Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Giovanni da Rimini

Last year the Duke of Northumberland flogged Giovanni da Rimini's Scenes from the Lives of the Virgin and other Saints (1300-05) which had been hanging in Alnwick Castle since 1853. A temporary export ban was slapped on the painting to see if £4,919,000 could be raised to buy if for the nation. American businessman, philanthropist and art collector Ronald S. Lauder came up with the readies and an unusual offer. The National Gallery will loan him the painting for the rest of his life! He will return the painting to the gallery every three years, beginning in 2017. The painting is owned by the National Gallery (CLICK).

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Immaculate Confection

Today the Saatchi Gallery in London opened Immaculate Confection: Works by Darrell Hawkins in its Prints & Originals Gallery. Many of these works have been newly created for the exhibition. Shown is Darrell Hawkins' Lady Hurley Burley (Immaculate Chocolate) sold (CLICK).

Monday, 27 July 2015

Fan Bay Deep Shelter

This photo caught my eye today. It shows a guide in the Fan Bay Deep Shelter (2015). The shelter was excavated in the white cliffs of Dover on the orders of WWII leader Sir Winston Churchill, who was horrified to see enemy shipping moving freely within the Dover Strait. He ordered three anti-aircraft guns to be installed at Fan Bay with the battery, searchlights, radar equipment and two WWI sound mirrors plus steel-lined rooms and tunnels for the soldiers who manned the complex. The National Trust bought the land in 2012 and found the tunnels. After major restoration the tunnels were opened to the public on 20 July (CLICK).

A Royal Welcome

On Saturday Buckingham Palace opened A Royal Welcome, a public flaunting of the 19 State Rooms for Chinese tourists. You don't have to be Chinese, but how many Londoners can afford £20.50 for admission, £18.80 for silver surfers? Shown is the Thrones Room. Buckingham Palace is both the office and London residence of Her Majesty The Queen. It is one of the few working royal palaces remaining in the world today. The State Rooms are used for ceremonial occasions and official entertaining. CLICK to book tickets.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Tribal Art London

If you're into ethnographic art, here's the exhibition for you. Tribal Art London is the only tribal art fair of its kind in the UK, displaying works gathered from around the world by specialist dealers. Shown is a Hermaphrodite Figurine, Hemba people, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The fair will be open to the public at the Mall Galleries for three days only, from 3 to 5 September (CLICK).

Friday, 24 July 2015

Weiwei's Passport

On Wednesday Ai Weiwei posted this photo of himself holding his passport, returned by Chinese police after four years (CLICK). He is now hoping to travel to London for the opening of the Royal Academy of Arts major retrospective of his tosh on 19 September. Tickets cost £16.00 each for adults, £15.00 for silver surfers (CLICK). Don't think I'll bother, thanks. It's all other artists' work.

Holiday Activities

The big art galleries and museums in London are offering free drop-in activities for youngsters over the school summer holiday. These children are drawing in the National Portrait Gallery. CLICK to see what's available there. Try your nearest venue to find kiddie activities.

Love Parks Week

With school summer holidays here, today Valentines Mansion & Gardens in Valentines Park, Ilford, launched national Love Parks Week. The launch includes a range of free, drop-in activities for all ages. If rain buckets down on the gardens, you can duck into the mansion (CLICK).

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Irma Stern Find

This painting Arab in Black (1939) by Irma Stern was discovered by Bonhams Head of South African Art, Hannah O’Leary, whilst doing a routine valuation of a London apartment. It was being used as a notice board and was covered with letters, postcards and bills. It was originally put up for auction to help fund the defence of Nelson Mandela and his co-defendants in South Africa’s Treason Trial. The purchaser subsequently moved to the UK. The work comes up for auction in Bonhams sale of South African Art in London on 9 September, estimated at £700,000 to £1 million. A notice board of historic importance! CLICK for more information.

Alice Anderson

Yesterday London's Wellcome Collection - "The free destination for the incurably curious" - opened Memory Movement Memory Objects by French-British artist Alice Anderson, who creates sculptures out of everyday objects mummified in copper thread. Over 100 of her works are on display. Shown is A gallery assistant posing between two of Anderson:'s sculptures. The exhibition shimmers along until 18 October (CLICK).