The first newsletter of the year - we are still feeling the cold and the need for scarves to wrap up warm!!
It's that part of season, the limbo before spring, so I thought I’d add some bright and light inside experiences; museums, galleries & shows – why not add a bit of colour to our lives during the grey damp old days of February. But with the mild end to 2015 one should not complain - hopefully Valentine’s Day will bring some joy!
With Chinese New Year and Valentine Day this week it's the red season. Roses and chocolates have a short shelf life,which you don't want in a relationship, so if you are wanting to impress and woo your love then give the right message and think the long game! Plan your strategy and go for a gift of longevity to that someone special that you want longer in your life rather than going for an easy option or what could be a short term disposable consumerable!
I rarely write about the big block buster exhibitions as they get so much coverage.However, a must in Paris for me is visitingthe Musée de l’Orangerie, where the two large oval rooms have 8 tableau of Monet’s nymphs - I can look at them for hours – so beautifully peaceful and the layering of colour makes you want to drown in the paint.So knowing that the three panels, not used in that scheme and sold separately to three American museums, were to be reunited at the RA for this show I visited the exhibition at the first opportunity and was not disappointed !! The rest of the show is, of course, worth visiting but expect there have been enough reviews written on it as a whole. https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/
On of my bucket list of ‘must do’s’ was the TEFAL Fair at Maastricht. It is the pinnacle of the antique fairs with the Armoury show and Masterpiece being the other two big fairs in the arts world.
Maastricht is mind blowing - the quality of the stands and layout of the show ensure that the environment is spectacular. It is worth going even of you are not a collector or looking to buy as the works for sale are that of museum quality with all areas of genre from Antiquities to Modern works. I thought it could be seen in a day but it truly needs one and a half to two days to do it justice as there is so much to take in and see - make it a road trip via Brussels!!
The gloom and doom with lack of snow early on this ski season has made me think of a, what appears to be, ‘secret resort’ with snow on its slopes and a forward forecast of snow falling everyday. I have stayed here a few times and the ski lift is almost in the hotel! Suitable for all abilities of skiing and the back drop of mountains is so “Von Trap” that you expect Julie Andrews to appear at any moment. It’s totally traditional Austrian style with immaculate service, delicious food and charming staff making it a truly luxurious skiing holiday. If you able to stay during their ‘special weeks’ it’s also a bargain - with guaranteed snow. - the reports back this season are its even better than last year with new slopes and places for a gluhwein stop with the best being the 360* at the very top of the mountain.
Mobiles, that are mesmerisingly restful, are very much part of this show and it’s what one thinks of Calder. The exhibition opens with his earlier works which are more sculptural, whimsical and figurative in a bendy wire sort of way - does that make sense ? Then ‘Small Sphere Heavy Sphere’ is an installation of pendulum that randomly bangs into placed objects in its path which then change the direction, making different sound tones as each object hits with more resinance as it goes on its gentle rhythmic sway - never following that path again so guess it’s like the lottery ticket numbers - just random !! There are also of course the mobiles that one is so familiar with too.
Another move on the St James’s landscape - The Portland Gallery crosses the road on to Bennet Street. The new gallery is a more intimate space showcasing Tom Hewlett’s tasteful editing of modern British, Scottish Colourists and other modern artists work. At the opening of the gallery there was an interesting Heron Seago and Piper that caught my eye and I will always have gratitude to Tom for inducting me and giving me his encouragement to collect Dylan Lewis sculpture.
Last week I came in the office to find a gift on my desk - a beautiful tome entitled “Untold Stories of Hollywood". It is more than a coffee table book, it’s a treasure of daily black and white images alongside fascinating and, as James Sherwood says, occasionally risqué reading. This beautiful book will be housed with the collection of books that are special to me that I keep here in the basement!! At this point I leave you to read James Sherwood’s review as he does it with the total credit that it deserves.