The John Scott Collection: A Christmas Spectacular3 - 23 Dec 2014 The John Scott Collection, nearly 50 years in the making, is perhaps the finest collection of British objects and design from the period 1830–1930 in existence. This exhibition, the sixth in a series, presents a dazzling diversity of over 400 works priced from £20 to £20,000.
Furniture, Glass, Ceramics, Copper, Brass, Cast Iron, Textiles, etc.
Manufactures, designers & retailers: Whitefriars, Minton, Wedgwood, Watcombe, Coalbrookdale, Kenrick, Templeton, Bretby, Elkington, Old Hall, Cantagalli, Poole Pottery, Liberty, Bing and the Rowley Gallery, Shoolbred, Dresser, Pugin, Jeckyll, Voysey, Talbert, Walter Crane and Brangwyn, etc.
Reformed Gothic, Aesthetic, Arts & Crafts, Modern, Contemporary, East-Asian Crafts, Curiosities
Angela Palmer: Adrenalin19 Nov - 23 Dec 2014 The Fine Art Society Contemporary is proud to announce Adrenalin, a new exhibition of sculpture, light and sound installation and neon artwork from artist Angela Palmer.
Working in collaboration with Renault Sport F1, the artist has deconstructed the world’s most successful F1 engine, the RS27, with the help of their pioneering engineers at their F1 laboratories in Paris. The V8 engine powered Fernando Alonso to the world championship in 2006 and won a further four consecutive titles with Sebastian Vettel from 2010 to 2013. Renault design and build F1 engines for Infiniti Red Bull Racing, Lotus F1 Team, Scuderia Toro Rosso and Caterham F1 Team in the FIA Formula One World Championship.
The artist was supplied with the engineers' CAD drawings as well as unique engine parts from the V8, material normally guarded with the strictest secrecy to prevent industrial espionage. However a dramatic rule change from 2013 to 2014 saw downsized turbocharged V6 Power Units equipped with newly developed energy recovery systems replace the V8. It was this change that provided the unique opportunity for Renault to unlock its sensitive data to Palmer. Palmer's interest in engines began with the realisation that over 2 billion people in the world drive cars, yet few have any idea what lies under the bonnet:
'How many of us know what a crankshaft looks like, never mind its function? I wanted to peel back that mysterious layer and reveal the astonishing piece of engineering which creates this mechanical beating heart that’s so close to all of us, often all day, every day . Through the sculptures, I wanted to shift the focus from function and mechanism to the visual power of form and material'.
Tim Pomeroy: Recent Stone Carvings11 - 27 Nov 2014 The Fine Art Society presents an exhibition of recent works by Tim Pomeroy (b. 1957), widely regarded as one of Britain’s pre-eminent stone carvers. This will be Pomeroy’s first solo show at the gallery.
Born in Hamilton, and now living on the Isle of Arran, Pomeroy, who previously worked with Ian Hamilton Finlay at Little Sparta, is one of Scotland's best known contemporary sculptors. His exquisitely carved stone-works are influenced by archaeological sources, the rhythms and patterns found in natural forms, and in addition, man-made, everyday objects. These subjects are meticulously expressed in Pomeroy's highly skilled carvings.
What Marcel Duchamp Taught Me10 Oct - 5 Nov 2014 Marking the centenary of Duchamp's readymade, The Fine Art Society was proud to present a major group exhibition What Marcel Duchamp Taught Me. It was the largest show in the history of the gallery, taking over the entire five floors of the Bond Street townhouse as over 50 Contemporary artists responded to Duchamp and his legacy. The readymade is a concept that challenged the very notion of art itself. As a result of this gesture, anything could be art if the artist chose it.
Duchamp's impact not just as an artist but also as a great thinker and writer, is incalculable. His afterlife is undoubtedly phenomenal and his legacy is a subject continually discussed by art historians and critics. Yet it is so deeply embedded in the practice of art that it is hard to pin down. So instead The Fine Art Society has asked artists to respond directly and personally. Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) is a multifaceted figure who still looms large over contemporary art. Duchamp is worshipped by some and condemned by others - either way there is no disputing that he is one of the most influential artists of the twentieth and twenty first centuries.
Duchamp derided the adoration of art and all canons of taste and categorisation. He said once, "I force myself to contradict myself so as to avoid conforming to my own taste". In 1913 he set in motion one of the single most influential and significant ideas in modern art. Alone in his studio he created his first readymade by selecting and presenting a found object, Bicycle Wheel. He would not show the work for another year - the first pure readymade is dated to the 1914 Bottle Rack.
David Gentleman: In the Country17 - 26 Sep 2014 This exhibition of watercolours by David Gentleman marks the launch of his new book In the Country published by Full Circle Editions.
Juliette Losq: Nemora12 Sep - 2 Oct 2014 Losq places the notion of ‘The Clearing’ as central to her practice and imagery – a place where wilderness and chaos oppose civilization and order. She depicts liminal landscapes that hover at the edges of this symbolic Clearing, alluding to the English 'Gothic' of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as typified by fragmented narratives relating mysterious incidents, and scenes that were charged with an imagined threat.
The exhibition title ‘Nemora’ refers to a “nemus” (pl nemora) which is described in Jacob Grimm’s Teutonic Mythology as being “a woodland pasture, a grove, a sacrum silvae”. These were places of celebration and sacrifice, where the entire grove or particular trees therein were dedicated to woodland deities: “Such a grove was not to be trodden by profane feet, such a tree was not to be stript of its boughs or foliage, and on no account to be hewn down” (Teutonic Mythology Vol 2 trans J Stallybrass, p.648. CUP 2012, First published 1883)!
Losq works over the surface repetitively, creating multiple painted layers which simultaneously obscure and reveal those beneath. She works on both paper and canvas and has incorporated found objects to create installation pieces. In ‘Nemora’, she will show three object based pieces including a work on paper that will infuse itself with the existing ornate fire place on the ground floor of the gallery. Another work will see a wave of paper tumble from an antique grandfather clock across the Galley One floor.
Geraldine Swayne: How are you?12 - 25 Sep 2014 The Fine Art Society Contemporary was delighted to hold the first solo show of paintings at the gallery by London based artist Geraldine Swayne. Swayne creates intimate yet powerful works painting with enamel on small copper or aluminium panels. Her exhibition How Are You? will be the first installation in the new contemporary penthouse, a space designed for private viewing and the occasional pop up solo presentation.
Swayne’s small paintings feel like historical miniatures but feature contemporary subjects from sources as diverse as pornography, landscape painting and portraits of friends. The paintings feel completely self contained and accomplished, and yet have a subtle brevity of form and lightness of touch. A portrait of a fading rock star painted in jewel like tones on enamel takes on a completely new meaning in her intimate and compelling style.
Swayne is also a member of the celebrated band Faust and has often blurred the boundaries between her work as a painter as a musician. Not only does she paint her musical collaborators but she also incorporates painting into her on-stage performances and documents her experimental performances in her paintings.
Swayne is noted for navigating the complex relationships between painting, music and film. Her multifaceted and distinguished career includes winning a Northern Arts Travel award to paint and make super-8 films about Voodoo in New Orleans. She moved to France in 1991 painting portraits and large outdoor paintings for the Marie of St Jean de Fos. Since 1999, she has made numerous experimental films including the world’s first super-8 to Imax film East End, produced by Cathy Shaw, and narrated by Miriam Margolyes with music by Nick Cave. After leaving the film industry in 2004 she worked as an assistant for Jake and Dinos Chapman rebuilding Hell. Although better known as a painter she joined experimental rock group …bender in 2005 and in the following year, the seminal Krautrock group Faust with whom she has recorded two albums and toured widely, making musical improvisations and live paintings at venues such as the Wrexner Centre for the Arts in Ohio, Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art and CalArts. As a painter she has been exhibited in numerous group and solo shows at including the Barbican, Calvert 22, L-13 and Fred, London. In 2010 she was a finalist in the John Moores painting prize, Walker Gallery, Liverpool. In 2014 she was awarded a live/work residency at Acme Fire-station in East London, where she now lives and paints.
The John Scott Collection: Truth, Beauty, Power: The Designs of Dr. Christopher Dresser11 Sep - 2 Oct 2014 The Fine Art Society will present a selling exhibition of exceptional designs by Dr Christopher Dresser (1834-1904), widely regarded as Britain’s first independent industrial designer and one of the most influential figures in nineteenth-century design. Drawn from the John Scott Collection, the exhibition will include a large number of rare and important pieces that have been exhibited in museum shows worldwide, including Christopher Dresser: A Design Revolution at the V&A, London (2004).
The exhibition will showcase Dresser’s remarkably broad and eclectic output, which include metalwork, furniture, glass, cast iron, chromolithographic books and ceramics designed for some of the most prestigious manufacturers of the Industrial Revolution, including Wedgwood, Minton and Coalbrookdale.
The Seven and Five Society 1920-19359 - 31 Jul 2014 The Fine Art Society is delighted to present an exhibition of the The Seven and Five Society. With exhibitions spanning from 1920, date of the formation of the society, to 1935, when their last exhibition was held at Zwemmer's Gallery, The Seven and Five Society included a total of eighty-seven artists in its fourteen exhibitions, which would go on to shape British Art for decades to come.
Ivon Hitchens and Leon Underwood - both featured in this exhibition - were two of the original eighteen founding members. Ben and Winifred Nicholson joined in 1925 followed by artists such as Christopher Wood, Alfred Wallis, Cedric Morris, William Staite Murray and Frances Hodgkins. Edward Bawden was also a member, while John Piper joined in 1934. In the 1930s, sculpture became a significant feature of the society's output for the first time with sculptors such as Maurice Lambert, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and John Skeaping joining the group.
The fifteen fertile years of the society existence was a period of great creativity focused around Ben and Winifred Nicholson, which culminated in the British naïve style. There was no doubt that The Seven and Five Society was the most exciting group in Britain of its day; it was during their highly creative period as members of the society that Ben Nicholson and some of his immediate group began their artistic journey from abstraction to minimalism, and consequently went on to become household names.
Twelve Paintings by Anne Redpath9 - 31 Jul 2014 Anne Redpath is one of the best loved and most important Scottish painter of the twentieth century.
After fourteen years spent in France where she had followed her architect husband and raised their three boys, she moved back to her hometown of Hawick in 1934. From her new home, she painted a series of intimate interiors and still lifes which are now amongst her most coveted work.
The other side of Redpath's oeuvre took her away from the domestic to the foreign climes. Travelling widely, she went on to complete some of her most exciting work in Spain, Corsica and the Canary Islands.
Her later work is amongst her most adventurous and daring. The uncompromising palette, the abstraction and the sheer physicality of the paint make these pictures some of her best work.
Bartholomew Beal: A Heap of Broken Images24 Jun - 29 Aug 2014 The Fine Art Society was proud to hold Bartholomew Beal's first exhibition at the gallery, making him the youngest ever artist to stage a solo show in the gallery's 138 year history. The title A Heap of Broken Images, is borrowed from TS Eliot's landmark poem The Waste Land. The entire body of work is a translation of this literary work into paint on canvas, and whilst some pieces have stayed quite true to that starting point with clear references, others have "run away with themselves" - a process the artist describes as mirroring "how exciting a day in the studio can be, surrounded by paintings in progress".
Eliot's powerful poem jumps between languages, characters and points of view - much like Beal's atmospheric paintings, themselves heaps of broken images. There may be a specific starting point for each work but the creative journey is far from certain, with traces of several other ghost paintings which are crucial fragments of the story of that work. Beal walks a fine line between referencing the specifics of his poetic source material and surrendering himself to the possibilities of beautiful accidents inherant in the process of painting.
There is an element of the undecided in each painting, leaving the ideas open for the painting to be finished by the decisions and imagination of the viewer. The generalised man in the middle of each painting leaves much to be concluded and his surroundings are hints and suggestions but nothing final.
Somewhat unusually for works of such an understated appeal, Beal works in saturated colours. His adoption of a bright often unatural palette is combined with obscured shapes and unidentified visual references, further heightening a sense that he is constructing uncloncluded episodes.
The John Scott Collection: Decorative Arts from the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries11 Jun - 3 Jul 2014 John Scott has been collecting British decorative arts for over forty years, amassing what many regard to be the finest collection in private hands. The Fine Art Society are privileged to be presenting this remarkable collection. All works are offered for sale through a series of seven definitive exhibitions, the first of which is now on show at 148 New Bond Street. The exhibition is divided into three complementary displays over the three floors of the gallery:
'Modern English': Design from the 1860s and 1870s l 11 June - 3 July 2014
Powell & Sons: Whitefriars Glass 1860-1960 l 11 June - 3 July 2014
British Art Pottery l 11 - 20 June 2014
The collection includes examples by the most prestigious designers and manufacturers from the 1850s through to the mid-twentieth century, including Pugin, Dresser, Jeckyll, Morris and De Morgan. Responding to the products and energy of an expanding Empire and modern industry, John Scott has assembled a collection which illustrates, brilliantly and fully, one of the richest and most innovative chapters in the history of design.
Annie Kevans: Woman and the History of Art13 May - 6 Jun 2014 In May 2014 The Fine Art Society held an exhibition of new work by Annie Kevans - Women and the History of Art. Kevans' work has always reflected an interest in the relation between power and identity and in every new series the British painter investigates inherited belief systems. The exhibition centred on women in art history who were once part of the art world and whose history and significance have been gradually eroded.
Kevans has long examined the duality of truth and falsehood throughout her work, which she does by creating 'portraits' which may or may not be based on real documentation. For this exhibition Kevans presents over thirty new paintings that depict successful women artists, opening up a dialogue about their importance and significance. Although many have been championed in the last decades having been 'rediscovered' by later art historians, these women remain 'seperate' from art history.
Kevans shines a light on artists such as Sofonisba Anguissola who was the first Italian woman to become an international known artist in her own time. Other artist are known for their personal lives but their works remain invisible. Despite being the first woman painter admitted to the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Suzanne Valadon is more famous for her peronal relationships with Renoir, Erik Satie and Degas. Like many of her female contemporaries, her name means nothing to the general public or to many female artists working today.
Throughout her many series, which always show an affinity for the marginalised, Kevans has always found a new way of perceiving figures from the past. Whether child stars, dictators or the insane, Kevans captures a piercing insight and imbues her subjects with a tangible humanity and sensuality. She believes that a person's identity is not preset but is a shifting temporary constuction and her work questions our verdicts on history and perceptions of intellectual solidity.
Since graduating from Central St Martins School of Art & Design in 2004, Kevans has had solo exhibitions in New York, London and Vienna. Her work has featured in numerous group shows in the UK, Germany, Austria, Italy and the US. She has been a finalist in the Women of the Future awards and the Jerwood Drawing Prize. Her work can be found in the Pallant House Gallery, the David Roberts Collection, 21c Museum and the Saatchi Collection. Kevans is currently exhibiting a series of works commissioned by Jean Paul Gaultier at his Barbican show, From the Sidewalk to The Catwalk.
On Paper7 - 30 May 2014 On Paper features a selection of British artists' works on paper ranging from the 19th century to the present day.
Watercolours by John Frederick Lewis, prints from CRW Nevinson, Walter Sickert and Ben Nicholson alongside drawings by William Orpen and Edwars Burne-Jones are on show in an exhibition that gives a compelling survey of the Fine Art Society's collection of works on paper currently available for sale. Also exhibited are War works by Paul Nash and Eric Ravilious as well as contemporary artists Rob & Nick Carter's Chinese Whispers drawings.
Spring Exhibition 20149 - 30 Apr 2014 The Fine Art Society is pleased to announce their new Spring Exhibition for the year 2014. The exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints from the 18th, 19th and 20th century, as well as works from our Contemporary Department in other media.
Among the highlights of the show is a great rarity, a version of William Hogarth's The Beggar's Opera, Act III, Scene XI, painted in 1728, and a lifetime cast of Gaudier-Brzeska's Crouching Fawn. Works by Alfred East, Gerald Brockhurst, Frank Dicksee, Alfred Sisley, Lucien Pissaro and Samuel Palmer are also displayed alongside lithographs by Paul Nash, C.R.W. Nevinson and Eric Ravilious showing scenes from the First and Second World Wars. A selection of 20th century sculptures by Frank Dobson, Gerald Laing and Eduardo Paolozzi are exhibited, and a new sculpture by the renowned British sculptor Emily Young completes the display.
Paul Davies: Built in Translation28 Mar - 2 May 2014 The Fine Art Society Contemporary presented work by Australian artist Paul Davies, produced during his three month residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, awarded by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia.
Paul Davies creates seductively atmospheric paintings that consider the precarious relationship between built and natural environments. These are not landscapes in the traditional sense, rather they are portraits of space and investigations into the limits of organic and urban forms. Idyllic yet abandoned: the homes in Davies work invite the viewer into the picture.
Davies represents notions of dislocation and timelessness by drawing heavily upon American and Australian Modernist architecture and distinctive natural topographies. The subjects include houses and landscapes from a variety of contrasting locations, which once stenciled, impose a structural order over the various backgrounds upon which they are painted. This process refers not just to the way Australia, since colonisation, has imported architectural styles to strive for a cultural identity. It also highlights the struggle against what is seen as the unforgiving natural environment.
Built in Translation features amongst others Le Corbusier’s French modernist icon, the Villa Savoye or machine for living. However, devoid of human form and repeated within foreign settings, these ‘textbook’ homes become eerie settings in which the viewer is invited to consider a variety of possible narratives.
The play between stenciled areas and free hand painting has always been a core component of the artist’s work and in recent years the contrast has been taken to further extremes. Referencing the work of British sculptor Rachel Whiteread, Davies has translated his stencils into sculpture. His ghostly bronze pieces refer to the bridges that hold the stencil together as an entire sheet. In his practice the stencil has become emblematic of a recurring structure, highlighting the imperceptible boundary between the past and the present.
A Barrister's Collection: A Lifetime of Collecting by Professor W.M. Ballantyne5 - 21 Mar 2014 Professor W M Ballantyne has been collecting for 50 years, buying only what he loved over a broad range which includes Old Master works as well as Modern British. The Fine Art Society will present an exhibition of the collection in March and everything will be for sale. Artists whose work is included in this diverse group include David Roberts, Edward Stott, Algernon Newton and Harold Gilman.
Chris Levine: Frankel the Great5 - 12 Feb 2014 Chris Levine is a light artist who works across many mediums in pursuit of sensory experience through image and form. Levine’s work considers light not just as a core aspect of art, but of human experience more widely and a spiritual and philosophical edge underscores his practice.
The Fine Art Society is proud to debut a dramatic new portrait created within his unique light based approach. He has turned his attention to revitalizing the equestrian portrait genre and has focused on the highest rated racehorse in the world, Frankel. Levine’s unprecedented approach to the fascinating subject takes us beyond a standard portrayal of a perfect physical specimen and presents the viewer with a captivating and daunting level of sporting achievement.
Created in June 2013, the results are a completely radical reworking of the age-old tradition of equestrian portraiture. Simultaneously capturing multiple images in a mere 8 seconds allowed him to fashion his work as a lenticular lightbox. This lends his work a realism that is almost magical. The artist does not simply utlisise existing materials and processes, he is a pioneer in his field, creating and adapting technology in the pursuit of the widest possible visual sensation.
Chris Levine is best known for producing what is already being described as one of the most iconic images of the twenty-first century, Lightness of Being (2007). With light at its core, this portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II presents a fresh depiction of the most famous woman in the world. In 2014 Levine worked with another head of state – this time the face of British contemporary pop culture, Kate Moss. The striking composition takes us beyond the surface and distils the icon.
Australia: Contemporary VoicesGroup Show 12 Nov 2013 - 31 Jan 2014 The Fine Art Society presents a group exhibition of twenty young to mid-career artists from Australia, curated by Guest Curator Geoffrey Cassidy.
Australian Art is often associated with the landscape, a looming and defining presence in the Australian psyche. The works presented in Australia: Contemporary Voices don't so much provide an alternative narrative, as highlight the numerous narratives that contribute to the complex, urban, immigrant and sophisticated society that is Australia.
The exhibition aims to show the quality, originality and diversity of work currently being produced in Australia, informed certainly by international ideas but often provincial in the best sense of the word - protected, quirky and speaking with it's own voice. Australia: Contemporary Voices presents work in a variety of media. Sculptors include Alexander Seton and Julia de Ville. Works on paper will be shown by Kim Buck and Maria Kontis alongside paintings by Sam Leach, Michael Zavros and Del Kathryn Barton. Adrienne Doig works with tapestry and Janet Laurence and Joan Ross use a variety of new media. Archibald Prize winners include Del Kathryn Barton and Sam Leach and the latter was also a recipient of the Wynne Prize. Sean Cordeiro and Clare Healy represented Australia at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009.
Geoffrey Cassidy, Guest Curator of Australia: Contemporary Voices, explains his objectives and exhibition focus:
"The idea is to throw a spotlight on the best of Australian Contemporary Art. Austrlian art last had its moment in the sun in the UK in the sixties and seventies, when artists such as Arthur Boyd, Sydney Nolan and Brett Whitely had numerous successful shows at a time when artists had to be here to be noticed. Australia still sits on the periphery of the international art world, both geographically and conceptually. With the Royal Academy of Arts staging its landmark show this September, the time was right to refocus on the exceptional aristic talent emerging from Australia - and show a side to Australian art that international observers have not seen - work that shows a breadth of influences as wide as, but not including, the wide brown land."