Monday, 22nd June 2014

logo_2015The 42nd edition of Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair closed its doors with success having attracted over 26,500 visitors from countries as far afield as Argentina, the Philippines, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Sales were reported across multiple disciplines.

Over 4,000 people attended the Preview Day, with several dealers reporting early sales. Craig Carrington saw a proliferation of red dots on his stand and sold a number of neoclassical objects for healthy five-figure sums, among them an early 19th century pair of bronze centaurs by Boschetti. Primal art dealer Clive Loveless sold two Wunda parrying swords, one of which was sold to an Australian client and another to the Garter King of Arms. New exhibitor Max Rutherston sold eleven pieces of Japanese Netsuke to an individual collector, and José Sanina sold a 19th century Chinese wine cooler within the first five minutes of the Fair. Gallery representative Leticia Goncalvez commented: “The atmosphere was amazing. There were lots of collectors who were very knowledgeable and we’ve made some great contacts. This is our first time at a UK fair and it has been a very positive experience.” Adding to the glamour of the evening, the Fair’s charity partner CLIC Sargent brought around 500 guests; Hana Tiller, Head of London Events for the charity commented: “We are well on target to raise the £100,000 net target that we set to support young people in our care at the Royal Marsden, Fulham.”

Several exhibitors made sales of Twentieth Century British Art, including Austin Desmond Fine Art, returning to the Fair after several years, who sold works by Prunella Clough, Barry Flanagan and Vanessa Bell. Bell’s 1930 painting Autumn Leaves in a Jug, which numbered amongst the works sold, carried a ticket price of £25,000. The Taylor Gallery sold works by Edward Seago, including a painting of Cromer in the region of £100,000.

Ian Walker of Walker Galleries Ltd commented “Having exhibited at Olympia for many years, and returned after a period away from the Fair, this was one of the best Olympia fairs we have ever had. We sold to clients from Portugal, United States and China.” Tony Haynes of Haynes Fine Art of Broadway stated: “We enjoyed what has proven our highest volume of sales in the past 23 years of us doing the show”, including works by L.S. Lowry, Dorothea Sharp, Andy Warhol and Banksy, a sketch by John Constable priced at £15,000 and eighteen paintings by contemporary artist Tony Karpinski.

Furniture dealers also reported sales spanning a wide spectrum of periods and styles. Patrick Sandberg Antiques sold a 19th century Sheraton style satinwood Carlton House Desk in the region of £20,000 to an American collector who had come to London especially for the Fair. Guy Dennler Antiques sold a George I serpentine side table and a pair of George III commodes, and Wakelin & Linfield sold a pair of faux bamboo Regency Bergère chairs to a new customer from Australia. S&S Timms Antiques Ltd sold a circular rosewood Regency breakfast table to an American dealer, and Anthony Outred Ltd sold two hall benches dated 1890 and a very large Spanish Planter dated 1860. Peter Bunting sold a number of pieces of oak furniture, and an Italian Atelier Fornasetti desk, circa 1990, was sold by Holly Johnson Antiques for £16,500. John Hansord of Hansord commented “We sold to new and old clients including Americans and Europeans, both trade and private buyers”.

This year Olympia welcomed a strong contingent of European dealers, from countries including Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Olivé Mayoral from Barcelona sold a work on paper by Joan Miro in the region of £100,000, and Portuguese exhibitor Manuel Castilho sold an early 17th century Mughal miniature with a ticket price of £15,000. New Italian exhibitor AJASSA sold a Qing Dynasty Family portrait and a Chinese porcelain vase, and Schütz Fine Art from Austria sold two paintings by contemporary Chinese artists Wang Xiaosong and Hua Li for a combined price of £35,000. Gallery representative Nikolaus Leskovar commented: “This is our first time at Olympia and we’ll definitely be back. I like the mixture of exhibits at the Fair – it means I meet collectors I wouldn’t otherwise meet. I really feel like I have potential here that I don’t have in other cities and fairs”.

A number of exhibitors remarked on an increase in international collectors. Jeremy Astfalck of The Old Corkscrew, commented “We have made twice as many sales as last year”, selling to collectors from New Zealand, South Africa, United States, The Netherlands, Germany and The Channel Islands. Offer Gildor of Gilden’s Art Gallery commented “We sold throughout the fair and were impressed by the quality of people. There was a good international mix, and we sold to buyers from Italy, the US, Kuwait and Brazil”. Roger Aiken of LocksonServices Ltd observed “This year we have seen a much broader geographical spread of shipping bookings and enquiries, covering countries including the United States, Singapore, Australia, Thailand, UAE, Germany, Japan and South Africa.”

Sales of smaller items were made throughout the Fair, with Alexandra Alfandary selling 13 important Meissen pieces to collectors from countries including Indonesia and Russia, and Andrew Muir, specializing in Clarice Cliff, selling over 80 items. Glass dealers Mark J West also sold over 80 pieces and M&D Moir sold an Emile Galle ship in the region of £2-3,000. Mary Cooke Antiques Ltd sold a 1769 Tea caddy modelled as a tea chest by royal silversmiths Parker & Wakelin to a buyer from America.

Jewellery exhibitors sold over the course of the event; Anthea AG Antiques Ltd made sales up to £50,000 and sold a number of pieces on the Preview Day to the US Ambassador and his wife including a pair of Kutchinsky earrings and a silver cuff by Buccellati. Dutch jewellery specialist Aimée Van Kranendonk Duffels, who gave a popular talk on the subject of Post-War American Jewellery, commented “We were very happy to see new younger collectors on our stand this year.”

A stand that attracted a significant amount of attention belonged new exhibitor ArtAncient Ltd, complete with a 7ft prehistoric cave bear skeleton. Owner Costas Paraskevaides commented: “There was a good level of well-informed buyers who were particularly interested in antiquities with a strong provenance.” Sales included a terracotta Pre-Columbian Nayarit Ball Player, a Roman Monument to Apollo, 160-170 AD (ticket price £22,000), a European Bronze Age Sword (ticket price £25,000), and five ancient coins priced between £5,000 – £10,000. A particular highlight of this year’s edition was a guest exhibition celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Art Nouveau designer Archibald Knox, organised in association with the Archibald Knox Society.

Showcasing the largest collection of Knox’s silverware and metalwork ever displayed in a single venue, the exhibition attracted visitors from Nottingham to Cincinnati. Alongside this non-selling exhibition, a number of dealers reported sales of British Art Nouveau items; Titus Omega sold a Liberty & Co Silver tankard designed by Archibald Knox for £38,500, and Jeroen Markies sold a large painting by Scottish Art Nouveau artist Robert Burns A.R.S.A. with a ticket price of £18,500.

Alongside the Fair’s 141 exhibitors, Olympia also hosted a dynamic events programme with eminent speakers from institutions such as the British Museum, V&A, National Portrait Gallery and Sotheby’s Institute. The final day of the programme, which consisted of a series of three lectures organised by VIEW: A Festival of Art History in association with Institut français, proved especially popular. The programme also included lectures by leading interior designers and decorators Roger Jones, Mario Buatta and Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill, whose talk “The Life of the House: How Rooms Evolve” was organised in association with the British Institute of Interior Design. Benjamin Aardewerk of Holly Johnson Antiques commented: “We noticed major interior designers were roaming the Fair”; and indeed a number of exhibitors sold to US decorator Rose Tarlow, including Wakelin & Linfield and Robert Barley Antiques, who had one of the best fairs of recent years. Fair Director, Mary Claire Boyd, commented: “Founded over forty years ago, the Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair is the most established art and antiques fair in London, and yet again our exhibitors put on a really fantastic event. This year we were delighted to welcome many returning dealers as well as a strong contingent of new exhibitors from around the world, collectively offering a remarkable range of quality art, antiques, furniture and collector’s pieces. There were encouraging sales across all of the Fair’s diverse disciplines, and a notable increase in international collectors, setting a very positive precedent for next year’s Fair.”

The Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair 2014 was at the Olympia Exhibition Centre, Kensington, London, from 6th until 15th June 2014.


David Franchi – Wednesday, 19th March 2014.

Antlers Gallery, Charles Emerson, The Fullness of Now, Photographic Prize

Antlers Gallery, Charles Emerson, The Fullness of Now, Photographic Prize

The Affordable Art Fair Spring Edition 2014 was a successful event. Many visitors at theBattersea Park, London, venue and a sales increase were reported by many galleries.

This edition of the Affordable Art Fair presented the Project Space Collective – a new platform for emerging and experimental artists.

The Project Space Collective was a hub for different galleries displaying artworks not always expected to a conventional art fair, such as multimedia installations, curated exhibitions and solo presentations together with an assorted mix of galleries and artists.

Involved in the Project Space Collective was a new media exhibition by the revolutionary Kinetica Museum which discovers artistic innovation from artists of all kinds. The gallery BEARSPACE based in Deptford, instead, presented a startling, Dean Brierley’s ChromaFlair, a showcase of watercolours and paintings in a totally surprising and unexpected context. The gallery PAPER, from Manchester, investigated the lasting legacy of the Surrealists on contemporary artists, whilst the always appealing Jotta Contemporary brought together works by artists exploring ideas of familiarity and alienation. Slate Projects reintroduced the handmade into contemporary photography through the works of Gareth Berwyn, Tamsin Relly and Rankle & Reynolds, whilst Brixton Village-based Knight Webb Gallery continue their celebrated series of offsite projects known as The Brixton Experiment.

The team promoting South London’s stimulating new art, Slam, provided particularly tailored tours for first time collectors or anyone curious about emerging artists.

Another new event was the Burlesque Life Drawing Studio by Frui, which lasted for one night only. Frui is a creative learning holiday company to try their hand at life drawing.

The Affordable Art Fair the chosen beneficiary charity, at this year’s Battersea Fair, was Fight For Sight. As the UK’s main charity that funds eye research to prevent sight loss and treat eye disease, it has the support of a number of exhibiting galleries.

A striking site-specific installation was commissioned to Rob Mulholland by the Affordable Art Fair. The Scottish-born sculptor is identified for his provoking, conceptual installations which explore our elaborated relationship with nature. Located just outside the AAF for visitors approaching the fair, “No Boundaries” was an ethereal, never-before-seen installation, made of a series of mirrored figures, some standing, some levitating in the air and mirrored architectural cubes set in amongst the trees surrounding the fair.

This year the Affordable Art Fair presented some of the dazzling female stars, such as a captivating photographic fine art print from the British photographer Kirsty Mitchell, or a beautifully intricate illustration from London – based Kristjana S. Williams together with Kirsty Wither, Amy Judd and Candice Tripp.

The Affordable Art Fair has revolutionised and democratised the art market with its fun and accessible approach, bringing art under £4,000 to its three UK locations: Battersea Park, Hampstead Heath, and Bristol. The concept has become a global phenomenon with 18 fairs in 14 cities across 4 continents.

Affordable Art Fair was at Battersea Park, London, from 13th March until 16th March 2014.


David Franchi – Thursday, 22nd January 2014

Barbara Hepworth, Kneeling Figure (1932) Rosewood. Courtesy of Wakefield Permanent Art Collection © Bowness, Hepworth Estate/Photograph: Norman Taylor

Barbara Hepworth, Kneeling Figure (1932) Rosewood. Courtesy of Wakefield Permanent Art Collection © Bowness, Hepworth Estate/Photograph: Norman Taylor

The crowded London Art Fair 2014 was successful. At its 26th edition, London Art Fair confirms to be the leading event for Modern British and Contemporary art in the UK.

You can get lost in the Business Design Centre, in Angel, Islington, there is so much to see and to attend to. London Art Fair 2014 hosted 128 galleries from all over the world. It is an encouraging space for all kind of collectors with prices for all budgets. It is an excellent place for vendors as well, allowing business from emerging galleries to affirmed Mayfair ones.

The programme presented by London Art Fair 2014 was appealing with curated exhibitions, talks, tours, films and performances.

The galleries at the London Art Fair 2014showed pieces of talented new artists together with such more established, including Mirò, Picasso, Damien Hirst, Francis Bacon, David Hockney, Peter Blake, Lichtenstein, Eduardo Paolozzi, Alan Davie and Prunella Clough just to name a few.

New features for 2014 included the Fair’s first museum partnership, which saw The Hepworth Wakefield present a unique exhibition of British Modernism, and a new series of international ‘Dialogues’, curated by Adam Carr of MOSTYN to mark the 10th edition of the critically acclaimed Art Projects section. Photo50, the Fair’s annual showcase of contemporary photography, is this year entitled ‘Immaterial Matter’ and curated by Charlie Fellowes and Jeremy Epstein, Directors of Edel Assanti.

The Hepworth Wakefield was curated by Frances Guy, Head of Collection and Exhibitions at The Hepworth Wakefield, ‘Barbara Hepworth and the Development of British Modernism’, sponsored by Hiscox. It focused on how the museum’s enlightened commitment to the work of young contemporary artists in the 1920s and 1930s led to the preservation of this key moment in British art history.

Curated by Adam Carr, ‘Dialogues’ is a new initiative for 2014 featuring collaborative presentations between invited UK and international galleries. With many of these galleries and artists working together for the first time, the section promises a unique exhibition of critical conversations around shared ideas or a common aesthetic. Currently curator at MOSTYN, Wales, Adam Carr has previously been guest curator for Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Turin and Kadist Art Foundation, Paris. The ‘Dialogues’ galleries are: DREI, Cologne / Limoncello, London; Galeria Stereo, Warsaw / The Sunday Painter, London; SABOT, Romania / Maria Stenfors, London; Frutta, Rome / Seventeen, London.

New galleries for 2014 included Brooklyn’s Muriel Guépin Gallery and Paris based UN-SPACED, with a solo presentation by Éric

Sadamasa Motonaga, 'Small Work', 1961, oil and synthetic resin on panel. Courtesy of Whitestone Gallery

Sadamasa Motonaga, ‘Small Work’, 1961, oil and synthetic resin on panel. Courtesy of Whitestone Gallery

Tabuchi. Galerie E.G.P, also from Paris, showcased two artists – Oliver Bragg and Nicholas Portalupi – whose work shares an interest in fictional and parallel universes. Further highlights included group shows by BEARSPACE, Ceri Hand Gallery, dalla Rosa Gallery, THE RESIDENCE GALLERY and Vane.

Art Projects also hosted the launch of The Catlin Guide 2014, featuring the cream of art school graduates from around the UK; and solo shows from British rising stars such as Nicole Morris, who has recently been nominated for the Max Mara Prize for female artists, at Space In Between, and Alison Erika Forde at The International 3.

Photo50 is the annual guest-curated exhibition of contemporary photography. Entitled ‘Immaterial Matter’, the 2014 exhibition was curated by Charlie Fellowes and Jeremy Epstein, Directors of Edel Assanti.

Each year, Photo50 provides a critical showcase of some of the most interesting and distinctive elements of current photographic practice. ‘Immaterial Matter’ examines the increasingly indiscernible distinction between the digital and the material. The 50 artworks selected investigated our understanding of these two classifications, and to what extent they effectively delineate our world and our fields of experience in the information age.

At the London Art Fair 2014 An extensive programme of tours, talks and critical debates took place throughout the week in association with key partners such as Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Iniva, PhotoVoice, Apollo magazine, Own Art and Vital Arts.

Sponsors and partners for the London Art Fair 2014 included Air Partner, Infiniti, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Lund Humphries, Hiscox, Natuzzi, Expofreight and Drummond Read Recruitment.

London Art Fair was at the Business Design Centre, Islington, from 15th to 19th January 2014.


David Franchi – Thursday, 7th November 2013

Madchen by Mel Ramos (2009) © Photo London Art

Madchen by Mel Ramos (2009) © Photo London Art

At its 7th edition, PAD – Pavilion of Art and Design 2013, London, has been another successful event. Located in Mayfair, one of the art hotspots of London, PAD is known for its capacity and expertise to connect the best coming from many different areas.

The London PAD edition 2013 has seen a total of 60 exhibitors coming from 12 countries. PAD 2013 offered a view on museum-quality works from some of the leading international galleries of the world.

PAD usually focuses on the main subject of modern art, design, decorative arts, tribal art, photography and jewellery. For the 2013 edition also Antiquities and Japanese Art were present.

Despite been organised during the Frieze Art Fair week, therefore in between many others art events, PAD London 2013 Revealed very good sales figures.

PAD London 2013 is a good event about contemporary design. The galleries that joined the fair included some of the best in the world, while 20th Century design also has seen the participation of more exhibitors, and turn-of-the-century furniture was represented by Atelier DL and Oscar Graf.

Ranging from Impressionist drawings to post-war abstract paintings, the selection of works presented by new modern art galleries was of exceptional value and excellent origin.

This year was set to be the strongest yet for tribal art at PAD with the added participation of Bernard Dulon, whose collection of African art has attracted the attention of renowned institutions and museums worldwide. The field of antiquities was also introduced with David Ghezelbash and Gordian Weber Kunsthandel exhibiting a range of exceptional works from ancient Rome, Egypt and Greece. Japanese art and armour made a first-time appearance at PAD with expert gallery Jean-Christophe Charbonnier.

The PAD London -Moët Hennessy Prize 2013 was also assigned. The winners were Valentin Loellmann, with “Spring Summer” (2013) for contemporary Design; Paul Dupré – Lafon “Ski Bar” (1929) for the 20th Century Decorative Arts; and the Best Stand was Hamiltons Gallery, London. The prestigious judging panel, chaired by Jasper Conran, and including architect Amanda Levete, designer Tom Dixon and Serpentine Gallery director Julia Peyton-Jones.

The innovative design project “MwangaBora” by Evans Wadongo has been displayed. It is made of solar lamps which are changing

Zao Wou Ki (1996) © Photo London Art

Zao Wou Ki (1996) © Photo London Art

lives in rural Kenya, where they are substituting the dangerous kerosene lamps and firelight commonly used. A celebrated Kenyan engineer Wadongo was named a CNN Hero in 2010. The project was conceived by fashion designer Reed Krakoff. The lamps will be sold to benefit Wadongo’s organisation Sustainable Development for All Kenya (SDFA-Kenya), a not-for-profit that creates opportunities for education, sustainable development and economic empowerment throughout Africa.

Another exciting addition was the “1 Picasso for 100 Euros” raffle. It was a fundraiser event in which 100 euro tickets could be bought during the fair for a chance to win Pablo Picasso gouache on paper “L’homme au Gibus” estimated by Sotheby’s at $1,000,000. The raffle was organised by International Association to Save Tyre, established to protect the UNESCO World Heritage site in Lebanon.

Also another raffle was made to support CLIC Sargent a charity that helps children with cancer, ticket for £10 to win a piece of commissioned jewellery designed by Vicki Sarge.

At the PAD London everything is accurately designed including the Ruinart Champagne Bar and Restaurant that for the 2013 edition was designed by Paris-based interior architect Charles Zana, and it contained a self-playing piano by Dutch designer Maarten Baas, and lighting by the Japanese design studio Nendo.

PAD London was at Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London, from 16th to 20th October2013.