London Art Week (LAW), the festival of fine and decorative art across the capital, features everything from Ancient to Contemporary art this year.
From June 30-July 7, more than 51 dealers stage special exhibitions or showcase individual highlights either in person or online.
Though the event was once weighted towards Old Master pictures, it now has more balance.
Last week, Dealers’ Diary took a look at how the wider focus includes decorative arts.
This week, we cover the range of works available elsewhere during the event.
Unless otherwise noted, exhibitions end on July 7 when LAW ends.
Renoir and Pissarro in contrast
Two of the founding members of the Impressionist movement, Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) and Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841- 1919), were gradually driven apart by ideological differences.
Connaught Brown’s exhibition Renoir & Pissarro: Different Views, which runs at the Mayfair gallery until July 21, celebrates both their common cause and their contrasting natures. Pictures are offered for prices ranging from £4500 for prints to £3.5m for oils.
To begin with the pair were friendly and exhibited together at the first Impressionist exhibition of 1874 and two subsequent editions. However, Pissarro, who was more liberal in his views, saw realism to be of paramount importance, while the right-wing Renoir favoured what the gallery describes as “bucolic idealism”. These views are reflected in the works on offer, in which Pissarro reflects more of the realities of industrial life.
As their careers progressed both were revered. Renoir saw himself as a role model for future generations of artists and enjoyed veneration from artists such as Matisse and Valtat.
Pissarro, on the other hand, saw younger artists as colleagues and developed reciprocal relationships with van Gogh, Cézanne and Seurat and others.
Small but significant Nicholson selection
There are only six works in the small but significant collection of pictures by Winifred Nicholson (1893-1981) on offer at Patrick Bourne & Co, but it includes some of her best-known works.
Her impressionistic work focused on still-lifes and domestic scenes. Objects are often seen in front of a window, which gives way to a landscape view.
On offer at the St James’s gallery, the pictures from the single-owner collection have never been on the market before, but some, including her portrait of husband Ben Nicholson with their dog Slinky (see last week’s summer supplement) and sequence of rectangles, have often been publicly exhibited.
Private collection offers French masters
In Mayfair, John Mitchell Fine Paintings offers nine French works on paper from a private collection at prices ranging from £25,000-450,000. French Masters on Paper, from Degas to Matisse includes Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works covering the years from 1878-1942.
In the catalogue the gallery’s James Astley Birtwistle writes that the collection “showcases the rising status of works on paper” as well as the taste of the collector.
Hold a viewing
Vedute, or views of the Roman Forum, the Grand Canal in Venice and other well-known scenes, rose with the popularity of the Grand Tour. Some of these scenes were realistic (vedutismo), while other were imaginary (capricci). In Cromwell Place, South Kensington, Raccanello Leprince stages Fragile Visions, which features ceramics from the 17th to 19th centuries exploring these themes.
Individuals gathered together
Several galleries focus on female artists at this edition of LAW. Among them is Stephen Ongpin Fine Art, which stages Beauty in Individualism: A Selection of works by women artists of the 20th and 21st centuries from June 30-July 28 at its Mayfair gallery.
The beginning of the title is taken from a quote by YBA Jenny Saville, whose work features in the show alongside pieces by Dora Maar, Gwen John, Alic Neel and Gillian Ayres. Mixed in to the offering is a selection of pictures by less-well known figures, including several emerging Contemporary artists.
Winning the award for longest timespan within a single exhibition is Rupert Wace, who juxtaposes a selection of antiquities with Contemporary paintings by Rupert Bathurst. Fragments showcases works from Ancient Egypt, the Classical world and the Near East alongside Bathurst’s portraits.
Like the relics on offer, these pictures feature only partial visages and are broken up by loose paintwork. The show is staged at Shapero Rare Books on Bond Street and works range in price from £750-30,000.
Doré battles with good and evil
On Pall Mall, Clase Fine Art features The Fall of the Rebel Angels by Gustave Doré (1832-83) as the centrepiece of its LAW exhibition. The gallery enhances the story behind the picture with a selection of ancillary drawings, watercolours and inscribed first edition literary works related to the French artist.
Doré was a child prodigy and is famed for his illustrations of Edgar Allan Poe, Milton and Dante among other authors. In 1870-71 he served with the National Guard during his country’s humiliating defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. The Fall of the Rebel Angels – a scene from Milton’s Paradise Lost – reflects his interest in the battle between good and evil.