Galleries - July 2011

ART AT THE HEART Last November, as readers of this magazine will be well aware, since we published a very glossy supp- lement to celebrate it, the Bath Galleries Group held its inaugural ‘Bath Art Affair’, in which some 30 of the city’s galleries combined to show off the extraordinary rich- ness and variety of its gallery scene. That event seems to have been a huge success, reaching out beyond a local audience to a rather more international one. Now, to consolidate their to- getherness before the next event, the Group is organising an art auction to raise funds for ‘Art at the Heart’, a charity based at the Royal United Hospital that supp- orts a huge variety of art-therapy events there for both patients’ and visitors’ well-being. With work by Henri Matisse and Peter Blake (among others) to bid for, Jamie’s Italian providing supper, John Cleese presiding and a profess- ional auctioneer to take the bid- ding, July 6 sounds like a promis- ing evening . . . LEO du FEU Since graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 1984 Leo du Feu’s closely observed landscape painting has quickly won well deserved recognition. He has al- ready been awarded a number of prestigious prizes and travelling awards which have taken him on his many journeys to far flung places such as Canada and Century works – no big names but some good things nonetheless. William Jackson OPENING DOORS Back in January this column drew attention to an enterprising show at the Royal West of England Academy, entitled ‘Inside-Out’, which celebrated Bristol’s thriving and dynamic studio scene, in par- ticular the Jamaica Street Artists. This extremely well-organised art- ists’ studios has in fact also been involved in a year-long illustration project in the historic St George’s concert venu and a pop-up shop in Park Street at Christmas as well. Quite a twelve months for the group and they don’t seem to be stopping, with a massive Open Studios event coming up later this month (22 to 24 July). As one of the largest artist-led studio com- plexes outside London that will require a considerable degree of stamina from the visitor – curiosity is essential! Also on display during the weekend will be the first fruits of an intriguing collaboration with the Arts Council funded Stroud Valley Arts, that will include an introductory display from the JSA’s first official studio guest artist from the SVA, as well as a showcase for a number of their members. And if you haven’t al- ready bought something while going round, there is a mini-can- vas auction on the Sunday after- noon. Pace ‘ Damien and Tracey’, who said artists don’t know how to promote themselves? ANTENNAE 8. GALLERIES JULY 11 FIGHTING BACK With the UK’s position in the art market usurped by the Hong Kong based Chinese market, Lon- don desperately needs solid performances and spectacular record results. There is certainly enough activity in the June/July season for this to happen with several high quality fairs, the best being Masterpiece, 1 to 5 July; The Master Drawings and Paint- ings Week, 1 to 8 July and a series of Impressionist, Post War and Old Master auctions at the four main houses. Up-coming works of note are The Estate of Ernst Beyeler from Basel at Christie’s in their sale on 28 June, followed on 5 July by a major Gainsborough portrait and a very important Stubbs, estima- ted at £20–30m. Bonhams have a good Modigliani ‘Portrait of a Girl’ in their Modern sale and at Phillips de Pury, a Basquiat self- portrait is on offer at £2–3m. Sotheby’s though have a sensational Schiele painting of ‘Houses with Laundry’ of 1914, estimated at £22–30m, offered on 22 June and works by Bacon and Warhol a week later. But on 6 July they offer the most important Ven- etian Guardi for 20 years, ‘A View of the Rialto Bridge’, estimated at £15–25m. Finally, an interesting auction also being held in Central London on 7 July by very lively ‘minnow’ MacDougall’s. Best known for their Russian auctions, this sale focuses on Old Master and 19th