Capital events this winter
This season’s London gallery shows brighten the gloom with a selection of fine paintings, contemporary photography, ceramics and art from ancient civilisations
WITH the canapé season now in full swing, it is going to be hard to do justice to all the gallery shows in London let alone elsewhere, although several will run on into, or even through, January, which may enliven that rather drab month. I mention a few here, not in order of importance or even preference, but by date of closure.
Despite his name and spending much of his career in Paris, Alfred Stevens (1823–1906) was actually a rather famous Belgian. His considerable success was offset by poor financial management and, after his death, he was forgotten in France, according to his champions at John Mitchell Fine Paintings, Avery Row, W1 (www.johnmitchell. net), because he was not French. It was also to do with changing fashion and because his style falls between the Pre-raphaelites and his friends the Impressionists. However, he was a very fine painter and his time is coming again.
The Mitchell show of 22 works, to December 16, includes one of his ‘Mappemonde’ series at £185,000. I would suggest that, as the series began in 1860, the young woman contemplating the Americas on the globe (Fig 3) has received news from the French campaign in Mexico. Other works range from £20,000 to £50,000.
Also until December 16, the Sulger-buel Lovell Gallery in Southwark, SE1 (www.sulgerbuel-lovell.com), has a show of very impressive photographs by David Lurie of urban life in Cape Town. The gallery specialises in contemporary art from the African continent and the African diaspora.
Until December 23, Jonathan Cooper’s gallery in Park Walk, Chelsea (www.jonathancooper. co.uk), will glow with Tim Hayward’s remarkable watercolours of birds and some animals. As the gallery puts it: ‘Hayward approaches his subject with an accuracy born of years of study, and a dramatic intensity that is cinematic in spirit.’
In Crown Passage, between King Street and Pall Mall, SW1, Rupert Wace Ancient Art (www. rupertwace.co.uk) has scoured cupboards and drawers for more than 100 objects from ancient civilisations to tempt refined present buyers. Highlights include Roman bronze animal brooches (Fig 4); Egyptian faience amulets, including a collection of miniature frogs; Danish Neolithic flint and stone tools; and wearable ancient jewellery, including rings, necklaces (Fig 2) and pendants.
This year, to complement the antiquities, beautiful black-andwhite photographs by Robert Mccabe of the 1950s excavations at Mycenae and copies of the recently published Mycenae from Myth to History are also for sale.
It would be wise to check Christmas closures for exhibitions continuing into the New Year. One such is Piano Nobile’s celebration of ‘Daisies and Nudes’ (Fig 1) from William Coldstream (1908–87) and his pupil Euan Uglow (1932–2000), which continues to January 14, 2017, in Portland Road, W11 (www. piano-nobile.com). Also until January 14, Dutko, the Paris Art Deco gallery now also established in Davies Street, W1 (www. dutko.com), has recent work by Béatrice Casadesus, a contemporary French artist. The title, ‘Pluies d’or’, comes from the dribbles of gold,
Fig 4 below:
Fig 3 above: ‘Mappemonde’ by Alfred Stevens. With Mitchell Fine Paintings. Peacock brooch. With Rupert Wace.
Fig 1 above: Seated Nude by Euan Uglow. At Piano Nobile. Fig 2 right: Egyptian necklace. With Rupert Wace