Collaboration is paramount at the inaugural London Art Week Winter from December 1-8. Among the 36 participants around Mayfair and St James’s, some will stage joint shows with fellow dealers, while others will juxtapose works from different cultures or by artistic compatriots.
And several LAW members are teaming up with outside dealers to hold joint exhibitions.
In Mason’s Yard, Stephen Ongpin Fine Art, a member of the event board, holds its 10th collaboration with British watercolour specialist Guy Peppiatt Fine Art. The two dealers, who share their ground-floor gallery, hold a salon-style show of 100 works on paper (50 from each) every winter and the two admit thriving under the spirit of friendly competition the show engenders as each sells one work after another.
Meanwhile, member Dickinson Gallery is working with Kent dealer Lennox Cato to present Form and Figure: Furniture and Paintings 16th-20thC. Taking place at the former’s ground-floor space on Jermyn Street, the show features a selection of Old Master, Impressionist and Modern pictures of the human figure alongside antique furniture and works of art supplied by Cato.
At Rupert Wace, the Crown Passage antiquities gallery, architect and guest curator Sophie Hicks’ high-concept exhibition Dizygotica (the title refers to the term for non-identical twins), pairs the gallery’s stock with postcards from the collection of former art dealer John Kasmin.
Hicks went through the collection of each to create amusing “twinned” pairs – and she speaks about dealers Wace and Kasmin as such a pair in their own right. Only the antiquities are for sale, but a catalogue, released in a short run of only 50 copies, is available.
Camaraderie and Classicism at Tomasso Brothers’ Jermyn Street Gallery, on the other hand, showcases the work of two neoclassical artists from Yorkshire: sculptor Joseph Gott (1786-1860) and painter William Etty (1787- 1849). The artists travelled to Italy in the 1820s and lived in Rome where Gott practised under Canova and Etty studied the works of Titian and Rubens.
“ I’m learning all the time and we’re happy when collectors – either experienced or just dipping their toes in – also want to explore as much as possible
Co-operation is well in keeping with the ethos of LAW, which promotes a network of dealerships offering ‘pre-contemporary’ art.
Formed in 2013 out of Master Paintings Week and Master Drawings London, it encourages museums, collectors and novices alike to visit and shop in some of London’s leading galleries. With its annual week in the summer, year-round online presence and now its newest event towards the end of each year, the brand is steadily growing.
LAW Winter slots easily into the existing calendar. Many of its member dealers have historically staged exhibitions around this time – Ongpin and Peppiatt are a case in point – to coincide with the auction high season in December (Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Bonhams are also taking part).
But the new event could bolster visitor (and buyer) numbers thanks to a series of extra talks and workshops hosted around the galleries. Many are in association with LAW’s partner museums including The National Gallery, The Wallace Collection and The Fitzwilliam Museum.
It is the first event under new LAW CEO Philippa Gimlette, an art director who has worked extensively in the fashion and media worlds and was appointed in September. Former CEO and founding director Crispian Riley-Smith remains active on the board, chaired by British art dealer Lowell Libson.
British art specialist Lowell Libson will present a cross-cultural exhibition, Parallel Lines: Contemporary Chinese ink painting and the Great Age of British landscape painters. It pairs works by artist such as Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable alongside contemporary Chinese pieces in a quest to show similarities between visual cultures separated by space and time.
“Collecting should be both life enhancing and fun,” says dealer Libson, who is collaborating with Chinese works of art dealer Marcus Flacks (not a member of LAW) for the show.
“The conversations one has looking at works of art make it a process of discovery on both sides. I’m learning all the time and we’re very happy when collectors – either experienced or just dipping their toes into the water – also want to explore as much as possible.”
Other exhibitions include The Magical light of Venice: 18th century view paintings at Cesare Lampronti, Roman to Rodin at sculpture dealer Daniel Katz and Bourbon to Bonaparte – Paintings and drawings 1774-1815 at Didier Aaron.
All images are copyright of their respective dealerships.
Iznik does it
This c.1575 Iznik polychrome pottery cintamani dish from Turkey, above, measuring 12in (31.5cm) in diameter, is included in Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch’s exhibition Iznik pottery from the collection of Sir Alan Barlow during London Art Week.
Barlow (1881-1968) was the son of a royal physician who worked in HM Treasury and married the granddaughter of Charles Darwin. A trustee of the National Gallery, he was also the long-time president of the Oriental Ceramic Society. Of shallow form, the dish is painted in underglaze turquoise, blue and relief red with black outlines reserved on a white ground. It features a repeating design of radiating tiger-stripes enclosing cintamani on three sides and breaking wave motifs on the rim. Prices at the show range from £20,000-140,000.