1. Go Westminster
H Blairman & Sons has opened its new gallery in Westminster. It moved from Mayfair and opened on December 9 in rooms at 15 Queen Anne’s Gate, an early-18th century house south of St James’s Park.
The business, which began 135 years ago, once specialised in 18th and early-19th century English and French furniture and works of art. Now run by Martin Levy and his wife Patricia, it focuses on late-19th and early-20th century furniture and works of art.
Levy said: “It seems hard to imagine a more appropriate setting for this new phase of Blairman’s four-generation history.
“The house was built in 1706 by Charles Hales, who may have been its first resident. Subsequent occupants include the 6th Earl of Leicester, John Long, Bishop of Norwich, and the painter Frances Reynolds, sister of Sir Joshua. In 1908 Sir Edwin Lutyens, who two years later was to move his office to number 17, executed internal restorations for Edward Hudson, the founder of Country Life.”
2. Premises priority
Richard Cave opened a new premises at 12 Clarendon Cross in London’s Holland Park earlier this year under the banner of Cave Decorative Arts, following six months of development.
Formerly of Mallett, the dealer specialises in 18th and 19th century furniture. He went solo in May 2016.
“I believe in a shop window and having premises. It was a priority for me, along with being online,” Cave told ATG.
His focus is still on English furniture, though he also offers decorative panels and objects such as glass, metal and ceramics.
Cave added: “There may be Mid-century and Modern furniture on offer, including pieces by designers such as Tom Faulkner.
“I think antiques are for the soul, and Contemporary pieces are for energy and life, but they need to be well chosen for it to really work and you need an experienced eye.”
The gallery occupies the basement, ground and first floors and is open by appointment, Monday to Saturday. Cave next stands at the Open Art Fair (March 18-24, 2020).
3. One-off reunion
Claire Brown Art and Richard Philp are reuniting for a one-off showcase in Hammersmith.
In 1989, Brown had her start at Philp’s eclectic gallery in Notting Hill. During the ‘90s, the pair creating many fair stands that mixed the ancient and modern. In their collaboration on December 14-15 they continue to explore the relationship between old and new.
The show is centered around Philp’s graphite drawings. During the past few years, he has concentrated on creating his own works in various media, including this series depicting the sea, vegetation and the female form. They are offered at prices ranging from £450-650 (unframed).
Brown’s focus has also shifted recently. Late last year Rupert Wace Ancient Art, where she had been director, closed. She went solo and now offers a range of stock as well as consultancy and curatorial services.
She brings objects to juxtapose with Philp’s compositions, such as a pair of arm rings from c.1200- 900BC with uniform spirals that reflect his linear depiction of the sea at Climping. Her offerings, including antiquities, tribal art and contemporary ceramics, range in price from £100-5000.
4. Soho scene
Robert Upstone has opened a gallery in Soho. The first exhibition at the new premises at 40 Frith Street is a collection of recent works by artist Keith Coventry (b.1958).
Upstone, who worked at Tate for 20 years rising to head of modern British art, joined the Fine Art Society in 2010. In 2016 he left to set up his business, initially working from the basement of Rupert Maas’ gallery on Clifford Street in Mayfair.
Upstone said he will hold regular shows in his gallery, focusing on a mix of Modern British, 20th century and Contemporary art. He continues to exhibit at fairs such as the British Art Fair and is considering a larger scale fair such as Frieze Masters in the future.
The Soho gallery has a 1743 interior with original panelling. Upstone said: “I think the white cube space is finished: artists don’t want that any more. They don’t want an antiseptic space they want a place that has the patina of history.”
He added: “Having worked in the public sector and then the commercial world I have realised having fun is very important. Soho has a very strong energy and sense of excitement and there is a great community here with small businesses working together, supporting each other.”
The Coventry show ‘The Old Comedy: Collages by Keith Coventry’ runs until December 14. It comprises more than 20 collages referencing the ‘Old Comedy’ of Aristophanes with modernist, Bauhaus-like abstract compositions. The collage materials include lollipop sticks with crude humour of ancient Athens printed on them.
5. Collect call
Anthony Outred, a Pimlico Road dealer and member of the BADA council, has joined The Blanchard Collective in Wiltshire.
He is among several newcomers. Among them are interior decorator Lynda Franklin, Ramsey Krause, Marchand Antiques and Tyson London, which supplies decorative lighting and furniture.
It follows a change of ownership after the retirement of longtime leaders Margaret and John Riordan (ATG No 2391). Travers and Katie Nettleton of Garden Art Plus in Hungerford are now co-owners with Hugo Scott Russell, who is responsible for daily management.
Russell said: “We are delighted with the amount of interest the re-launched Blanchard Collective has attracted and are pleased to announce that several interesting new dealers have been signed up.”
6. Up the hill
Design dealership RKade has opened a new space in London’s Notting Hill. The gallery, at 46 Ledbury Road, opened last month following an extensive fit-out. It offers works by French and Italian artists, architects and designers of the 20th century along with some examples from the 18th and 19th centuries.
7. Expanding from the east
Contemporary art dealer Stuart Shave is set to open a third London premises for his business Modern Art. His two other galleries are both in east London but this additional space is in St James’s.
“I have wanted to open a gallery on Bury Street for a number of years and have been waiting for the right space to become available,” Shave said. “The size of the new gallery will provide a contrasting opportunity to programme exhibitions on a far more intimate scale than is possible in our two other spaces.”
The 1200sq ft Bury Street shop is due to open in spring next year, occupying a ground and lower ground-floor space on Bury Street. It features an exhibition area, viewing room and offices.
Shows are planned first for Austrian painter Martha Jungwirth and later Richard Tuttle and Sanya Kantarovsky.