• Auction Houses feeling the benefits of a revival of Modern British Art

    Guest Blog from Work Experience Placement, Harry Edmonds
    Sotheby’s are offering a preview of the Bowie collection in an exhibition at New Bond Street

    “The only real extravagance I spend money on is art” so said David Bowie, the great innovator of British popular music, in an interview with Jeremy Paxman in 1999. His sad passing earlier this year, has led to Sotheby’s securing the sale of some 400 personal items to be auctioned in three sales this November. Modern British Art was central to Bowie’s Collection with the likes of Frank Auerbach and Harold Gilman appealing to his South London roots, as well as other Modern British artists inspired by the British landscape such as Ivon Hitchens and Ben Nicholson. These British artists “led him home” according to Simon Hucker, Senior Specialist in Modern & Post-War British Art at Sotheby’s.

     

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  • Far Eastern Contemporary Art In London’s West End Galleries

    by Guest blog from our work experience placement, Izzie Trew Jiang Zhi, White Cube

    The White Cube in Masons Yard and Victoria Miro Mayfair, on St George Street are both showing exhibitions of Far Eastern art, both exhibitions include well established artists from China and Japan and deal with aspects like ‘representation versus abstraction’ and exploration of ‘the self’s relationship to the infinite cosmos’.

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  • Arts & Crafts Renaissance

    by Sarah Ward, Guest blog Handmade at Kew

    During the past decade, the demand for handmade products has skyrocketed in popularity. Craftsmanship in particular has experienced a rise in popularity, as people are demanding more from their art – in a world of bland mass-production, to own something individual is enhancing. It’s a pleasure to have something that is made with love and made by hand. Becoming increasingly aware of the stories behind their artwork, people are seeking to adorn themselves and their homes with unique items that they are able to tell a story about.

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  • Oh, London!

    by Phoebe Ladenberg The Weiss Gallery: Cornelius Johnson, Charles II as Prince of Wales

    Oh, London! I don’t think many of us have felt more at the beating (palpitating) heart of the action than we have over the past few weeks. As our island bobs on this choppy sea, and the rats abandon ship at an astonishing rate, many people in our city attempt to set it apart from the rest, for better or worse. The demonstration on Saturday 2 July was a largely peaceful, happy affair, but charged with political conviction and fervour: placards reading “S.O.S.” and “I will always love EU” were humorous pleas to those on the continent not to leave us behind.

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  • The PAIAM Brexit Poll

    What effects can a potential Brexit have on the UK art market?
    by Antonia Kimbell, Guest blog The PAIAM Brexit Poll

    The UK membership from not-for-profit association Professional Advisors to the International Art Market, PAIAM, were invited to participate in a poll on Brexit. Asked whether they believed the UK should remain in the European Union, 80% said they did. The full responses including what effects a potential Brexit would have on the UK Art Market are detailed below.

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  • Telling Tales: the power of story in the media

    by Phoebe Ladenberg Russian-born American ballerina and Hollywood actress, Tamara Toumanova, whose pearl and aquamarine suite was sold by Sandra Cronan at the BADA Fair in 2013

    We’re often talking to clients about how and why some pieces, events or exhibitions get publicity and others don’t. The truth is, when working with the media, the reason is not necessarily the artistic merits of the work alone, but the story surrounding it. There are some key factors that are very likely to capture a journalist’s attention and get the client the exposure they are looking for.

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  • Fair Game

    by Imogen Prus London Art Fair, 2011

    Over the last decade the art market has seen a fundamental change in the way that artworks are purchased. There has been a shift away from the gallery-based model of yesteryear when interactions were key but nuanced and often indiscernible to new audiences. This was a time when it was unsightly to publicly display a price and names were frequently dropped all over the floor. I think that it is safe to say we now occupy a much more democratic and approachable space in which to buy art. There are a number of factors driving this shift; but for the sake of simplicity I have narrowed it down to two.

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  • How to catch people’s attention and win consignments

    by Freya Simms Highclere House, Historic Houses Association

    Question: How can I alert people locally that the auction house I run is seeking consignments (and quality ones at that)?

     

    One of the most effective ways to target the ‘right’ audience and increase the value of consignments is through complimentary local partnerships. Partnership marketing (as it is called) can pay real dividends, whether fostered through creating joint events or by securing the use of a third party opted-in database to access a new audience through effective direct marketing. 

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  • Top Trumps

    by Annie McGrath Sarah Levy ‘#BloodyTrump’

    It is difficult to know how to caricature a man who is already doing a very good job of that by himself, a man who seems beyond parody. Yet, in the lead up to the 2016 US presidential election, the art world has seen some excellent depictions of Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump. Here are my Top Trumps…

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  • Technology vs Art

    by Lucy Barry The Next Rembrandt

    In the last two weeks it seems one can hardly read an arts article in the newspaper without the relationship between art and technology coming up. It manifests itself in two primary ways – one is examining how technology and science are pushing the boundaries of artistic practice, either challenging the artist to produce bigger, bolder, ‘better’ art, enabling the recreation of lost or stolen master works, or by removing the need for the artist altogether. The second, which I won’t explore in depth here, is how technology, particularly social media, is opening up the art market to more artists than ever before.

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  • Here’s Looking at You - Vogue 100: A Century of Style

    by Rosie Field © Henry Bourne’s portrait of Boris Johnson

    The National Portrait Gallery’s current exhibition celebrating 100 years of Vogue is a must see on the never ending to-do list of the capital’s cultural offerings. The exhibition presents viewers with an historic selection of over 280 prints which have, at one time or another, made up the beautiful, glossy pages of British Vogue since its conception in 1916.

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  • I spy, documentary photography in the limelight

    by Imogen Prus Wall Street, New York, 1915 Paul Strand

    Over the past two decades photography has transformed into an unrecognizable beast. This is due to the mediums close relationship to technology, which as we know, updates and moves at a relentless rate. As our tech continues to develop we can explore new ways to take and share images. The boundaries between public and private are constantly being negotiated and re-negotiated and during this flux we must all work hard to ensure that our images, and image, remain safe and intact. 

     

     

     

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  • Modern Mapping: Digital History Projects

    by Charly Hancock © National Museum of the Royal Navy

    Cartography, the study and practice of making maps, enable one to present and model a reality in order to communication, explain or navigate their way through the world. From cave paintings to 18th century globes, ancient maps of Greece to maps from the Age of Exploration, right up to the digital maps of the 21st century, people have used maps to present and communicate spatial information. Although printed and physical maps produce a tangible way of interacting with our world both past and present, the use of digital tools have helped change the way we see – and record – the physical world.

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  • Is Sotheby’s taking over the art market?

    by Freya Simms Sotheby's

    What is it about a stint at Sotheby’s auction house that turns out such polished and dynamic business leaders? With over 1,500 people employed globally, the long-established company seems to incubate a crowd of impressive entrepreneurs and market disrupters. There is even an exclusive club of Sotheby’s alumni called ex1744 that is full to bursting with successful people chewing the fat about challenges to the art market and the opportunities there for the taking.

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  • Cultural Bucket List, 2016

    by Charly Hancock Tate Modern

    On the close of the first week back after the festive break, plan your year ahead with our top things to do in 2016...

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  • It's the most wonderful time of the year...

    by Annie McGrath Joseph Wright of Derby, A.R.A. DERBY 1734 - 1797, A GROTTO IN THE GULF OF SALERNO, WITH THE FIGURE OF JULIA, BANISHED FROM ROME

    The season of goodwill kicked off in a remarkable way at Sotheby’s this month where a painting by Joseph Wright sold for £665,000, with proceeds going towards helping Syrian refugees in Greece. This was over four times the price the painting was expected to go for.

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  • ‘Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection’

    A rare insight into a private collection
    by Lucy Barry Ornament, Aigrette, Paul Iribe, Turban ornament with carved emerald of platinum, with a large hexagonal carved Indian emerald from 1850–1900, with millegrain-set diamonds and channel-set calibrécut sapphires.

    For historical insight into the Mughal empire, a comprehensive examination of the creative influence of this period in antique, modern and contemporary jewellery design, and an afternoon with some sensational jewels look no further than the recently opened ‘Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection’ at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

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  • Willem Baron van Dedem 1929 - 2015

    This interview was first published in TEFAF's Silver Jubilee publication, 2012
    by Diana Cawdell WILLEM BARON VAN DEDEM

    The Passionate Collector who became TEFAF’s President

     

    “There are two things that make me want to buy a painting”, says Willem Baron van Dedem, who is both a renowned collector of Dutch and Flemish paintings and, for the past 15 years, President of TEFAF. “Firstly it must warm my heart and secondly it must be in a good state of preservation”.

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  • A Museum a day keeps the Doctor away…

    by Hermione Wace Battersea Power Station

    We are a nation with a healthy appetite for heritage. Last year 71 million people visited museums in the UK, and 95% of adults in the UK agree that it is important to look after our heritage. UK citizens have the 4th highest participation rate for visiting cultural heritage, 25% higher than the European average. And visits to historic properties (58.6m) outnumber visits to all premier and league football matches by some 15 million.

     

    Perhaps this is unsurprising given that England is renowned the world over for its museums and heritage sites, from Gothic cathedrals to historic ships, and Regency mansions to Norman castles. These iconic locations are not only symbols of our national and identity, but continue to make the UK an appealing destination for tourists from around the world. 

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  • Living Histories

    by Charly Hancock © The Mary Rose Museum

    The traditional museum display is constructed around objects, thus making material culture a key constituent of most museum interpretation narratives. The origin of this model can be traced in some part to private collections maintained by prominent individuals during the Renaissance. Many of the significant museums in the world opened during the 18th century, an era when the trend of collecting reached a climax. Private collections of art, objects, rare books and curiosities functioned as symbols of social prestige, and it was through the collection and consumption of objects that one acquired knowledge and superiority. With a concern for the continuity of collections, as well as a development in thinking which prioritised public education, many of these private collections were left to the state. 

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  • Curated stands at art fairs – a new way of selling?

    by Anna Kirrage Tomasso Brothers Fine Art

    Walking round Frieze Masters last week the trend for the ‘curated’ stand was overwhelmingly evident.

     

    This came in the form of curated exhibitions of works - in some cases with loan pieces to inform the selection, stands dedicated to a solo artist or stands devoted to single private collections. At the extreme end of this, and the most show-stopping, was the all-encompassing ‘immersion’ on the stand of Helly Nahmad at Frieze Masters, which started last year with the recreation of a Parisian collector’s apartment, and continued in 2015 with a depiction of the mental asylum that housed many of the Art Brut disciples of Dubuffet alongside several of Dubuffet’s paintings.

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  • Leading the Weiwei

    Ai Weiwei at The Royal Academy of Arts
    by Georgina Inglis Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy

    The world has been waiting agog for the latest show at the Royal Academy of Arts: an impressive summation of works by contemporary artist and political activist Ai Weiwei. Featuring significant works from 1993 onwards, the year that Ai returned to China after more than a decade in New York, the exhibition is profound, powerful and deeply political.

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  • For the love of spinels...

    “There is also… an other kydne of rubies which wee caule spinelle” Richard Eden, 16th century alchemist, 1555
    by Freya Simms Bonhams

    What better way to start the week than to be dazzled by jewels and to be treated to a sneak preview of Bonhams upcoming auction of fine jewels to be held this Thursday, 24th September at Bonhams, Bond Street? One of the benefits of having been in the art market for a number of years working across auction houses, fairs and galleries is the rich and varied network you acquire along the way and the access it can bring.

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  • Restoration vs Conservation

    by Hermione Wace Restored fresco of three women from Knossos

    In 1900 the eccentric but celebrated English antiquarian Arthur Evans began a career-defining archaeological dig near Heraklion in Crete. There he would uncover the ruins of the Palace of Knossos, the largest and most splendid Minoan settlement on the island. 

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  • Preserve the Critic

    by Tony Thorncroft, Guest blog Covent Garden Theatre as drawn by Augustus Pugin and Thomas Rowlandson, engraving 1808

    The Chichester Festival Theatre launches its summer season with a small drinks party for the critics, especially the critics of the national newspapers who are happy to come down from London for the first night. Around ten years ago the reviewers looked slightly mystified. 

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  • The Therapeutic Qualities of Art

    We should all be making as well as looking
    by Abi Gold The Therapeutic Qualities of Art

    It’s amazing that working in the art world, there is so little time for being creative oneself. Of course, our work at Golden2 Consulting has lots of creative merit; writing, brainstorming ideas, thinking strategically about clients needs and goals, and discussing the attributes of the visual arts we are lucky enough to work amongst daily.

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  • Museums: Is Free Entry Sustainable?

    by Charly Hancock The National Gallery, London

    The re-opening of York City Art Gallery after a two and a half year redevelopment should have been a celebration for the city, however the introduction of a £7.50 entry fee has sparked national discussion about whether free access to art is a right, or whether we should indeed be paying for our museums and galleries.

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  • ‘Staycationing’ in London? What to see and do this August…

    by Lucy Barry ‘Reclining Form’, by Barbara Hepworth, 1959. Offered by Offer Waterman & Co at Masterpiece London 2015.

    Come the autumn, London will be awash with stellar exhibitions, the monumental ‘Frieze Week’, and a host of high profile auctions.  While many galleries take August as their holiday month there are still fantastic exhibitions and shows to see if you aren’t flying off to sunny weather elsewhere. Here are our top 4 things to see this August:

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  • Edinburgh Art Festival

    by Olivia Palazzo Callum Innes, The Regent Bridge, 2012. Photograph by Stuart Armitt. Courtesy of Edinburgh Art Festival

    The month of August sees thousands of tourists descend upon Scotland’s capital city for the infamous Edinburgh Fringe Festival. With the city’s population almost doubling at this time, surveys show that the majority of the half a million visitors flock to Edinburgh for the notorious comedy scene. However, running parallel to the 3,000-odd shows that fall under the Edinburgh Fringe is Edinburgh Art Festival, the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art. The festival brings together the capital’s museums, galleries and artist-run spaces to create an extensive events programme which celebrates UK and international artists across all ages. 

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  • It’s written in the Stars…

    by Freya Simms Daniel Crouch Rare Books, Apianus, Petrus Astronomicum Caesareum. Ingolstadt, Peter Apian, 1540.

    Some of the earliest evidence of man on earth demonstrates our perpetual quest to understand exactly where we are at a given time and place. Mapmaking has been an integral part of the human history for thousands of years from cave paintings to ancient maps of Babylon, Greece, and Asia, through the Age of Exploration, and on into the 21st century. People have created and used maps as essential tools to help them define, explain, and navigate their way through the world.  The earliest known maps are of the heavens, not the earth. Dots dating to 16,500 BC found on the walls of the Lascaux caves map out part of the night sky, including the three bright stars Vega, Deneb, and Altair as well as the Pleiades star cluster.

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  • Whither the Old Master Market

    by Diana Cawdell Galerie Eric Coatelem at TEFAF 2015. Photo: Harry Heuts

    The recent round of Old Master sales in London has been covered widely and inevitably the rather lacklustre results raise questions about the health and future of the Old Master market. It’s a market in decline.  It’s a market that’s dying.  It’s a market that’s dead.  So claim the naysayers.

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  • London Art Week 2015

    by Georgina Inglis The Weiss Gallery, Cornelius Johnson, An Unknown Lady, Painted 1624, Oil on panel, 77.5 x 61 cm

    We are coming to the end of London Art Week (3-10 July 2015), and Mayfair and St James’s has been awash with collectors, curators and art enthusiasts gallery-hopping from one dealer to another in an area historically famed for its arts community.

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  • IT’S GOOD TO TALK.

    by Annie McGrath Crowd Talks

    In my foundation year at Camberwell College, I remember asking my tutor if I could go to the library and, without a hint of irony, he said: “you can, but don’t get suffocated by all the knowledge”. I laughed, before realising that he definitely wasn’t joking. 

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  • Art Fairs: The Auction House alternative for dealers

    Originally published in the May 2015 issue of Arts Industry
    by Tony Thorncroft, Guest blog  Ben Janssens, Bronze ritual food vessel Gui

    One of the familiar London experiences of a generation or so ago was to stroll down Bond Street or Cork Street, glancing in at the ubiquitous art galleries crowding there, to observe a bored young Sloane painting her nails and waiting desperately for a potential customer. It is an image of the past. Now many of those galleries will have transmogrified into global fashion shops and, in those that linger on, the listless girl will have been replaced by a harassed man anxiously searching a computer for an internet sale. Today the passing trade has all but disappeared for art and antique dealers: business is done mainly online – or at art fairs. 

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  • Dorotheum’s Contemporary Art sale

    by Anna Kirrage Dorotheum, Enrico Castellani (born Castelmassa, Rovigo in 1930) ‘Superficie’, 1960, titled, signed and dated Castellani 1960 on the stretcher, canvas in relief, 100 x 120 cm Schätzwert/Estimate

    Dorotheum’s Contemporary Art sale, held in Vienna on the evening of 10th June, offered for sale the auction house’s most international roster of artists yet. Alongside works by Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Victor Vasarely and Marc Quinn, was a group of masterpieces by the famed Italian avant-garde school which included artists like Fontana, Manzoni, Bonalumi, Castellani, Scheggi and Melotti.

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  • All the Fun of the Fairs

    by Hermione Wace Photo: Masterpiece London 2015

    June has arrived, and with it London will see an influx of international collectors, art professionals and aficionados flocking to this month’s veritable feast of art fairs, auctions and exhibitions. The first of the art fairs is Art Antiques London (12-18 June) returning for its fifth edition in Kensington Gardens. It is followed by Olympia International Art & Antiques that will move its dates to 19-28 June, in order to coincide with major Impressionist and Modern art auctions as well as Masterpiece London. The latter will open its door on 25 June, and after only four years is firmly established on the global art calendar. For those on the preview circuit, the excitement continues throughout London Art Week (3-10 July) in which 44 galleries and 3 auction houses will participate.

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  • A-Mazed: Photo London 2015

    by Abi Gold Teddy BamBam ©Jocelyn Bain Hogg courtesy ATLAS Gallery

    Last weekend, the largest photography fair ever staged in London took place at Somerset House.The weekend event welcomed over 20,000 visitors to 70 international galleries exhibiting vintage and rare prints, and contemporary and new work by both established and emerging talent. Also included were 3 special exhibitions, installations in the courtyard, and a varied talks programme.

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  • Sculpture shines at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

    by Charly Hancock Sculpture by the Lakes's stand at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

    Amongst the roses and dahlias, at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show, there was an overwhelming presence of outdoor sculpture. One key trend was the use of recycled materials from Laura Antebi's galvanised steel wire sculptures and James Doran Webb's driftwood horses, to the weird and wonderful shell-encrusted animals by Polly Fields, which included a frightfully elaborate Tyrannosaurus Rex head.

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  • Golden² Consulting

    by Hermione Wace Photo: Rory Lindsay

    Golden Square is fast-becoming a hot spot for the London art scene. Since 2007 it has housed the Frith Street Gallery, with its exhibition programme of leading contemporary artists and emerging talent. But is was the opening of the palatial Marian Goodman Gallery in October 2014, with an inaugural exhibition of Gerhard Richter that really put this corner of Soho on the map. This is not to mention Sadie Coles’ nearby premises on Kingly Street, Pace Gallery on Lexington Street and pop-up gallery Herald St on the Square itself. The newest addition to this impressive line-up is not a gallery, but multi-faceted arts business Golden² Consulting. 

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