Head to central London from 1 – 10 December to see the best of the city’s galleries…
London Art Week has long been a staple in the city’s cultural calendar, but this year the event returns for a second time in its first-ever Winter edition.
From 1–8 December, the galleries of Mayfair and St James’ will open their doors for the public to explore, enjoy and discover art spanning over 7 millennia. Attracting seasoned collectors, experts, enthusiasts and beginners alike, we speak to Amelia Higgins, Project Manager for London Art Week, to bring you the ultimate insider’s guide – including the names to know and the exhibitions to make sure you see.
The Insider’s Guide to London Art Week
C&TH speaks to Amelia Higgins, Project Manager for LAW
What is different about this London Art Week?
2017 marks the first London Art Week Winter event, in addition to the Summer week. During these showcase weeks, our galleries put on exhibitions showing examples of the museum-quality works of art they offer all year round. We are also co-hosting some fascinating talks and events. With a myriad of masterpieces on display, London Art Week will appeal to serious collectors, art enthusiasts and beginners curious to learn.
Names to know and exhibitions to visit?
Sam Fogg, who will be hosting the Treasures of Faith exhibition which I’m particularly excited about. It will feature an extraordinary collection of medieval stained glass, mostly fragments or single heads and other decorative details, all dating from circa 1430 to 1530. Surprisingly, the pieces have an overwhelming modern feeling despite being 15th-century! The collection ranges between £200-£2000 making it the perfect alternative present for collectors and art lovers.
I’d also highly recommend the Lotte Laserstein exhibition at Agnews Gallery. It’s a must-visit, featuring some of Lotte Laserstein’s works that have rarely been seen in public or not previously exhibited. The artist is a revelation for me, and rather wonderfully it is thirty years almost to the day since Agnews staged her first UK exhibition, in which the artist was present herself. A particular focus is to reinstate Laserstein as a canon of 20th-century art, from which she and many other women artists of the inter-war period have been excluded, and to acknowledge her as one of the great women artists of the 20th Century.
Which other artists and pieces are you most excited to see?
I’m really looking forward to Stephen Ongpin Fine Art’s ‘One Hundred Drawings and Watercolours’, which includes a range of enchanting watercolours and drawings from the 16th to the 20th century. Some of these fabulous drawings can be bought for as little as £500, and these drawings and sketches are a wonderful way to begin looking at the Old Masters.
The Peter Finer Christmas Exhibition offers something a little different, with an opulent collection of unexpected antique arms and armour, art fans and historians alike can see these magnificent pieces first hand, from swords and pistols to a medieval Royal dog collar.
The Weiss Gallery will be hosting ‘A Fashionable Likeness: Historical Costume & Jewellery in 17th Century Old Master Portraiture’, displaying some truly stunning portraits, alongside contemporary jewellery designed especially for the exhibition.
Kallos Gallery for the opportunity to gaze at the latest collection of antiquities and ancient art and jewellery, from Ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Western Asiatic and European masterpieces. Each artwork has been carefully chosen for its outstanding artistic merit, cultural significance, and provenance. Unmissable.
Where do insiders go between galleries?
I’d start the day with a delicious breakfast at Sartoria or stop for a morning coffee at Franco’s. After a day of exploring, it’s always lovely to visit the Connaught Bar for a glass of champagne, or a gin and tonic at the American Bar at The Stafford.
Do you have any top tips for making the most out of LAW?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions or have a conversation in the galleries. Take your time to visit different galleries so you can discover and learn.
And finally, the best exhibitions to look forward to in London next year?
Next year I look forward to the Monet and Architecture exhibition at the National Gallery (April 2018). Otherwise, the Cezanne Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery have to be seen, running until 11 February and bringing together over 50 portraits by the artist for the first time. Modigliani at the Tate has also just opened and runs until April 2018, showing his portraits, sculptures and controversial nudes – it’s wonderful.