Galleries - December 2018

6 GALLERIES DECEMBER 2018 dilemma. A personalised, unique and lasting gift of a work of art will stay longer on the wall or shelf, than an ‘essential’ implement for example, destined for the kitchen drawer, or cupboard under the stairs, after a few weeks. ‘It’s the gift that just keeps giving’ is a slogan that has been used by advertisers and campaign managers of cameras, radios, TVs and magazinesubscriptions for decades. And now art. Choosing a work of art, whether it bea pieceof pottery or sculpture, a limited edition photographic print, linocut or painting, is not an easy option, however. The recipient’s taste in art has to bethefirst concern and this can be determined by a squint around his or her house. If they areinto ‘Cries of Old London’ prints, then an Albert Irvin abstract expressionist silkscreen could be inappropriate. There are plenty of galleries offering low to medium-priced works, particularly around Christmas, whether they be small paintings, prints or ceramics by local artists. Onecould buy a topographical print or watercolour of therecipient’s hometown, placeof birth or favouritevillageor town in Cornwall or Yorkshire, and there are dozens of specialist galleries dealing in such genres. A striking black and white photograph of a landscapeor favouriteanimal, say, is often a cheaper way of buying art, while small, handmadeworks in pottery are often modestly priced. As long as it’s personal, and has taken somethought by thegiver, the recipient should be thrilled, although any picturehas to be framed. Unframed work will lurk in a drawer and become dog-eared. Remember, a work of art, even a Doig, is not just for Christmas. Don Grant Truly Gifted Charles Ephrussi, wealthy son of a pan-European Jewish dynasty of grain brokers and bankers who had migrated from Odessa on the Black Sea to Europe, was a friend, not only of the leading impressionist painters of the time, but of Marcel Proust, who modelled his character Swann on him in ‘À la recherché du temps perdu’. Ephrussi had seen Manet’s painting of a bunch of asparagus and sent the artist 200 francs more than the asking price of 800, the story of which Proust used in his novel. Manet responded by dashing off and delivering an extra canvas with a single spear and the note: ‘This seems to have slipped from the bundle.’ Artists are well known for giving each other works, the results of which have produced some extraordinarily fine collections. Recently, Freud’s amassment of the works of Frank Auerbach, many gifted, which included 15 oils and 29 works on paper by one of Britain’s greatest living artists, was bequeathed to the nation in lieu of around £16m of inheritance tax. Picasso had a vast collection of art which he accumulated over some years, and many were gifts from fellow artists. A retired French electrician has claimed that Picasso had gifted him a stash of over 270 paintings, drawings, sketches, lithographs and notebooks, worth a conservative € 60m. He maintained that Picasso and his wife Jacqueline had given him the works after he installed alarm systems in the painter’s various homes, including the house in Mougins, where he died. Naturally, his son Claude and other descendants have disputed the whole merry tale, but imagine if Picasso really had given this humble man all these works and he has been wrongly accused of somehow ‘liberating’ them. Few of us are likely to have this . . . glittering glass, sensuous ceramics, delicate watercolours, contemplative sculpture, exuberantly expressive canvases, subtle etchings, cutting edge digital, covetable prints, delicately crafted gold or silver bowls . . . published by Barrington Publications, 65 Aspenlea Road, London W6 8LH T. 01372 842879 - ISSN 0265-7511 Christmas COVER Anita Klein ‘Goddess of the Snow’ - t @anitakleinart I anitakleinart “Anita Klein’s ability to help us see the possibility of happiness in life’s small moments, from enjoying the simple pleasure of a cup of tea to sharing a tender moment with loved ones, is a wonderful reminder of what life is really about. The value of realising that happiness is within everyone’s grasp if only we chose to savour and appreciate what we already have is priceless.The ability to remind us of this fact is, in my opinion, her real talent.” Shona Lockhart The Happiness Experiment