Sunday, October 17, 2010

Affordable and not so affordable Art

Eda Akaltun, Truth, Everybody's Talking (2009)

Thursday night was one for guest lists as two new galleries opened in Mayfair. Hauser & Wirth opened their third London Gallery on Saville Row with Louise Bourgeois's exhibition The Fabric Works and a new art buying experience in Lumas Gallery opened on Conduit Street.

Louise Bourgeois, Untitled (2005)

Louise Bourgeois, Untitled (2006)

Louise Bourgeois's exhibition, which is open until the 18 December, 'features over seventy fabric drawings made between 2002 and 2008, as well as four large-scale sculptures.  Made from clothes and other domestic effects accrued over decades, Bourgeois's fabric drawings are abstract yet acutely personal works, retaining allusions to the materials' past incarnations.'

Louise Bourgeois, Untitled (2007)

Louise Bourgeois, Untitled (2003)

For me Bourgeois's works are the perfect balance between expertly crafted, traditional fabric work and graphical designs which are modern yet have a comforting and homely nature to them. Alongside the exhibition is a new book on Bourgeois by Ann Coxon, which draws on the artists own drawings and writings, it serves as a great introduction to her work and a source of new insight to those already following her work.

H.G. Esch, Megacities, Hong Kong 04 (2001)

Opposite Hauser & Wirth on the corner of Saville Row and Conduit Street is the Lumas Gallery's new London space.  Established in 2004 in Berlin, Lumas now has fourteen galleries around the world and supports work from over 120 international artists from the well known, Stephen Shore, Nan Goldin, John Baldessari and Andy Warhol to works by up and coming talent at the start of promising career's.

Julia Christie, White Sands Beach No. 1 (2006)

David Downton, Fashion, Lulu (2006)

Lumas aims to provide affordable art for people who 'are not quite in the five or six figure price range of more traditional galleries but are past buying poster art or unlimited prints' as Jan Seewald, Head of Public Relations at Lumas puts it.  From speaking to him at the opening it is clear that he and all the people at Lumas are keen to get people into the art buying community.

He went on to say 'people may feel apprehensive in entering a gallery in order to purchase an artwork, they may not be able to afford it now but they are still interested.  We aim to get them used to the idea and educate them in buying art, they may stay with us and always buy from us or they may move on to the more expensive galleries when they are in the position to buy in that price range. But that's OK, we just want to introduce people to the idea of collecting art'.

Annet van der Voort, Still Life, Vanitas I (2008)

Of the pieces on show on opening night, H.G. Esch's Megacities (2001), Annet van der Voort's Still Life (2008), Rafael Neff's Beach (2008), David Downton's Fashion (2006) and Julia Christie's White Sands (2000) were the most striking and could see on my walls.

Helmut Hirler, Europe, Boisseron, Camargue, France (2003)

Pep Ventosa, Greetings from..., The Tower Bridge (2008)

Some artworks and photographs on show I did feel were more accessible to the masses that others; Pep Ventosa's Greetings from... (2008) was getting quite a lot of attention, it's large format and reasonable price tag of seven hundred and fifty pounds, it seemed to me the artwork for the person who really like's the infamous Red Bus on Tower Bridge but doesn't want to admit it.  

Other more mainstream pieces included photographs of celebrities, Mick Jagger, Penelope Cruz and a collage of Blondie images which made up a larger image of her (this sold on the night), although artfully taken I do feel that this is a road the Lumas does not want to drive down for to long a time.  I was glad to hear from Seewald that there were plans to focus the space to exhibiting one artist, I feel that this would give the gallery a more authentic feel.

Wulf Winckelmann, Landscapes, Landscape I (2010)

Thomas Zika, Papillons, Colias Rot (2010)

Amelie von Oppen, Kontraste, Partitur (2008)

I've since taken a look at their website and can see a lot more artwork and which I would love to see in the gallery and artists I would like Lumas to feature in one of their first artist shows.  I also found more work by Rafael Neff, which I absolutely adore.  His series Libraries are some images that I could just stare at for hours, the detail is immense are so different to the simplicity of his Beach photographs.

Rafael Neff, Beach, NFL.2 (2008)

Reinhard Gorner, Interior Views, New York Public Library (2007)

Eduardo Recife, Human, Secret (2009)

I love the idea of Lumas and can see it becoming the place I look to when my walls feel bare or when I need to give that extra special gift.

Barbara Cole, Painted Ladies, Courthouse Ladies (1994)

See all Lumas artwork for sale on or visit the London gallery at 50 Conduit Street.  You can buy Ann Coxon's book on Louise Bourgeois (£14.99) at the Tate Online Shop.  Images Sourced from and

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