Archive : May 2011

12 May 2011
avatar Author: Nicky Haslam

What with “Gallery Rage” being the latest social affliction, one can hardly get luckier than being taken by Lucian Freud to see exhibitions late in the evening, when the galleries are closed to the public.

Along with a handful of luminaries, Lucian has a key to the National Gallery, and takes friends to study his favourite paintings there any time during the night.

Thus, recently we went after hours, to see the Watteau exhibition at London’s Royal Academy. Watteau is, along with Chardin, an artist Lucian most admires. To see and hear that superlative draughtsman pointing out the relevance and perfection of another’s work is fascinating, instructive, and very moving.

A couple of days later, I went to the opening of Larry Gagosian’s current show in New York. Titled L’amour Fou’, it consists solely of Picasso’s portraits of his first wife Marie-Therese, ranging from delicate Watteauesque sepia drawings to vivid cubist canvasses. It is curated and hung by Picasso and Lucian’s great friend John Richardson, the world expert on both artists.

As John is, to my mind, also the world greatest non-professional decorator, he made Larry’s vast white spaces seem intimate rooms, the paintings colours blending with infinite subtlety. John’s own apartment downtown has the most thrillingly ravishing interiors I know, and reflect his unique eye, wit, and expertise. There are drawings dedicated to John by Picasso, and his portrait by Lucian; there’s probably even a Watteau or two……

10 May 2011
avatar Author: Colette Van Den Thillart
Creative Director

Does spring cleaning mean unexpected surrealist expressions like this? In Belgrave Square, an enormous section of Georgian terrace housing has been wrapped in plastic these last few weeks like something I’ve never seen, I keep walking by with a smile….but I’ve always had a penchant for a good wrapping.

Putting the house to bed, and unwrapping it for the summer is a huge part of England’s National Trust housekeeping mandate…and it looks so pretty too.

Various items in the Boudoir at Berrington Hall wrapped in protective covers having been “put to bed” for the winter.

This globe cover at Ham House was a well documented example of wrapping a cherished item in protection when unused and was executed extravagantly in embossed leather. It’s a green way of thinking, we should be resurrecting as we move away from disposable cheap and transient ideas of decor.

Obviously ‘unwrapping’ when installing at our job sites is a thrill and I shot this of Nicky at Stansted Park in Hampshire when we were in the midst of doing exactly that. 

Canadian readers might remember Montreal dancer Robert Desrosiers whose performances were eagerly anticipated in our household.  He choreographed a dance where all the dancers were unseen but the movements expressed by stretching through white cloth something like this.  

At Matthew Upham Antiques recently they had all his regency chandeliers wrapped while he executed some works and it was an accidental ‘installation’ that I looked forward to on my way to work each morning!

The Pont Neuf Wrapped (1975-85)

Obviously Christo is the man if you really want to get all wrapped up.    

6 May 2011
avatar Author: Colette Van Den Thillart
Creative Director

3 May 2011
avatar Author: Colette Van Den Thillart
Creative Director

Nicky has often said to me it would be fun to do a ‘school of’ photograph of his office alumni…one of those charming ideas that just never happens!  We would find  Anish Kapoor, William Yeoward,  Kirstie Allsopp and Cath Kidston among others.  Cath’s recent BBC Desert Island Discs reminded him of this yet again as she reminisced about their days together, from his inspiration, to walking his Pekinese!  You can listen here.

Cath Kidston Desert Island Discs

2 May 2011
avatar Author: Colette Van Den Thillart
Creative Director

I shant bore you with my thoughts…suffice to say, WHY would you draw straight lines when you could delve into the beauty of the volute??

In the words of Yves Saint Laurent…”Picasso (who is generally labeled a modernist) isn’t purity, he is the baroque”.