Enjoying even a small fraction of the art shows, auctions, pop-up exhibitions, talks and antiques and design events that have taken place in London since autumn started moving back in would be a challenge. The week of Frieze frenzy has now ended, so as the leaves fall quietly again over Regent’s Park and Mayfair, here are our favourite sights and moments of the city’s fine art showcases in the past few weeks.
The 4th edition of the Konooz fine art exhibition and auction, held at the Lanesborough Hotel late last month, was awash with brilliant paintings and sculptures, mostly by Middle Eastern and North African artists – some established, some up-and-coming. Organised by the discerning and elegant founder of the Women’s Growth and Success Forum, socialite and philanthropist Zainab Al Farhan Al Imam, the event featured precious art works by the likes of Fethi Zbidi, Abeer al Farhan, Ali Mousawi, Mahmood Hassan and Salah Chead. The auction, run by Bonham’s Director of Modern and Contemporary African Art, Giles Peppiatt, was an opportunity to raise funds for a selection of highly respected charities, and for collectors and viewers alike, the exhibition was a place where it was all to easy to spend half a day wandering among layers of meaning and emotion from the always lyrical, sometimes visceral stories told by these carefully chosen art works – and meeting a number of the artists while viewing these works was certainly a treat.
Visiting the LAPADA fine art and antiques fair is always an eclectic experience. This year, we found kindred spirits in the lovely team at VKD, the wonderful Van Kranendonk Duffel’s family gallery, which specialises in vintage and antique high jewellery. Their outlook on jewellery as a fine art form and a storytelling medium was bound to strike a chord with us!
We admit to drifting away in a daydream when visiting Phoenix Ancient Art‘s display of phenomenal pieces from beyond 3000 BC and Galerie Mermoz‘ mesmerising ancient Quetzalcoatl sculpture at the Premier Art and Design Fair, where we were also equally impressed by a breathtaking selection of fine art works from Michael Goedhuis and ethnographica and design objects from Peter Petrou – both of whose charming team gave us a warm welcome.
We’ve also made a note in our admittedly busy diary to visit Gabrielle Ammann‘s incredibly well-curated collection of architectural imagery, art and design pieces more leisurely when in Cologne, and we can only recommend you consider doing the same.
The Lost Memory and other ink masterpieces by Gao Xingjian, seen at a showcase by Aktis London, made a lasting mark on our hearts too.
We were lucky to see Didier Ltd‘s beautifully thought-out pop-up exhibition of artists’ jewelry at the aptly-named Kallos Gallery, where playful pieces by Dali, Man Ray and the Pomodoro brothers were happily juxtaposed in mischievous conversations. The witty and generous welcome we received from our hosts, Martine and Didier Haspeslagh, made the experience all the more fulfilling. This very temporary showcase is now finished, but their Kensington Church Street venue is thankfully permanent.