The Other Art Fair

I was taken by some friends to meet a friend of theirs who was having an exhibition in Holborn. Turns out she’s exhibiting at The Other Art Fair in Victoria House Southampton Row, WC1. It’s actually not somewhere I’d planned on going, having been for so many years with Daniel and always ending up hot, sticky and bored…though the walk back to the gallery was always fun.

By the time I realised where I was it was too late to back out so I resigned myself to a couple of hours of tight squeezes, bag bumping & gasping for air. Entering the foyer I discovered myself smiling, Graeme Messer’s mirrors with ‘me me me me me’ or  ‘I love this Motherfucker’ etched in the glass may not be the most original idea on the planet but Hell, I enjoyed them.

We made our way to stand #40, Ali King, (she’s the friend of the friends) who has been described as a ‘contemporary nude & botanical photographer’ which, I think, sounds quite shallow. There is, in fact, a lot more depth to the work than just naked women with flowers and whilst she admits to ‘some’ post production, it’s obvious that she’s a talented photographer who knows how to light an image.

We then headed for stand #59 and the wonderful Delphine Lebourgeois who’s work D & I have championed since 2007 when she had her first solo show with us and who’s voice is our answer machine recording. Her illustrative, collage work piqued our interest as graphic designers and her irreverence sat well with Daniel. Over the years she’s honed her skills to create a fascinatingly unique style. All three of the friends I was with own artworks by her and as we’ve never been able to sell crap, she must be good. Here she has collaborated with friend and artist Elisabeth Lecourt.


All images are the copyright of the artist
Other artists who’s work stood out among the dross were:
Anita Owsianna (Stand#51) –
Collaged corrugated cardboard on canvas (unintentional tongue twister) – Mostly black and white. Derivative of Johns, Rauschenberg etc. obviously why I was drawn to it.

Bridget Davies (Stand #29) –
Stylised 40s & 50s fashion sketches in acrylic ink with gold leaf – coming, originally, from a fashion background this type of work always intrigues me.

Elle Kaye (Stand #33) –
A contemporary take on taxidermy – not necessarily to everyone’s taste but actually quite beautiful.

Jo Beattie (Stand #24) –
Machine embroidered portrait sketches – get your head round that one!

Merab Surviladze (Stand #31) –
Mostly, I think, oil on canvas, crowd scenes from above. The shadows are definitely people shaped but the people are blobs of paint with no definition. – Intriguing but I’m not sure how long it would hold my attention for.

The Other Art Fair continues until 2nd April so be quick if your going and I think you should!

BlackLine – Stasha Lewis

Last night (March 9th, 2017) I was at Stasha Lewis’s exhibition, BlackLine, at 10 Hanover Street. I will admit it was a huge struggle to get there, it’s only a short walk from the A&D but it was the first event I’d been to where, normally, both of us would attend. I wasn’t sure I could do it on my own, turns out I could and I’m really glad I did.
Stasha is one of those artists who has the ability to surprise. Each body of work is different from the last, which can be a little difficult for those who like to pigeonhole artists. Her style change does not come from a lack of confidence in her own work or a butterfly mind, jumping from one idea to the next – though butterflies were what she showed with us all those years ago. Instead, each project is well thought out, structured and planned prior to execution.
BlackLine, in her own words “…is very simple. I thought about a line…A stretch of thin black against white…that could shape a curve, a length or a circle…A circle by us mere mortals is never perfect, just as good as we can make it.”
The work, at first glance, does indeed appear ‘simple’ but the depth of emotion she manages to impart with just a few basic lines is quite staggering. ‘The Reader’, for example, evokes serenity and calm whilst ‘The Kiss’ makes your heart jump with excitement and anticipation.
There is a nod to Matisse and Picasso with her oversimplified outlines, except her images have no colour which make them, for me anyway, less confusing. It really does go to show that ‘less is more’, though I think that’s probably a phrase Stasha’s purposefully tried to avoid.
Daniel was a huge fan of her work (we both are) and he would have really enjoyed this exhibition.
The Smoker (pictured)

September (say hello wave goodbye)

There used to be a fabulous restaurant called Septembers in the Kings Road, their clientele included Russell Harty and Brian Sewell. Now the restaurant and at least two of its patrons have departed. When we opened the gallery, in our naivety, we wrote to all of the major art critics, to inform them of our arrival. A few weeks later we received a hand written envelope, with a hand written reply from Mr Sewell, explaining that his brief was to cover the Public Galleries and occasional major exhibitions at larger spaces such as Saatchi. He did, however, also point out that his inability to cover our exhibitions would have zero effect on our future success as he assured us that if we had interesting exhibitions people would find us. None of the other critics replied, but then none of them had such innate class.  We are all going to miss Brian Sewell.

Brian Sewelll

Brian Sewell

As you may know, we occasionally let the gallery to artists who wish to stage their own exhibitions. This not only gives us time to work on our own shows but it also gives us more variety. One such show was ‘Heads’, a joint exhibition by Lizzie Thurman and Nigel Langford. A totally brilliant exhibition filled with great work, enthusiasm and excitement. The work sold well, their three P.V.s were huge successes, and everyone involved was delightful. These events really enhance the pleasure in running the Gallery. We hope to do something with the Yehudi Menuhin School next year, and we have had an outrageous and riotous preliminary conversation about an exhibition in 2017 with Tory Lawrence who brought her friend Maggi Hambling.

Tory Lawrence

Our Lichtenstein Exhibition has opened and sales are looking encouraging. Our annual advert in the Art Fair edition of Frieze, looks pretty stunning (we think). The P.V. started quietly but ended well, with many of our favourite people arriving to discuss the work, Jeremy Corben and God. Another great night at A&D Gallery.

Long to Reign Over Us…..

Today September 9th 2015 Queen Elizabeth becomesour longest reigning Queen.

As an anti-establishment, idealistic leftie, it’s a bit tricky when you explain your fondness for the Royal Family. True, Prince Charles’s occasional diatribes are closer to Marxism than “new  labour” ever got, but the whole privilege and inheritance thing can be uncomfortable.

However, the true value of Her Royal Highness the Queen became clear to me a while back. At the time we were having our way of life attacked by that Demonic Harridan of Bourgeois, Middle Class prejudice, Mrs Margaret Thatcher. While holding forth on my hopes for her painful and embarrassing death, an American who overheard me asked, “Do you feel comfortable denigrating the Leader of your Country in this way?”. I was shocked, I’d never looked at Thatcher or any other politician as the Leader of my country, but for a few minutes I saw what he was saying. In the various republics (USA, France etc.) their Presidents are their leaders, OMG!. I was able to retort (not as quickly as I would like) “No Sir, the leader of my country is Queen Elizabeth the Second, not some annoying Grantham housewife.”

It was wonderful. God bless You Ma’am

An Apology

Earlier in August, we sent an email alerting our friends, customers and colleagues to BBC4’s POP ART season. The season’s opening programme “Soup Cans & Superstars  : how-pop-art-changed-the-world” presented by Alastair Sooke, was as exciting as Mogadon. A toe curling interview with the great James Rosenquist was brought to a welcome end when Rosenquist announced that he was tired. Having spent half the show learning that POP! sprung, without warning, from three or four New York artists, we were then told that it had its roots in the much earlier work of Rauschenberg and Ray Johnson. Sooke then let us into another secret, POP ART started in the U.K. (Gasp! Shock!).

Sooke’s barely concealed agenda (that POP ART was a Left-wing response to capitalism) took us to the Paris Uprising of 1968 when the dull, boring posters were deemed to be Pop Art, only because they were produced using silkscreens. Skirting quickly over Jeff Koons (whose prices did not fit into Sooke’s political viewpoint) we came to Pop Art in China, and the plug for the TATE’s forthcoming WORLD GOES POP exhibition.

A really great opportunity wasted in an ill informed, barely cohesive, waste of the licence fee.

One of thes people is a genius the other is Alastair Sooke

One of thes people is a genius who knows a great deal about Pop Art, the other is Alastair Sooke.

Hello world!

Welcome to an occasional blog from those wonderful people at A&D Gallery.

Sometimes we’ll be updating folks about whats happening at the gallery other times we’ll be commenting on pop culture in general. Plus there will be all the gossip, rants and of course un-substantiated rumours that one expects in a ‘blog’.