Galleries - February 2014

FEBRUARY 2014 GALLERIES 55 top right: C .H. Contencin (1898-1955) ‘Mont Blanc seen from la Flégère, Chamonix’ At John Mitchell Fine Paintings CODA continued from page 10 appreciate the discipline . . . Promotion and publicity are of course vital to the initiative and services vary widely, but usually the exhibitor is responsible for all marketing activities such as invitations, posters and advertising. Depending on the set-up, some hire galleries have mailing lists, either electronic or postal, which exhibitors are able to access. Some also have websites or a presence in magazines such as Galleries or on social networking sites where the exhibition could be listed: it pays to supply accurate information as early as possible. And then of course there is the catalogue, a useful record for the future, perhaps the only record of this huge investment of time and effort. Still wondering what your dealer does for you? In early European drawing and painting, mountains are often simply distant feathery crags framing a foreground drama. It was not until the 19th Century that artists, inspired by the spread of Romanticism, started producing images in which mountains provide both the subject and the drama. Two exhibitions, currently on at John Mitchell Fine Paintings, demonstrate the variety of Alpine depictions in art since 1800: Peaks and Glaciers 2014 and Johann Martin Steiger, a collection of over 200 works by the recently rediscovered artist. Running until 7 March, Peaks and Glaciers coincides with the Christie’s Ski Sale, but it steers well clear of Alpine sports, instead focusing on the Romantic fascination with pure, savage mountain terrains. Humans pass through these landscapes almost incidentally, as is shown nowhere more clearly than in Alexandre Calame’s Mountain Torrent Before a Storm (The Aare River, Haslital). Here, a tiny figure kneels, wrist-to-forehead in the face of an overwhelming force of nature . Throughout the works in Peaks , the mountain is a source of irresistible power and occasionally the product of artistic fancy, less straightforward than the topographical impressions of Johann Steiger. Steiger’s exhibition is presented in its entirety online where potential buyers can enlarge and study the works, before heading to Old Bond Street. With many works completed on commission for Swiss postal advertisements, Steiger’s expansive output is the result of a lifetime of observations as a Swiss native and mountaineer. Often produced in front of the subject, Steiger’s drawings and watercolours will appeal to the nostalgia of any viewer who is a practiced skier or climber, knows the chill of winter air or recognises the play of light on a peak. In the end, it is up to the viewer to choose a mountain scene that is wild and mysterious or enchanting and familiar. John Mitchell provides both. Frances Allitt EMMA GROVER ‘I Spy II’ 2000, etching/chine colle, 8 x 12cm