art antiques london fair: what would you buy for yourself if … ?

Some of us are quite lucky that our hobbies and pastimes are almost the same as our job, so when I’m not hunting for art or antiques for my clients, I’m indirectly hunting for myself (even if just in my tiny head). One game I enjoy playing is “what would you buy for yourself if you could/wanted/afford, etc.”.  And this is precisely what I’m doing today at The Art Antiques London Fair coming up this weekend from 14-20 June.

As you know, my taste tends to be on the modern side, but having said this, there are many “antiques” with modern proportions, lines, color and decoration which fit my interiors like a glove.  So my hunt is on …
One of my favorite pieces at the Fair is the Portrait of James Lord by Alberto Giacometti at Stephen Ongpin Fine Art, London.  It’s a lovely work on paper, signed and dated by the artist.  This tour de force of squiggles and lines is a compelling work and shows Giacometti as a confident draughtsman.  I’m always amazed at master drawings and how, with well proportioned and positioned lines, life emerges from the paper.  And as admittedly terrible draftsman myself, I totally get the mastery of this work!
A second piece of art I would purchase at this Fair is the magnificent early 20th century gold lacquer Japanese box from ErikThomsen Asian Art, New York.  Both the inside and outside are partially covered in gold chrysanthemums and other flowers.  It’s so chic and amazing I can barely stand it. And although decorated, it’s not as heavy as it could have been and so it can easily sit in a modern, or minimalist contemporary interior.  I’m currently in love with Japanese lacquer and for a brief intro into how Japanese art won the hearts of the West, click here.
I’m a sucker for midcentury British art and so I find this delicious cacophony of black, orange, gray and white by Anthony Benjamin offered by Rowntree Clark, London simply amazing.  Decorative, yes, but it also has an unexplainable something that makes it hold its own. Benjamin is famous, among other things, for using many of Francis Bacon’s unresolved canvases during the latters brief stint in St. Ives in the late 50s.
The last thing I adored from the Fair and would actually acquire is a pair of rare, 1934, Pyramid pattern, wine coolers by Georg Jensen offered by The Silver Fund, San Francisco.  So sleek, elegant and unassuming, these wine coolers could be used as they were intended to or else they could support some fierce floral arrangements.
Fairs are wonderful places to look, inspect and purchase those rare objects that make a space.  My favorite part of interior design is that it IS the glue that holds architecture, fine art, decorative art and design together. Its highly unlikely any of my choices above was made to sit on a wall or pedestal surrounded by empty space.  It was made to be part of a larger symphony and to coordinate with other parts to make extraordinary music … the music of a comfortable and well–balanced home!
image credits: Stephen Ongpin Fine Art,  Erik Thomsen Asian Art, Rowntree Clark, The Silver Fund.
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