LONDON.- London Art Week
, 4 to 11 July 2014, a week-long celebration of paintings, drawings and sculpture in Mayfair and St Jamess, has proved to be a winning formula with dealers reporting significant sales and important international visitors.
Many of the dealers staged special exhibitions and Tomasso Brothers Fine Art brought the Grand Tour to town, selling 20 of the 32 pieces on display including a marble obelisk that once graced the Music Room at Stowe to a private European collector, (asking price £40,000). The ancient obelisk, which inspired this piece, was found amongst the ruins of the Iseum Campense temple in 1665, and erected in 1667 in the Piazza della Minerva, Rome . The obelisk was a favourite amongst Grand Tourists for its distinctive appearance and authorship, as testified by the distinguished provenance of this example.
The Art of Pastel: Three Centuries of Works on Paper at Stephen Ongpin Fine Art has proved particularly popular with over 450 visitors and six works sold, and serious interest from museums and collectors in others. Sales included A Parisian Street at Night by Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940) to a private American collector, (asking price in the region of £110,000).
A work that attracted much comment was the recently discovered abolitionist painting by Thomas Uwins RA (1782-1857), Uncle Tom; a study from the life, inspired by the publication in 1852 of Uncle Toms Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. It was sold on the first day by Ben Elwes Fine Art to a European collector, (asking price £100,000).
Business was brisk for Andrew Clayton-Payne whose sales included a delicate drawing of Cart Horses with a Cart Laden with Hay by American-born artist Benjamin West (1738-1820), to a new collector, (asking price in excess of £10,000). Trinity Fine Art also sold a number of works, including a Borso dEste document holder to a European collector for a foundation, (asking price in the region of 200,000). Hill-Stone Inc. was delighted with the sale of Venus with Putti, a drawing by Luca Cambiaso (1527-1585), to a new European collector (asking price $35,000) while UK collectors snapped up drawings being offered by Crispian Riley-Smith Fine Arts including a Palma Giovane and a Jacob de Wit, (prices ranged from £5,500 to £7,000).
The gallery lectures add another dimension to the event. Participating in London Art Week for the first time was Richard Nathanson whose exhibition Modigliani: Sixteen Drawings from the Paul Alexandre Collection was a talking point and his lecture so well attended (by 42 people) that they ran out of chairs.
London Art Week attracts collectors and art historians from all over the world and curators from a number of prestigious American institutions did the rounds including the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Saint Louis Art Museum, the Andy Warhol Museum, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Historical Society, and National Gallery of Art, Washington, to name but a few. Representatives from UK and continental museums, including the British Museum, the National Gallery, The Courtauld Gallery, Tate Britain, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Dulwich Picture Gallery, and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, were also in evidence as were international visitors from as far afield as Australia.
Launched last year, London Art Week is the platform that unites Master Drawings & Sculpture Week and Master Paintings Week, bringing together some fifty specialist dealers across the fine art disciplines and three major London auction houses. The event illustrates the extraordinary range and quality of fine art from the 15th to 20th centuries available on the market and strongly underlines the unrivalled connoisseurship and expertise to be found in the city.