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Galleries in St. James’s and Mayfair Gear up to Host the Inaugural London Art Week
June 10, 2013  | 

London Art Week is an exciting joint venture that unites Master Paintings Week with Master Drawings and Sculpture Week (formerly Master Drawings London). During this year’s inaugural London Art Week, which takes place from 28th June – 5th July 2013, some of the world’s foremost paintings, drawings and sculpture specialists are displaying a diverse range of works from the 1st century BC to the 20th century. By joining together to hold a series of coordinated exhibitions in galleries in St. James and Mayfair, exhibiting fine art dealers are giving collectors, both private and institutional, the opportunity to view of some of the finest works available on the market.

London Art Week creates a coherent platform for these two well-respected and established events. More than 50 specialist dealers across the fine art disciplines and the major London auction houses will take part in this new initiative. A single map listing the location of all participants will make it easier for collectors to navigate the week.

Antiquities dealer Rupert Wace brings a Late Hellenistic marble torso of an athlete (c. 2nd-1st century BC, pictured below) inspired by Polykleitos, one of the most influential Greek sculptors of the High Classical Period. The youthful figure with well-defined musculature, stands with his weight on his right leg, emphasising Polykleitos’ theories of rhythm and proportion and it the finest example of its type ever come across by the gallery. Sculpture specialist, Sam Fogg is exhibiting an exquisite sculpture by Niccolo di Giovanni Fiorentino (1467 – 1506) of The Virgin Annunciate from Dalmatia dates from the third quarter of the 15th century. This impressive statue is carved in Istrian stone and, while the drapery retains some traces of the Gothic style, the broad, rounded face with its docile expression is reminiscent of Madonnas by some Renaissance masters. Benjamin Proust is showing a Profile Relief of Faustina the Elder by the Venetian sculptor, Simone Bianco (circa 1512 – 1553), executed circa 1535. This relief is a new discovery and an addition to Bianco's corpus. Inspired by the antique, Bianco brings a humanist sensibility to his interpretation of Roman portraits. Alberto & Alessandra Di Castro from Rome are displaying an exceptional collection of sixteen paintings, all oil on lapis lazuli and executed in Rome, Florence and Bologna between the late 16th and 17th centuries. The artistic and historical value of the collection is exceptional and includes Flight into Egypt by Jacques Stélla (1596 - 1657). Tomasso Brothers Fine Art is exhibiting an Italian white marble bust of the Emperor Carcalia (reigned 198 – 217 A.D.), signed and dated ‘joseph claus fecit 1757’ on the central black pilaster and is from the collection of The Hon. Stephen Tennant of Wilsford Manor, Wiltshire. A pair of terracotta sculptures, Adonis with a Hunting Dog and A Bacchante, c. 1708 by Pierre-Etienne Monnot form one of the highlights of the exhibition, entitled Late Baroque Italian Sculpture and other Fine Works, being mounted by Trinity Fine Art Ltd and Carlo Orsi.

Didier Aaron is bringing Saint Cecilia by the German artist Joseph Werner the Younger (1637 – 1710), founding director of the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin and a prolific miniaturist. The drawing was executed in the 1660s at the height of Werner’s career, in the ‘pointillist’ style, which is typical of his work from this period. From around the same period and also from Germany, Crispian Riley- Smith Fine Arts Limited, whose exhibition, ‘The Art of Botanical Pictures: Still Lifes and Plants’, is devoted to 18th-century botanical material, is exhibiting Iris Susiana, from the German School, circa 1700. This watercolour was part of an album of 290 bound watercolours. Riley-Smith is also exhibiting a charming botanical drawing by Dutch artist Maria Margaretha van Os (1779 – 1862) entitled, A Vase of Flowers with a Blue Iris, Rose and Carnation on a Ledge from the early 19th century as well as Tulips, Carnations Blue Bells in a Vase with a Still-Life of Butterfly and Snail, 1806 by the celebrated Dutch artist, Cornelia Maria Haakman (1787 – 1834). A number of important British works are being exhibited: Stephen Ongpin Fine Art offers drawings from Old Masters to the 20th century. Included in his selection is Wooded Landscape with a Country Cart and Faggot Gatherers (1760s), in brown ink with grey, green and pink washes and touches of white, by Thomas Gainsborough, R.A. (1727 – 1788) while, from the 20th century, he is showing Portrait of Wayne Sleep, 1969, by David Hockney, R.A. (b. 1937). This is a splendid example of one of Hockney’s pen and ink line portrait drawings, which have been hailed as ‘some of the most beautiful, elegant and radically economical life studies of the twentieth century’ (Marco Livingstone). A principal dancer at the Royal Ballet, Sleep first met Hockney in 1967, and the two became good friends. The drawing belonged to the art critic and curator Gene Baro, and has since been in a private collection.

Bowman Sculpture, specialist in late 19th-century and early 20th-century European sculpture, is exhibiting The Sluggard by Frederic Lord Leighton (1830 – 1896), a work that was originally called Athlete Awakening from Sleeping. This bronze is a sketch for the finished work and one of an edition cast by Singer and Sons of Frome in association with Arthur Leslie Collie, c. 1890. Lowell Libson Ltd is exhibiting a collection of 20 oil studies and 40 drawings by James Ward R.A. (1769 – 1859) that illuminate every aspect of his career and working method. The exhibition, called ‘Breadth and Quality: Oil studies and Drawings by James Ward RA’, will demonstrate Ward’s versatility as a technician, his breadth of interest as an artist as well as offering an exciting opportunity to examine an important collection by a masterful and intuitive artist.

The French tradition is also well represented during London Art Week with Bowman Sculpture showing a life-time cast of Auguste Rodin’s (1840 – 1917) The Young Mother and the Child, signed, inscribed and stamped with foundry mark on the back of the base. Sladmore Gallery offers an enchanting bronze by Edgar Degas (1834 – 1917), Grande Arabesque from circa 1885, signed and stamped 'Degas', while Stoppenbach & Delestre Ltd is displaying the charming Impressionist work Paysage aux environs de Paris by Armand Guillaumin (1841 – 1927), circa 1874. Female Torso by Alexander Archipenko (1887 – 1964) executed in 1913 at a time when the Ukrainian artist was living in Paris, is being exhibited by Daniel Katz Ltd. Made from plaster covered in silver, the surface of the plaster has been covered with a red bol before the silver was applied and the artist’s fingerprints appear on the silver leaves. The marble version of this female torso is in the Metropolitan Museum, New York.

Moving away from Europe, Thomas Williams Fine Art is representing a group of artists from America in his exhibition ‘Bay Area School’, which presents the work of a distinct and powerful group of artists working in San Francisco during the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s. It will be the first ever group exhibition of the Bay Area School artists to be staged outside the United States, coinciding with the publication of a major scholarly book on the subject published by Lund Humphries.

During the first weekend, all galleries will be open giving visitors the opportunity to look at works of art at their leisure. By displaying the objects in the intimate gallery settings located in Mayfair and St. James’s, the event will encourage the building of relationships between clients and dealers.

For further information:  
Opening hours for London Art Week Weekdays: 10am-6pm Weekend: Saturday 29th and Sunday 30 June, 12-5pm