more! Also by sharing with you these fantastic artworks we get to support the wonderful artists too so they can focus on what they do best – making some beautiful work for us to put on our walls!’

Here are some of the fantastic artists you will see on our stand this year at the fair.

Rod McIntosh

As a mark maker Rod lies within a tradition of drawing and recording his experience of the world, his travels, relationships and sense of self.

McIntosh’s process and methods developed as rules that slowly became a habit or creative ritual. The choice of materials evolved through this journey. His desire to maintain a strong integrity within his work directed him to learn the recipes for gesso, where he found the physical, tactile, step-by-step method reassuring. Continued research into the history of mark-making pointed to an honesty that he chose to draw with.

Rod McIntosh - The Moment Within II 2017

Rod McIntosh – The Moment Within II 2017

Corinne Natel

Her work is abstract based contemporary paintings inspired by landscapes, nature, cities, travel, fashion and media. Her work investigates colour, form, space and texture. She often explores seasons or nature based environments with colour, how colours work with one another and the colour relationship with the season or environment.

Corinne Natel - Elektra

Corinne Natel – Elektra

Laura Benetton

Laura’s work is influenced by the structure of birds’ wings and butterflies. Their movement and uniqueness have been a big source of inspiration. Focusing on the movement, on the stretch, Laura abstracts the actual shape and colours and to obtain a very energetic skeleton of line. The colours’ blend and the intensity of the butterflies never stop piquing her curiosity.

Laura Benetton - Infra 12

Laura Benetton – Infra 12

To find out more about their artists visit www.caigerart.com or find them on Facebook, twitter and Instagram @caigerart.

Ceramic Art London 2015

Now in its 11th year, Ceramic Art London returned to the Royal College of Art in London. With a combination of established and emerging artists, together with a small display of current ceramic students’ work, the fair was varied and exciting with many of the artists on hand to discuss their work and technique.

Ceramics fascinate me for many reasons, the range of shapes, colours and glazes that can be achieved are vast, but it is also the interplay between the functional and the decorative (and the questioning of the distinction between the two) which intrigues me most. To show this diversity of design and function, I have chosen three artists, who for me, illustrate this diversity.

Christopher Taylor CPA

To describe Christopher Taylor’s work as the sort of work I expected to see at Ceramic Art London may come across as less of a compliment than intended, but the reason for the familiarity for me is Christopher’s use and distortion of one of the traditional ceramic forms – the vase. In fact, this is something the artist writes himself “the vessel form appears commonplace” but it is the artist’s “surface treatment” that challenges us to look at the forms he creates.

Christopher Taylor, Group of Vessels, thrown brick clay decorated using coloured slips, under glaze print, lead glaze, lustre and decals in various combinations, 47 cm. Courtesy of Ceramic Art London

Christopher Taylor, Group of Vessels, thrown brick clay decorated using coloured slips, under glaze print, lead glaze, lustre and decals in various combinations, 47 cm. Courtesy of Ceramic Art London

 

Decorative and interesting, the artist uses the surface as a canvas (if you excuse the pun) to explore the relationship between the everyday and what our perception of “art” is. Indeed the distinction between “art” and “craft” is often difficult to determine and certainly here Christopher Taylor makes a deliberate attempt to engage us in interpreting what we think.

Delfina Emmanuel CPA

Delfina Emmanuel is one of the most captivating and humble artists I had the pleasure of speaking to at Ceramic Art London this year and although her work at first glance seemed rather traditional and overly decorative, on closer inspection her work was the very opposite. Delfina’s stand presented an array of objects, from tea pots to jewellery bowls to pieces intended as items of visual art to prompt discussion (and admiration).

Delfina Emmanuel, Twist Vessel, semi porcelain clay, cast & hand-build, lead glaze, 17 x 9 x 9 cm. Courtesy of Ceramic Art London (2)

Delfina Emmanuel, Twist Vessel, semi porcelain clay, cast & hand-build, lead glaze, 17 x 9 x 9 cm. Courtesy of Ceramic Art London

 

Aside from the obviously intricate nature of the work Delfina produces, the decoration is not without reason. Describing herself as a mother and a homemaker, Delfina expressed her opinion that occasionally the everyday and the functional get overlooked and it was her aim to make the everyday less ordinary.

Hence the teapots. The teapots are simply amazing. Not until Delfina showed me the handles (if one could describe them as handles) and pulled off the lids to various teapots on display could I appreciate just how these fantastical forms were actually (in principle) functional items.

Take a look at Delfina Emmanuel’s work, then look again.

Jong Jin Park

Nominated for the Young Masters Art Prize in 2014, Jong Jin Park plays with form and material in a way to explore the relationship between the traditional and the contemporary. Not a vase in sight, Jong’s work uses the unusual technique of layered paper with porcelain and then staining elements of the resulting work to produce coloured and varied designs.

Jongjin Park, Artistic Stratum, porcelain, black stain, brushing clay slip on 600 tissues, fired at 1280, 2014, 18 x 18 x 9 cm. Courtesy of Ceramic Art London (1)

Jongjin Park, Artistic Stratum, porcelain, black stain, brushing clay slip on 600 tissues, fired at 1280, 2014, 18 x 18 x 9 cm. Courtesy of Ceramic Art London

 

If Christopher Taylor’s work challenges the divide between “art” and “craft”, Jong Jin Park’s work has eliminated craft from the question, producing works that resemble sculptures more than ceramic vessels and whose form and design challenge the viewer, and as the artist says “my practice asks us to think what is real?”.

Affordable Art Fair Battersea Autumn 2014

You may have seen the advertising posters for the Affordable Art Fair Battersea Autumn 2014 whilst on the underground, in a magazine or even on a bill-board around London over the last month or so – and if you have you’ll already be familiar with the work of Maria Rivans.

Whether you know her, or not, the brilliant Maria has been going from strength to strength over the last few years… and the momentum is growing. The advertising campaign for AAF Battersea, for those of you who did not see it, featured one of Maria’s portrait collages, much like the one below, which was expanded into the scene which included a model made up as a 3D creation based on Maria’s work.

Queeny - Maria Rivans

Maria is best known for her collage portraits, using found images to create beautiful and eye catching patterns and creative scenes. Those on display at Liberty Gallery at the fair included figures with serpents and birds as part of their headdress, and one rather glamorous lady with a diamond necklace comprising hundreds of cut out diamonds layered to make a dazzling motif. This fair gave Maria’s newer work a chance to have the spotlight – with fantastical imagined cityscapes joining Maria’s portraits on the stand. These large scale cityscapes were hugely popular… with not one of them staying on the wall of the stand from one day to the next! Created using a similar technique to the portraits, the cityscapes combine found images of buildings and people layered and contrasted to great effect.

This autumn, the range of techniques and media of pieces on display was as varied as ever, with collage side by side with oil on canvas, lithographs with bronze sculpture and screen printing with monotypes. One new technique I had never come across, but whose impact was stunning, was used by Lucy Carty exhibiting with Artshouse. Having studied Biology and Environmental Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University, Lucy’s technique is self taught and her work is inspired by her trips around the world, most recently to Iceland. Inspired by aerial photographs of the landscape of Iceland, Lucy uses resins and wax, together with other mixed media to create pieces that cross the boundary between two dimensions and three and entice the viewer to touch the surfaces that are created.

Lucy’s work varies from pieces that could be mistaken for worn marble to pieces that look as if they are still flowing from a volcano in Iceland, all of which are unique and refreshingly different. Lucy’s work is the perfect compliment to the other artists work on the Artshouse stand, including artist and gallerist, Natasha Kumar, whose recent volume of work inspired by the architecture of India and in particular the narrative depicted on the inside of a dome showing Krishna is truly beautiful.

Also at the fair, for the first time, were the Reduced Shakespeare Company performing a specially commissioned performance of “A Complete History of Art (Abridged)” compacting the entire cannon of (Western) art into just 10 minutes. Provoking laughter and rounds of applause for their candid representation of some of the best known artists and their iconic creations, the Reduced Shakespeare Company were certainly a very welcome addition to the Affordable Art Fair.

Affordable Art Fair, staying true to its name, continues to be a source of art for the less established collector – or indeed the established collector looking to find new emerging talent – but goes much further. By exposing graduate artists, together with gallery’s promoting work of artists producing “affordable” art to a collector market is promoting growth, development and experimentation among these artists. This year, more than ever, artists were on hand to provide information and help regarding their work, but I also suspect that the feedback they receive over the five days of the fair is invaluable.

 

The Autumn Decorative Fair – Battersea Autumn 2014

I envy the team at Battersea Evolution, the exhibition space in Battersea park, because so many of the great events in the London arts calendar are held there! Among my favourites are Affordable Art Fair and The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair. I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon at the autumn edition of the Decorative Fair yesterday and enjoyed the many delights that the well over 100 exhibitors had to offer.

Although each exhibitor has their own way of displaying their (often vast) array of items, the main theme for exhibitors seemed to be putting together stand displays that displayed antiques, art and textiles in a way that might reflect a collector’s house, or at least a room! From gilt mirrors and French sofas to English military travelling chests, each stand had experts on hand to tell us about their own particular areas of expertise. The joy of wandering around the Decorative Fair is that there is a huge variety in the background to the dealers, ranging from the hugely experienced to very enthusiastic young dealers eager to share their enthusiasm – and knowledge – with visitors. The information given about some of the pieces, together with the atmosphere at the fair, means it often feels like you are being treated to personal tours of small and intimate museums… rather than sales pitches!

A number of the exhibitors at the Decorative Fair are members of LAPADA, and a small and dedicated number had just been exhibiting at the LAPADA Art &Antiques Fair in Berkeley Square just last week! The exhibitors were collected from far and wide, with all the corners of the UK represented, from York to Hertfordshire, Fife to Norfolk side by side with some international dealers from Europe.

The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair is at Battersea three times a year, winter, summer and autumn and 2015 marks their 30th anniversary year, an achievement to really cherish as the result of their years of hosting these dealers at Battersea have made a thoroughly enjoyable and successful event.

The next event at Battersea Evolution I am excited to get to is Affordable Art Fair which takes place 23rd – 26th October which promises to be another very successful event for Battersea!

Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre (section) - found on Sylvia Powell stand

LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair 2014

LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair returned to Berkeley Square last week with a display of glittering jewellery and outstanding art. With dealers from far afield to some from just round the corner taking part, the range of items was, as always, vast and exquisite.

Whether it is a coincidence, or possibly I try to look for them, but there always seems to be one or two strong trends that stand out at every fair, and antiques fairs are no exception. For me this year, LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair provided one such trend, and a supremely beautiful set of items. Wedgwood is a household name in fine porcelain and the more famous, and possibly most iconic, Jasperware. However, not a piece of blue and white Wedgwood was on display, but there was plenty of the very distinctive and recognisable ‘Fairyland Lustre’ series produced by the company starting in 1916 and production lasted until the early 1930s.

Fairyland Lustre was the product of two things, the advancements in the techniques of glazes being trialed by Wedgwood and the addition to the company of Susannah Margaretta “Daisy” Makeig-Jones. The contribution of Makeig-Jones is not only a landmark for Wedgwood for the production of her Fairyland Lustre products, but her very status as a senior designer and a woman would have been quite out of the ordinary at a time when the suffragette movement was campaigning for rights for women.

 

Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre - Jar with Lid found on Sylvia Powell stand

Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre – Jar with Lid found on Sylvia Powell stand

Pieces from the Fairyland Lustre series come in a range of shapes, and sizes and occasionally produced on new shapes commissioned especially for this series. They are distinctive for their use of lustre and gilding and their imaginative and highly creative use of myths and stories from a range of cultures to decorate these pieces. One such piece is “Ghostly Wood”, which is a jar and cover made from bone china painted in brown with underglaze and lustre and gilt. The narrative on this piece is inspired by The Legend of Croquemitaine by Gustave Doré – a story of the French Emperor Charlemagne which involved ghosts, fairies and other fantastical creatures.

Although this series of works were extremely popular, and in many way revived Wedgwood which was struggling in the early 1900s, the economic downturn in the USA following the Wall Street Crash in 1929 put an end to the exuberant spending on these luxury items. Makeig-Jones was asked to leave Wedgwood in 1930 but refused to do so, and decided leave on her own accord shortly afterwards. Feeling betrayed as a member of the family (Doris Audrey Wedgwood married her brother, Thomas Makeig-Jones) Makeig-Jones left in a display of artistic temperament smashing her pots as she left.

Pieces of Makeig-Jone’s Fairyland Lustre can be seen, if you missed seeing them at LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair, in the collection of many museums around the world, and indeed right here in London. The piece, above, is also in the collection of the V&A museum – museum number C.70A-1988.

LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair may have finished at its home in Berkely Square for 2014, however the members of LAPADA can be found all around London and throughout the UK, and details of where to find dealers can be found here.

 

 

Affordable Art Fair – Bristol

Having never been to Bristol I was quite excited when I was invited to go to the Affordable Art Fair there last week. Located in Brunel’s Old Station, Temple Mead, AAF Bristol drew a wide variety of people, with families alongside couples and young people all in the search for something they liked. The stream of people with art wrapped up in the distinctive branded packaging leaving the fair when we arrived was encouraging and gave us confidence we were not going to be disappointed by the selection of work on display.

With some familiar galleries alongside a few new faces, we were offered sculpture, landscapes and the more unusual. Antler’s Gallery – based in Bristol – had a great selection of works by Charles Emerson and Geoff Diego Litherland. We had a chance to see some of Tim Lane‘s drawings we were even treated to a viewing of Tim’s ‘Anima Mundi’ which was the focus of a Kickstarter campaign we wrote about earlier this year in May – the work printed up and bound certainly didn’t disappoint.

Also at AAF Bristol was DegreeArt.com who had a selection on display including work by Sophie Derrick and Rogan Brown. Chantelle had enjoyed being in Bristol – and DegreeArt.com are off to Manchester next week for Buy Art Fair and then up to Edinburgh for Edinburgh Art Fair! Another familiar face at AAF Bristol was One Church Street who had a selection of works by Barry Stedman who is a recent addition to the gallery and whose three dimensional pieces perfectly compliments the abstract work of Chris Sims.

The fair was accompanied by live music, which helped create an atmosphere in which to spend a perfect Sunday afternoon. With a variety of 2D and 3D works on display, there was a variety of work to see, and buy. In a city famous for Banksy and street art, we had hoped to find some work inspired by Bristol and we were not disappointed. We had the pleasure of meeting artist Tom White whose paintings are inspired by the graffiti art around the city. On display on the Clifton Fine Art stand was his painting, Keep on the Grass , which is a painting of the Star and Garter pub which is covered in graffiti art.

The feeling of AAF Bristol was very different to any of the Affordable Art Fairs in London, having its own unique atmosphere and set of galleries which was great to see ahead of the AAF Battersea in October. Thanks for all the galleries at AAF Bristol for being so welcoming and telling us about their artists and their home city!

Bristol was a success, maybe Affordable Art Fair New York next year?

 

Header Image Comprises Highlights from Affordable Art Fair; Barry Stedman, Sophie Derrick and Georgie Woolridge (of The Paragon Gallery)

2014 – A Good Year for Art (So Far!)

As far as years go, 2014 has so far been a particularly good one for the art market – especially for works by British artists. This year has so far seen several record-breaking sales including the most made at a single auction sale and the most expensive painting ever sold at a European auction.

Francis Bacon is the artist of the moment, having broken the world record for the most expensive painting ever sold at auction in 2013 when his triptych ‘Three Studies of Lucian Freud’ sold for $142.4million (nearly £90million) at Christie’s in New York.  Bacon was again the focus of a Christie’s sale in London in February this year with ‘Portrait of George Dyer Talking’ selling for £42.2million.

Art market aside, London has been the centre of several major exhibitions so far this year with highlights including The Sunflowers at the National Gallery, the reunion of two of Vincent van Gogh’s iconic paintings, The Cut-Outs at the Tate Modern, exploring the unusual and often misunderstood technique of the great Henri Matisse and William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain, the V&A’s interpretation of the work of the well-known Architect, landscaper and furniture designer. With a huge range of exhibitions – just mentioning a few block-busters at some of the major institutions – London is proving itself a more than worthy contender for the centre of the art world so far this year!

Among the exhibitions opening in the second half of 2014, I am most excited about the rival exhibitions that the V&A and Tate Britain are staging from September 2014 – January 2015. Rival exhibitions in terms of their star artists, Constable and Turner go head to head to attract visitors to the respective museums, a competitive nature that was very much present during the artists’ lifetimes. Constable: The Making of a Master at the V&A is set to reassess John Constable’s influences and lasting legacy on art – while exploring why he has, in the words of the V&A, become “Britain’s best-loved artist”.  Late Turner – Painting Set Free at the Tate Britain is set to be the first exhibition dedicated to the later work of J.M.W. Turner (1835-1851). Tate Britain rather than claim he is the best-loved British artist, claim he is the best, using art historian John Ruskin’s famous quote that Turner was ‘the greatest of the age’.

Also about to provide an injection of art buyers and enthusiasts to the UK (as well as provide interest for UK-based art lovers) will be the upcoming art fairs. British Art Fair, LAPADA, Olympia Art and Antiques Fair and Affordable Art Fair Battersea, just to name a few are all fast approaching and all have their individual draws and attractions. As part of our offering to our clients, we welcome arts enthusiasts to sign up to our VIP Art Club – which gives members the chance to request tickets to art fairs and exhibitions as well as talks and events taking place in London, and further afield, throughout the year. If this is something that would be of interest to you, please click here to find out more.

2014 has also had the landmark announcement that the National Gallery has lifted its ban on photography and has split the public into camps of those who fear that is will spread the rise of the “selfie” at the National Gallery and those who think that sharing art will widen the audience of this important national collection.

With 2014 having started well for the art market; I hope it continues, but look forward to what the rest of the year will bring!

Masterpiece London 2014

Masterpiece London 2014 – surely there is hardly a more appropriate or fitting start to the summer season in London. Held in 2014 for its fifth year, Masterpiece London returns to the Royal Hospital Chelsea grounds in its palatial temporary home to the delight of collectors from around the world. There are over 150 international exhibitors taking part this year all with their own specialities spanning 3000 years of art and design.

Masterpiece’s promise of delivering “museum-quality art” is certainly met with highlights of the Masterpiece 2014 including a Monet (already sold for £3.2 million) and a L S Lowry painting, in his best known genre of industrial age Manchester, also available for a similar price. There is plenty aside from paintings for visitors to see and buy, with glittering diamonds and precious jewellery from Wartski and BOGH-ART to a beautiful stand of watches from Jaeger-LeCoultre – with their craftsmen demonstrating their ability live in front of the fair.

Stands varied hugely from single piece displays, “The Masterpiece” by Tim Noble and Sue Webster exhibited by Blain Southern – a piece using light to create a silhouette of double portraits from a seemingly incomprehensible mass of metal – to the museum-like aura of Philip Mould & Company‘s space exhibiting portraits by artists including Franz Xaver Winterhalter and Sir Peter Lely.

Royal Patron of Masterpiece London 2014, HRH Princess Alexandra, writes in her Patron’s Letter that the fair is important in “upholding a great historical tradition of trade in fine and decorative arts in the British capital”, and the sentiment is surely shared by every participant of the fair. Although Masterpiece London may only be 5 years old in 2014, this great fair is part of the much longer tradition of art trade in the City and is important in furthering the appeal throughout the world of London as the centre of the art market.

Heritage and innovation, tradition and development – we look forward to the year ahead and Masterpiece 2015.

 

 

Affordable Art Fair – Hampstead 2014

Comfortable in its home neighbourhood, Affordable Art Fair draws vast crowds twice a year to Battersea – making huge numbers of sales and satisfying the appetites of thousands of collectors from all over the UK and further afield.

Last week, however, saw Affordable Art Fair return to its home away from home in London – Hampstead. Without an iconic power station in sight, Hampstead has plenty to offer the art buyer venturing to NW3. In an incongruous white marquee 113 galleries assembled their curated displays, welcomed back familiar faces, and said hello to new exhibitors. With a juxtaposition of the traditional and the contemporary Hampstead supported the usual mix of work that is so iconic of AAF, wherever it may be.

With many familiar names, alongside some new artists for buyers to discover, AAF Hampstead offered a relaxed buying environment. The aim of the fair is to nurture the next generation of collectors (and indeed feed the interest of the current collectors!) and is a big part of what AAF stands for, with works ranging from £40 – £4,000.

Also making an ever-growing presence at AAF Hampstead is Own Art. An enterprise that is supporting collectors to buy works they love by providing interest free loans, split into payments over 10 months, accessed through their partner galleries. Own Art and AAF seem perfectly suited to each other and it’s encouraging seeing the number of galleries taking part with Own Art’s scheme.

So, although far from home, Hampstead this year again proved that it was indeed established as the second London location of the Affordable Art Fair. What could be better than a lovely day of browsing the fair, and buying of course, followed by a walk through Hampstead Heath… It could hardly be a more perfect sibling location to Battersea.

 

Header Image: Tom Waring, Storm Passing over Lagŵn Hotel (detail). Courtesy of Degreeart.com