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Eddie Peake: The Forever Loop - The Curve, Barbican Centre

Exhibition preview

THIS autumn, London-based artist Eddie Peake is presenting an ambitious web of architectural installations, choreographed performance and video set within the Barbican’s 90-metre long Curve gallery. Entitled Eddie Peake: The Forever Loop, it will be on display from October 9, 2015 to January 10, 2016.

Foregrounding the naked body – both male and female – The Forever Loop presents a solo dancer moving through the space, reciting a monologue written by Peake, alongside a roller skater traversing the gallery.

The continuous live performance in the Curve is set against a backdrop of spatial interventions, including a maze-like architectural structure, a chequer-board dance floor and a vibrantly coloured wall painting that spans the length of the curved wall.

Jane Alison, Head of Visual Arts, Barbican, said:

“I am delighted that Eddie Peake will realise the 24th installation in our acclaimed Curve commission series. Focusing on how bodies move in space – and a follow up to his outstanding Adjective Machine Gun show at White Cube in 2013 – this show will foreground Peake’s ability to combine different media with performance, and will no doubt prove to be an unmissable spectacle.

“This will be the first time that live performance features throughout the duration of a Curve commission, and as such reflects our commitment to groundbreaking cross-arts programming.”

Eddie Peake’s practice intimately connects art with sexuality. Firmly rooted in the language of sculpture, Peake’s work celebrates the body as both a sculptural and sexual object and extends to painting, installation, video and performance.

His work is an often-energetic spectacle in which the absurd and the erotic each find a place, and in which the artist plays a central role. In his performances, Peake plays with idealised notions of the human form, drawing on art historical references from Renaissance and classical sculpture to popular culture. Peake’s work invites the viewer into a complex relationship of desire, sexuality and visual pleasure.

Eddie Peake said: “I want to make a show that uses a loop structure, in terms of both time and the very specific conditions of the Curve gallery space, to convey a narrative in which unrequited desire, jealousy, love – and other real emotions implicit in the experience of being in a relationship with another person – take centre stage.

“I want the show, and its looped structure, to utilise the fact that the curved gallery necessarily cannot be viewed all at once, and in so doing, I’d like the act of viewing to be a narrative element, implicating the viewer as a sort of protagonist.”

While studying at the Royal Academy, Peake staged a naked five-a-side football match in Burlington Gardens, London where the two teams were differentiated only by their socks and trainers. As the work’s title suggests, Touch (2012) addressed the inherent tactility and homoerotic exhibitionism that comes with contact sports. For Peake, the work was ‘a joyous event’, but one that quickly became commonplace as the audience became used to the nudity of the players.

Peake has recently presented the result of a year living in Rome, A Historical Masturbators at the Galleria Lorcan O’Neill in Rome.

Born in London in 1981, Eddie Peake has lived in Jerusalem, Rome and London. Having graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2006, he undertook a residency at the British School at Rome from 2008 to 2009, and in 2013 graduated with a Master’s degree from the Royal Academy Schools, London.

Recent performance projects include The David Roberts Art Foundation (2012), The Tanks, Tate Modern in conjunction with the Chisenhale Gallery (2012), The Royal Academy of Arts (2012), Cell Project Space (2012) and Performa 13 (2013). International solo exhibitions include Galleria Lorcan O’Neill, Rome (2012), Southard Reid, London (2012) (with Prem Sahib), Focal Point Gallery, Southend (2013), White Cube, Sao Paulo (2013) and Peres Projects, Berlin (2014).

Eddie Peake’s Curve exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated publication, including a newly commissioned text by Omar Kholeif, Curator at Whitechapel, and an interview with the artist by Alona Pardo, Barbican Curator, alongside installation views as well images of previous work. The book is part of a publication series by Barbican Art Gallery and Ridinghouse which focuses on the Curve exhibition programme, and launches with a talk with artist Eddie Peake.

Admission: Free.

Opening times: Saturday – Wednesday, 11am–8pm; Thursday and Friday, 11am–9pm; Bank Holidays, 12pm–8pm.

For more information, call 0845 120 7550 or visit

Also at the Barbican: The World of Charles and Ray Eames (in the Barbican Gallery from October 21, 2015 to February 14, 2016).

Contemporary craft fair returns to Richmond Upon Thames

Event preview

CRAFT In Focus is returning to the newly refurbished venue at the RACC (Parkshot Centre), Richmond Upon Thames, after an absence of four years. Their contemporary Craft & Design Fair will be held from November 13 to November 15, 2015 and will present around 70 of the finest designer makers from around the UK.

The venue is just off the high street in Richmond Upon Thames – a short walk from the station and with an adjacent car park.

Craft In Focus events offer the public a calibre of exhibitor not often seen at other craft fairs and this event offers a perfect opportunity to see outstanding work and craftsmanship.

Visitors will be able to purchase from a stunning treasure trove of original and affordable designs direct from British artists who have a real passion for the work they create and that simply cannot be found among the mass-produced items sold on the high street.

It is also possible to commission bespoke pieces in a relaxed atmosphere for yourself, your home or someone special. If you are seeking something unusual and original and produced by an individual business, you will not be disappointed.

All of the exhibitors at Craft In Focus events have designed and made the work that they display, and have been selected for their individuality and innovation in contemporary design, as well as outstanding technical ability. Because of this, Craft in Focus has earned an enviable reputation for selecting only the very best designers, artists and craftsmen.

Admission: £5. Accompanied under 14s free.

Opening times: Daily from 10am to 5pm.

RACC (Richmond Adult Community College), Parkshot, Richmond, TW9 2RE

Mel Geidroyc to host the Strictly Come Dancing Live 2016 UK Tour

Mel Geidroyc

Event preview

TICKETS for the 2016 Strictly Come Dancing Live UK Tour went on sale this week, swiftly followed by the announcement of a brand new tour host – star of The Great British Bake Off and Strictly super fan, Mel Giedroyc.

Mel will bring her hugely popular sense of humour and passion for all things Strictly to the live tour for the first time.

Mel Giedroyc said: “I’ve been a huge fan of Strictly Come Dancing for many years, so am thrilled to be hosting the 2016 UK Live Tour. The celebrity dancers and their professional partners will make for a sequin-tacular time on stage. (Note to self – must rent a pair of sparkling white dentures for January/February…). Who knows I might even shake a leg myself – as long as Strictly provide me with a surgical corset!

Mel will be joined by the Strictly Come Dancing judges Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli, who will reunite for the 2016 tour! Craig Revel Horwood will also direct the live event for the sixth successive year.

BBC One’s popular entertainment show Strictly Come Dancing returned to TV screens on Friday, September 25 for an exciting new series, with another amazing line up of famous faces from the worlds of show business, music, sport and television.

Featuring many of the celebrities and professional dancers from the star-studded thirteenth series, the super-sized spectacular live arena tour will bring them back on to the dance floor to recreate their most popular routines from the TV series. Details of celebrities and professional dancers appearing on tour will be announced over the next few months.

Len, Craig and Bruno will be providing their invaluable wisdom, advice and scores at the end of each performance. But as well as competing for the judges’ scores, the celebrities and their dance partners will also be battling to win votes from the arena audiences, who can text vote via their mobile phones and will ultimately have the power to decide who will win the prized Glitterball Trophy at the end of each performance.

The Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour has received rave reviews since it began in 2008 and the 2015 UK Live Tour was no exception. The Daily Telegraph gave it a 4 star review, saying: “the infectious atmosphere is hard to resist, proving that a dash of Strictly magic does a lot of good”. The Daily Express and Sunday Express agreed, both awarding glowing 4 star reviews. The Daily Mirror said: “A show full of spectacle, with a great live band and singers”, while Metro said: “The perfect tonic for those winter blues, the live show features all the best elements from the TV series”.

Last December, an audience of over 11 million viewers tuned in to watch the nail-biting Strictly Come Dancing Grand Final on BBC One, when TV presenter Caroline Flack was crowned the winner with her professional dance partner Pasha Kovalev. The television format, internationally known as Dancing with the Stars, is one of the most successful TV formats ever created and has been sold into over 50 countries around the world.

The 30 show spectacular will open at the Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham (January 22-24) before continuing to Sheffield Arena (January 26-27), First Direct Arena, Leeds (January 28-29), Manchester Arena (January 30-31), Echo Arena, Liverpool (February 2), Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle (February 3-4), The SSE Hydro, Glasgow (February 5-7), Capital FM Arena, Nottingham (February 9-10), The SSE Arena, Wembley (February 11-12) and The O2, London (February 13-14).

Tickets: £35 – £65 (bands venue dependent). The O2 prices are £36 – £66 (inclusive of a £1 per ticket venue facility fee). All ticket prices are subject to a booking fee. To book, contact the venue or call 0844 875 8758 or visit or

For more information visit

Hartwig Fischer appointed Director of the British Museum

The British Museum

SIR RICHARD Lambert (Chair of the Trustees of the British Museum) this morning (September 29, 2015) announced to staff that Dr Hartwig Fischer had been appointed Director of the British Museum.

Dr Hartwig Fischer, who is currently the Director General of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, will take up the post in Spring 2016. The current Director, Neil MacGregor will retire from the Museum at Christmas.

The appointment has been confirmed by the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron.

Chairman of the Trustees, Sir Richard Lambert, said: “On behalf of the Trustees I am very happy to announce the appointment of Hartwig Fischer (currently Director General of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden) as Director of the British Museum.

“He is one of the outstanding museum directors in the world. He is not only a great scholar, but an experienced administrator and a gifted linguist with a global reputation for rethinking and representing great collections. In Essen he directed one of the leading museums of 20th century art in Germany and in Dresden he directs a museum whose collections are amongst the greatest in the world.

“Neil MacGregor has been a brilliant Director of the British Museum and has transformed its presence across the world. The Trustees are confident Dr Fischer will be a worthy successor.”

Hartwig Fischer said: “When I was growing up in Hamburg, Britain was always present in my family life. It has remained so ever since. I never dreamt that I would be invited to be responsible for this great British institution and I am conscious that nobody could fail to grasp what the British Museum represents not only for the UK but for the whole world.

“For many years I have looked to the British Museum as a model of public engagement, critical scholarship, and international outreach. I am of course daunted by such a responsibility but I know that nobody directs such a museum alone and the colleagues of the British Museum are admired and envied around the world. I am greatly looking forward to working with them.

“I have visited the British Museum on many occasions as a member of the public and have always admired the way every member of the team plays their part in making the collection available to the public all over the world. It’s an honour to be asked to become the Director of the British Museum and to follow in the footsteps of Neil MacGregor who has done more than anybody else to position the Museum as one of modern society’s key institutions, fostering knowledge, understanding, and global citizenship”.

Neil MacGregor said: “Hartwig Fischer is the perfect choice to run the British Museum. The Museum, its staff, its Trustees and its unparalleled collection are truly international. It therefore makes absolute sense for the new Director to reflect this global outlook. Dr Fischer is a well-respected scholar with extensive experience. He will I am sure build on the British Museum’s recent successes to ensure the Museum remains one of the world’s greatest museums.”

Dr Hartwig Fischer is currently the Director General of the “Dresden State Art Collections” (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden) where he is responsible for fourteen museums and four separate institutions in four cities. His focus since his appointment in 2012 has been on modernizing and developing the State Art Collections which date back to the 16th century. The collections are some of Germany’s finest, spanning more than 5,000 years of art, archaeology, anthropology and cultural history.

Prior to that appointment, Dr Fischer was Director of the Folkwang Museum in Essen (2006-2012). Whilst in post he oversaw the fundraising and restoration of the historic museum and the construction of a new building and presided over a period of increasing visitor figures and popularity. He began his Museum career at the Kunstmuseum in Basel where he was curator of 19th century and Modern Art from 2001-2006.

Dr Fischer has studied the History of Art, History and Classical Archaeology in Bonn, Berlin, Rome and Paris and holds a Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Bonn. He speaks German, English, French and Italian.

He was born in Hamburg on December 14, 1962 and is married to psychoanalyst Ilaria Piqueras Fischer.

Heimo Zobernig at Simon Lee Gallery

Work by Heimo Zobernig

Exhibition preview

SIMON Lee Gallery is presenting an exhibition of Heimo Zobernig’s new paintings – from October 13 to November 14, 2015.

The exhibition will be its third with the artist to date, and follows his radical intervention in the architecture of the Austrian Pavilion for this year’s Venice Biennale.

This new body of work extends Zobernig’s investigation into painting’s ability to hold and convey meaning.

Some works echo the linguistic grid composition of his REAL/EGAL series, but both surface and text are fractured, built up of shimmering tesserae. As letters and words come into and out of focus, readings are at once suggested and frustrated. Paint – and composition – alone remains.

Heimo Zobernig was born in Austria in 1958, and currently lives and works in Vienna. He studied at the Akademie der bildenden Künste, Wien from 1977-1980, and at the Hochschule fur Angewandte Kunst, Wien from 1980-1983.

He has exhibited extensively across the world, with major solo exhibitions at the Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, Germany (2014), Mudam Luxembourg, Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg (2014), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain (2012), which travelled to Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, Austria (2013), Kunsthalle Zurich and the Essl Museum, Vienna (2011), Centre Pompidou, Paris, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, CAPC, Musée d’art Contemporain, Bordeaux (2009) and Tate St Ives (2008).

Zobernig was chosen to represent Austria in the 56th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale. His intervention of the Austrian Pavilion will be on view until 22 November 2015.

Image: Heimo Zobernig, Untitled, 2015, Acrylic on canvas, 200 × 200 cm (78 3/4 × 78 3/4 in).

Simon Lee Gallery, 12 Berkeley Street, London, W1J 8DT


Jean-Etienne Liotard - Royal Academy of Arts

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION devoted to the idiosyncratic Swiss artist Jean-Etienne Liotard (1702 – 1789), who attained international recognition as one of the most highly accomplished portraitists of eighteenth century Enlightenment Europe, will be on display at the Royal Academy of Arts from October 24, 2015 to January 31, 2016.

Entitled Jean-Etienne Liotard, the exhibition will bring together over 70 works, providing a unique opportunity to view a wide selection of the artist’s exceptional oeuvre in pastel, as well as oil paintings, drawings and miniatures from public and private collections in Europe and the UK, many of which have rarely been seen in public.

Born in Geneva, Liotard was a peripatetic and cosmopolitan artist who worked in Constantinople, major European capitals and several royal courts. He was a master of pastel that few could emulate, creating compellingly realistic portraits and capturing the fashions of the day on a variety of scales from miniatures to full-length portraits.

Although Liotard gained a considerable reputation in his lifetime, he is little known today.

The exhibition will be arranged in six sections. The Artist and his Family will bring together a group of self-portraits, including Self-portrait Laughing, c. 1770 (Musée d’art et d’histoire, Geneva), as well as portraits of family members including his wife Marie Fargues and his eldest son, Jean-Etienne.

Some of the self-portraits present Liotard in his distinctive Oriental guise of Turkish kaftan, long beard, and Moravian fur hat, which he adopted in Constantinople and for which he became well known earning him the sobriquet in London of ‘The Turk’.

Orientalism will focus on Liotard’s four-year sojourn in Constantinople. This was made possible by The Hon. William Ponsonby (the future Lord Bessborough), whom Liotard had met in Rome and who invited the artist to accompany him to the city in 1738. His time in the capital of the Turkish Empire not only provided him with his own Turkish ‘brand’, but also subject matter for works which were to contribute to the novel taste for Orientalism.

It was there that he also undertook commissions from British and other European residents as well as making records of indigenous dress and customs. Highlights of the section will include Laura Tarsi, c. 1741 (Syndics of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge).

Liotard followed new markets for portraiture around Europe, commanding enviably high prices. He travelled to London on two occasions, 1753 – 55 and 1772 – 74, where he received numerous portrait commissions from members of British Society, including the royal family and in 1773 and 1774 he exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts.

A central theme of his long career was his enduring associations with major British patrons and collectors who commissioned portraits from him when they were passing through Paris and Geneva. Brilliantly executed, society portraits will include those of Sir Everard Fawkener and his wife, Harriet Churchill; the formidable Katherine Furness, Countess of Guilford; The Marchioness of Hartington; William Constable, friend of Jean-Jacques Rousseau; the great actor David Garrick; and the son of the 2nd Earl of Bute, Lord Mountstuart.

In 1743 in Vienna, on his return from Constantinople, which had included ten months at the Moldavian court at Jassy, Liotard received an introduction to Maria Theresa, the future Empress of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, establishing a relationship which would last over three decades. This resulted in a series of portraits of the family including one of the young Archduchess Marie-Antoinette of Austria, 1762 (Cabinet d’arts graphiques des Musées d’art et d’histoire, Geneva).

A selection of these Royal Portraits, in delicately handled chalks, will be complemented by pastel portraits made of the French royal family in Paris, 1749 – 51, and of the British royal family, the result of a commission from Augusta, Princess of Wales in 1753.

In 1757, Liotard settled in Geneva where he found himself in demand for portraits of Genevan high society. Although some of these communicate the dominant Calvinist character of the city, with their soberly attired sitters, they celebrate the prosperous members of the city’s professional elite.

Continental Society portraits will include the pendant portraits of the banker Isaac-Louis de Thelusson and his wife Julie de Thellusson-Ployard, both 1760 (Museum Oskar Reinhart, Winterthur).

Although primarily known for his portraits, Liotard created a small number of Still Lifes, Genre Scenes and Trompe L’Oeil works. Still-life: Tea Set, c. 1770 – 83 (The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles), will feature in this section alongside the trompe l’oeil painting showing a partial portrait of Maria Theresa of Austria, 1762 – 3 (Private Collection), which was discovered in 2014 and has never been seen in public before.

The exhibition has been organised by the National Galleries of Scotland and the Royal Academy of Arts. The exhibition is curated by Dr William Hauptman (Independent Art Historian), Mary Anne Stevens (Independent Art Historian) and Dr Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. The exhibition is under the patronage of His Excellency The Swiss Ambassador, Dr Dominik Furgler.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue which will present important new research on the artist. This will include contributions by the three co-curators and also Duncan Bull, Marc Fehlmann, Neil Jeffares and Aileen Ribeiro.

Image: Jean-Etienne Liotard, Woman on a Sofa Reading, 1748-52. Oil on canvas, 50 × 60 cm. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence. Photo Gabinetto Fotografico dell’Ex Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della citta di Firenze.

Jean-Etienne Liotard Gallery

Tickets: £11.50 full price (£10 excluding Gift Aid donation); concessions available; children under 16 and Friends of the RA go free. To book, visit

Times: Daily from 10am – 6pm daily (last admission 5.30pm); Late night opening: Fridays until 10pm (last admission 9.30pm).

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD

Tel: 020 7300 8000

MULTIPLIED 2015 at Christie’s South Kensington

Event preview

THE sixth installment of MULTIPLIED, the UK’s only fair dedicated to contemporary art in editions, will return to Christie’s South Kensington this autumn. Running from October 16 to October 18, the fair will take place during Frieze Week, one of the most significant periods in the international contemporary art calendar.

The 2015 edition of MULTIPLIED art fair will showcase an extensive and eclectic array of prints, photography, digital art, artist books and multiples.

Celebrated stars of the contemporary art world such as Georg Baselitz, Mat Collishaw, Sir Peter Blake, Gary Hume, Jannis Kounellis, Eileen Cooper, Glen Ligon, David Batchelor, Stephen Chambers, Ciara Phillips, Fiona Banner and Alison Wilding will be exhibited alongside emerging talent from some of the UK’s most dynamic graduate institutions including the Royal College of Art, the Royal Academy of Arts and the University of the Arts London.

Numbering amongst the forty leading international galleries exhibiting at this year’s fair are: BEARSPACE, Flowers Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery, Nottingham Contemporary, dalla Rosa Gallery, Eyestorm, CCA Galleries, and CFPR Editions.

An unmissable fixture in London’s Frieze Week, MULTIPLIED will this year stage an exciting events programme comprising panel discussions, artist talks and demonstrations with a stellar selection of renowned contemporary artists and industry experts. The 2015 edition will also host a special Guest Exhibition, with further details to follow shortly.

MULTIPLIED is an initiative of the Christie’s Prints & Multiples Department. Murray Macaulay, Fair Director of MULTIPLIED and Senior Prints Specialist at Christie’s remarks:

“The 2015 edition of MULTIPLIED will feature a dynamic selection of galleries exhibiting artists making some of the most compelling art in editions today. For those looking to start or build a collection, this year’s fair presents the ideal opportunity to acquire works by leading figures in the contemporary art world, as well as to scout out emerging stars of the future from our selection of innovative new galleries as well as leading London graduate institutions.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors from across the world to Christie’s this autumn to experience the creativity and diversity of this vibrant contemporary art scene.”


Art Seen – Contemporary Art Projects & Editions, Atelier Ji – Fine Art Prints and Publications, BEARSPACE, Benveniste Contemporary & Tamsin Wilkinson Editions, C&C Gallery, CCA Galleries and Coriander Studio, CFPR Editions, common-editions, Cubitt – Gallery | Education | Studios, dalla Rosa Gallery, Dark Matter Studio, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Eagle Gallery / EMH Arts, Editalia, Eyestorm, Flowers Gallery, Galerie Simpson, GBS Fine Art, Grey Area, Iniva, John Marchant Gallery, Julian Page Fine Art, Kamba Fine Art, LN Edition, londonprintstudio, LRRH, Made in Arts London, McLean’s Artist Malts, Nottingham Contemporary, The Royal Academy of Arts, Rabley Contemporary, Royal College of Art, SLAUGHTERHAUS, Stoney Road Press, TAG Fine Arts, Used Paper, Whitechapel Gallery.

Admission: Free.

Times: Friday, October 16, 9am – 7 pm; Saturday, October 17, 11am – 7pm; Sunday, October 18, 11am – 6pm.

Christie’s South Kensington, 85 Old Brompton Road, London, SW7 3LD

The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair - Autumn 2015 (updated)

Event preview

WITH more than 145 exhibitors from the UK and Europe, there will be a spectacular selection of period design and works of art for sale at this autumn’s Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair in Battersea Park. Highlights include:

Andy Warhol, a vivid pink Marilyn Monroe silkscreen portrait (Haynes Fine Art)

Sir Noel Coward, a seascape in oils of the Sussex coast (SAC & Co Ltd, new exhibitors)

A life-sized C19th portrait of Madame de Pompadour (Nicholas Price)

Sculptural vernacular American rocking chair with heart-shaped back, c1900 (Garden Artefacts)

Late C19th natural pearl and diamond tiara (Trivette)

1960s space-age cocktail bar by designed by Pierre Cardin (Ed Butcher)

Italian gilt and silver tôle wall sculpture of a bouquet of sunflowers, c1960 (L&V Art and Design)

A rare George III silk-work panel, after a watercolour painting by Julius Ceasar Ibbetson, titled Skaters on the Serpentine, Hyde Park, circa 1790 (Santiago Ventura Real)

Rod Arad, ‘the big easy’ chair, 1950s (Omnipod)

Previously Posted: This Autumn, from September 29 to October 4, The Battersea Fair will mark its 30th birthday.

In 1985, a London-based decorative antiques dealer, Patricia Harvey, along with her husband Ralph, conceived and launched a new kind of Fair, created for the interior design trade. It brought together like-minded dealers from around the country who understood that interior decorators were desperately looking for unfussy antiques and elegant period design that fell outside the remit of traditional antiques fairs.

The ethos and intentions of the Decorative Fair have remained steadfast: to offer buyers good value, unusual pieces, and heaps of inspiration.

The Decorative Fair has moved locations: from the Café Royale to Chelsea Harbour (1991) to Battersea Park (1997); was first to host a major central London event in a marquee; grew from once a year to three times a year; and has changed hands, being bought by exhibitors David and Jane Juran in December 2008.

At the Autumn 2015 Fair, the trade and private buyers will discover what hundreds of thousands have found before: a user-friendly, relaxed environment devoid of starchiness, with 145 dealers displaying painted, decorative and fine antique furniture; rare and unconventional objects; collectors’ items, and elegant 20th century design dating from the 17th century to 1980 (the dateline was 1950 when the Fair launched). Art of every period is also included, from antiquity to contemporary.

What sets Battersea apart from all other Fairs is the creative displays put on by exhibitors and the sense of excitement that comes from never quite knowing what might be found around each corner. The unexpected is part of the Fair’s DNA.

Much emulated since 1985 (dozens of antiques fairs around the country have added the word to their name), the ‘decorative’ aspect of The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair has never been bettered.

It remains a major hunting ground for top-flight antiques and art dealers, and a key buying event for interior designers from the UK and around the world. “We see dozens of well-known dealers from London and the regions, some of whom exhibit at the likes of Masterpiece and Maastricht, queuing up on opening day to get a first look,” says David Juran, Fair Organiser. “Sometimes we spot items bought at Battersea popping up for sale at the grander Fairs and West End retailers… We’re an open trade secret!”

Spencer Swaffer, legendary Arundel-based dealer, says: “Being first in the queue of buyers, first out of the traps and into the stands, has always been a closely fought battle. We all knew we’d learn something: a new theme, a new look, a subtle nuance, a way of putting things together, a different finish for a standard bit of furniture, a twist of vintage fabric to jazz up a chair.”

He adds: “Cheerfulness shines out of Battersea and makes it such a joy to visit. Anywhere that allows dogs clearly has its heart in the right place.”

One reason for the Fair’s cheerfulness is the lack of corporate stuffiness (it’s a family-run business) and the fact it is a dealer-focused Fair, which keeps exhibitors relaxed and enjoying themselves. When Patricia Harvey launched it, she wanted to make exhibiting easier for other women dealers and those working alone, which most antiques dealers do!

Supplied in the mix are the helpful Harvey Boys (actors mostly) who are on hand to help move furniture and heavy items for exhibitors and buyers; dealers can bring their dogs (many travel round the country with their trusty canine friends to keep them company, otherwise it can be a solitary occupation) and most of all, Patricia Harvey encouraged stand-holders to be exuberant with their decorating skills, so customers could imagine how things might look in a room. In fact quite a few Decorative Fair dealers also work as decorating advisors and interior designers.

Happy exhibitors make a cheerful experience for all concerned, and visitors love attending. The anticipation around each event helps explain 30 successful years of The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fairs, and the organisers look forward to welcoming in the fourth decade this Autumn.

Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London, SW11

JR to debut new works at Lazarides Rathbone

Work by JR

Exhibition preview

THIS autumn (October 16 to November 12, 2015), Lazarides Rathbone welcomes Parisian artist and TED Prize winner JR back to London with an exhibition of all new work from the acclaimed series of Les Bosquets (2014 – present) and UNFRAMED Ellis Island (2014 – present).

Taking place over two floors of their flagship gallery on Rathbone Place, the showcase will feature a mix of colour prints as well as the artist’s signature wood mounted monochromatic paper pieces from the UNFRAMED Ellis Island and Les Bosquets series.

Visitors to the gallery will be invited to experience the world of JR through the juxtaposition of these two unique series of all new work.

The UNFRAMED Ellis Island project seeks to commemorate the stories of millions of immigrants who entered the United States via Ellis Island. Collecting source materials from the Ellis Island archives, JR created a series of installations that bring to life the chronicles of those coming from all over the world.

Through his interventions, the artist envisages the hardships they endured, leaving behind their families, friends and belongings, to start a new life in a world unknown. The resulting series of works that will be presented highlight the enduring spirit of these immigrants whose presence has shaped the modern world.

In 2014, JR was invited by the New York City Ballet to create a large-scale art installation in collaboration with the Company dancers for their 2014 Art Series. Following the success of these installations, JR launched Les Bosquets in collaboration with the New York City Ballet making his debut as a choreographer.

Succeeding this NYC-based ballet series, JR produced a unique photographic series of the Opéra de Paris ballet dancers shot on the roof of the Paris Opera house. His new series of artworks featuring Les Bosquets draws from images of these interventions in New York and Paris.

Coinciding with his exhibition at the gallery, the short film Les Bosquets is set to premiere in London. Inspired by the 2005 riots in the French ghettos, JR reveals his experience within the community of the Bosquets in Montfermeil, where his first art project, Portrait of a Generation, took place.

The combination of video archive, choreography and personal testimony takes us to a place where art, social uproar and the power of image collide. JR shows how striving to exist in these ghettos can overcome the precariousness of life and create beauty in the realm of the unexpected.

In conjunction with the exhibition and film release, Phaidon are launching a definitive retrospective monograph on JR’s work as an artist-photographer and his cross-media participatory practice. Available on October 12 from

Admission: Free.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 7pm.

Lazarides Rathbone, 11 Rathbone Place, London, W1T 1HR

Tel: + 44 (0) 207 636 5443


Goya: The Portraits - National Gallery

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION entitled Goya: The Portraits will be on display at the National Gallery (Sainsbury Wing) from October 7, 2015 to January 10, 2016.

Portraits make up a third of Goya’s output – and more than 150 still survive today – but there has never been an exhibition focusing solely on Goya’s work as a portraitist, until this autumn when almost half this number will come together at the National Gallery.

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746–1828) is one of Spain’s most celebrated artists. He was an incisive social commentator, considered (even during his own lifetime) as a supremely gifted painter who took the genre of portraiture to new heights. Goya saw beyond the appearances of those who sat before him, subtly revealing their character and psychology within his portraits.

Born before Mozart and Casanova, and surviving Napoleon, Goya’s life spanned more than 80 years during which he witnessed a series of dramatic events that changed the course of European history.

Goya: The Portraits will trace the artist’s career, from his early beginnings at the court in Madrid to his appointment as First Court Painter to Charles IV, and as favourite portraitist of the Spanish aristocracy. It will explore the difficult period under Joseph Bonaparte’s rule and the accession to the throne of Ferdinand VII, before concluding with his final years of self-imposed exile in France.

Exhibition curator Dr Xavier Bray said: “The aim of this exhibition is to reappraise Goya’s status as one of the greatest portrait painters in art history. His innovative and unconventional approach took the art of portraiture to new heights through his ability to reveal the inner life of his sitters, even in his grandest and most memorable formal portraits.’’

This landmark exhibition will bring to Trafalgar Square more than 60 of Goya’s most outstanding portraits from both public and private collections around the world. These include works that are rarely lent, and some which have never been exhibited publicly before, having remained in possession of the descendants of the sitters.

The exhibition will show the variety of media Goya used for his portraits; from life-size paintings on canvas, to the miniatures on copper and his fine black and red chalk drawings. Organised chronologically and thematically, visitors will for the first time be able to engage with Goya’s technical, stylistic, and psychological development as a portraitist.

From São Paulo to New York, and Mexico to Stockholm, private and institutional lenders have been outstandingly generous, including 10 exceptional loans from the Museo del Prado, Madrid.

One of the stars of the show will undoubtedly be the iconic Duchess of Alba (The Hispanic Society of America Museum & Library), which has only once left the United States and has never travelled to Britain. Painted in 1797, this portrait of Goya’s close friend and patron shows the Duchess dressed as a ‘maja’, in a black costume and ‘mantilla’ pointing imperiously at the ground where the words ‘Solo Goya’ (‘Only Goya’) are inscribed.

Other patrons who assisted Goya on his upward trajectory to become First Court Painter, as Velázquez had done more than 150 years before him, are well represented: these include The Count of Floridablanca (Banco de España, Madrid) and The Duke and Duchess of Osuna and their Children (Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid) – both key and influential patrons.

The immense group portrait of The Family of the Infante Don Luis de Borbón (Magnani-Rocca Foundation, Parma), will be reunited with some of the other portraits Goya painted of the Infante’s young family who were living in exile from the Spanish court.

Other highlights will include the charismatic portrait of Don Valentin Bellvís de Moncada y Pizarro (Fondo Cultural Villar Mir, Madrid) which is unpublished and has never been seen before in public, and the rarely exhibited Countess-Duchess Benavente (Private Collection, Spain).

The recently conserved 1798 portrait of Government official Francisco de Saavedra (Courtauld Gallery, London) will be exhibited for the first time in more than 50 years alongside its pendant painted in the same year, showing his friend and colleague Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos (Museo del Prado, Madrid).

The Countess of Altamira and her daughter, María Agustina, which has never been lent internationally from the Lehman Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, will come to Europe for the very first time to be reunited with her husband The Count of Altamira (Banco de España, Madrid) and their son Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuñiga (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), wearing a fashionably expensive red costume and playing with a pet magpie (which holds the painter’s calling card in its beak).

It was shortly after completing his imposing portrait of the Countess, wearing a shimmering embroidered silk gown and shown with an introspective expression, that Goya was appointed court painter to Charles IV, King of Spain.

It was in his royal portraits in particular that Goya managed to combine his insightful observation and technical refinement to create unique, memorable portraits; in these he condensed the various aspects of his sitter’s personality into a subtle look or gesture, which often did not flatter his sitters.

Charles III in Hunting Dress (Duquesa del Arco) stands in a pose directly inspired by Velázquez’s hunting portraits of the Spanish royal family in the previous century, but the candid portrayal of a weather-beaten face with its marked wrinkles and a somewhat ironic gesture is unique to Goya, clearly revealing to us the personality of the King – an enlightened man, a lover of nature and his people, who wished to be approached as ‘Charles before King’.

Similarly, in the portrait of Ferdinand VII (Museo del Prado, Madrid) we can imagine Goya’s mistrust of the pompous and selfish monarch who abolished the constitution and reintroduced the Spanish Inquisition: dressed in all his finery and carrying a sceptre, his vacuous expression captures in a moment exactly what Goya must have thought of him.

In contrast to the formality of his royal portraits, the exhibition also features more personal works by Goya, including a number of self-portraits in different media, and depictions of his friends and family. Forty seven years lie between the first Self Portrait (about 1773, Museo Goya, Colección Ibercaja, Zaragoza) in the show, completed when Goya was in his late 20s, and the last, the poignant Self Portrait with Doctor Arrieta (1820, The Minneapolis Institute of Art) painted after an illness from which he almost died when he was 74 years old.

There will also be a chance to ‘meet’ the people who were closest to Goya; his wife Josefa Bayeu (Abelló Collection, Madrid), his son Javier Goya (Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Private Collection; Museo de Bellas Artes, Zaragoza) and his best friend and life-long correspondent Martin Zapater (Bilboko Art Eder Museoa/Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao).

The exhibition also includes the last work Goya ever painted, of his only, beloved grandson Mariano Goya (Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas) – painted just months before Goya’s death on April 16, 1828, this portrait is a testament to the genius, skill, and unfaltering creativity of an artist who persevered with his craft to his very last days.

National Gallery Director, Sir Nicholas Penny said: “This exhibition will refresh our awareness both of Goya’s genius and of the victims and victors in the turbulent world in which he lived.”

And Garrett Curran, CEO of Credit Suisse in the United Kingdom said: “We are delighted to support the National Gallery’s Goya: The Portraits, which will be the first exhibition to focus solely on Goya’s work as a portraitist and will give visitors a rare opportunity to witness the significant changes that took place in European political and social history as well as its key protagonists during Goya’s long life.”

Tickets: Adult: £18; Senior (60+): £16; Jobseeker/Student/National Art Pass (with proof of status): £9; Members: Free. Visitors are advised to book early to avoid disappointment.

Times: Daily from 10am to 6pm; Fridays 10am to 9pm.

Goya: The Portraits will also screen in cinemas as part of the third season of Exhibition On Screen. Filmed exclusively for the big screen in high definition, the film will be released in the UK from December 1, 2015 and then globally in around 40 countries at a later date. For more information visit

A book, Goya: The Portraits (Paperback) (pictured) will be available in October.