a room with big window and lights and bar

A nice interior with big lights and a bar. Big windows

Picture Ladbroke Hall – a cocktail of Beaux Arts elegance, Edwardian grandeur, modern creativity. This ex-car factory has transformed itself into a sprawling arts complex, from gallery to jazz bar to fine-dining. LUX Editor-in-Chief Darius Sanai meets its mastermind and co-founder, Loïc Gaillard

Darius Sanai: Ladbroke Hall is a major development. What made you want to do it?

Loïc Le Gaillard: Ladbroke Hall has been an incredible journey! The inspiration behind this project was simple – we aimed to establish a unique arts and social club, a central hub for creativity. From contemporary art to collectible design, encompassing culture, dining, and music, all within a single space. Beyond being a physical location, Ladbroke Hall is a meeting place for everyone – the public, friends, Patrons, and collaborators alike. It tangibly serves as a haven for those who appreciate the arts and seek meaningful connections, bringing together diverse minds and kindred spirits.

Ladbroke Hall also houses our flagship gallery, Carpenters Workshop Gallery in London. After 17 years of developing Carpenters Workshop Gallery, we made the decision to expand on the traditional gallery model to facilitate artistic exchange through a more immersive experience.


DS: It has elements of members’ club, but it’s not. Who is your market, and why are they coming?

LG: Ladbroke Hall is a distinctive haven for our community of art and design enthusiasts. In response to the growing need for spaces that foster community and connectivity, we introduced the Patron’s scheme. This scheme is designed to give our Patrons exclusive access to Ladbroke Hall’s vibrant community. This includes special privileges such as entry to private spaces like the Lamyland Patrons bar, ensuring that our Patrons are involved in every facet of Ladbroke Hall’s endeavours. Priority access to the live programme of Patron only events, the restaurant, and private dining experiences further enhances the Patron experience. Despite these exclusive perks, our commitment to inclusivity remains unwavering, ensuring that the enriching ambiance and offerings at Ladbroke Hall are accessible to all.

Functioning as a dynamic stage for the Arts, Ladbroke Hall creates unforgettable experiences. Our philosophy centres on providing Patrons with unparalleled access to the thriving artistic community, emphasising the shared experience within this vibrant creative hub.


DS: Tell us about how the commercial gallery, F&B and cultural programming work together.

LG: At its core, Ladbroke Hall is a stage for the Arts – a place to experience multidisciplinary arts all under the same roof. When visitors dine at our restaurant, Pollini, they are not only savouring the finest Italian cuisine by Chef Emanuele Pollini; they are doing so in a designed space crafted by one of our core artists and fellow Italian, Vincenzo De Cotiis Architects. The space features a specially commissioned, site-specific sculptural chandelier by Nacho Carbonell and four paintings by Sir Christopher Le Brun PPRA.

Visitors are also invited to enjoy our weekly Friday Jazz, accompanied with a specialised dinner menu. This event welcomes both jazz enthusiasts and new audiences, featuring some of today’s top musicians with a focus on high-quality straight-ahead jazz. The essence of this musical genre, breaking barriers and fusing cultures, resonates with Ladbroke Hall’s ethos as a multidisciplinary creative hub.

Recently, we’ve introduced the Classical Masters series, showcasing performances by some of the most distinguished classical musicians. Additionally, Carpenters Workshop Gallery currently hosts three solo exhibitions by Michele Lamy, Roger Herman, and Wendell Castle, all running until April 26th.

We also are excitingly opening Ladbroke Hall’s garden this spring designed by Luciano Giubbilei – so stay tuned! Ladbroke Hall has something for everyone, providing a space for people to gather and enjoy the Arts.

Big red brick building with trees and blue sky

Ladbroke Hall is an imposing building, just a few minutes from the heart of London’s shi shi Notting Hill.

DS: Why has it taken a French person to create such a visionary construct in London?

LG: London has long been a melting pot, drawing incredible talent from across the globe. It has been my home for half of my life, a place that continues to surprise and inspire me daily. London will always be international. As the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, once said, when the UK officially left the EU, “London is open and no matter where you’re from, you will always belong here.” Therefore, I do not see it as a French person in a British city constructing something so visionary. Several years on from Brexit, London continues to attract the world’s most exciting artistic talent and in turn collectors. It’s a hub for exchange and that is exactly how we see Ladbroke Hall.


DS: You opened less than six months ago; what would you want people to be saying about Ladbroke Hall in ten years?

LG: That’s a great question. I envision Ladbroke Hall in ten years to be the premier social and arts club where everyday visitors create wonderful memories and forged new friendships and collaborations. It is exciting to think what else Ladbroke Hall has in store, making it a journey we can only fully appreciate by waiting and enjoying the ride.


DS: What were your biggest challenges in its creation?

LG: Crafting Ladbroke Hall was in no means an easy feat. It is thanks to our team, collaborators and artists who helped create Ladbroke Hall. My business partner, Julien Lombrail and I pulled together a band of artists that were keen on joining the vision for this ecosystem.

two men in suits sitting on steps

Loïc Le Gaillard and Julien Lombrail are the co-founders of Ladbroke Hall, which blends a high end restaurant, a bar, a commercial arts-ace, a jazz club and a new garden space.

DS: What do you seek to achieve, and who do you seek to attract, through your programming.

LG: Curious, creative and kind people.


DS: You run the restaurant yourselves, yet you are not a restaurateur. Why? Is that challenging?

LG: The desire to open a restaurant has been a lifelong dream of mine. London’s competitive scene presents its challenges, but it’s an honour to collaborate with Chef Emanuele Pollini, who brings his brilliant culinary expertise to us.

Reading time: 5 min
Fireworks and lights with William's Shakespeare's face on the side of a theatre
Fireworks and lights with William's Shakespeare's face on the side of a theatre

Celebration for the 400th anniversary and Shakespeare Live, 2016. Photo by Lucy Barriball

The mass closure of theatres in recent years has signified the loss of a vital creative touchpoint for audiences around the world. How, indeed, are theatres to continue captivating spectators with their doors closed? Samantha Welsh speaks to Catherine Mallyon, Executive Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), about how the global heritage brand is weathering that storm – and has emerged from it thriving. From interactive online shows to its Next Generation talent development programme, the opening of its new theatre in Stratford to its ongoing work with schools, Mallyon reveals that the RSC’s future is more exciting than ever
Catherine Mallyon wearing a white shirt and blue blazer

Catherine Mallyon. Photo by John Bellars

LUX: From city trader to leader in arts administration: was this pivot by accident or design?
Catherine Mallyon: Entirely by design! I wanted to develop professional skills for arts administration and thought finance was a good place to start. Having said that, I ended up undertaking a range of roles within the bank and found it fascinating.

LUX: As Executive Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, would you say that you are managing a global heritage brand?
Catherine Mallyon: I’d certainly agree that we are a global brand with a strong heritage, but the Company is a forward thinking, innovative and contemporary industry leader. I believe that people associate the RSC with excellence, innovation, and ambition in all the work we do. And of course, great entertainment. We believe that all societies are richer if everyone has access to great theatre. Our mission is to inspire and captivate audiences wherever they are, and to transform lives through amazing experiences of Shakespeare’s plays and great theatre.

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LUX: How can the next generation help, whether as patrons, or as managers of tomorrow?
Catherine Mallyon: We have a Next Generation talent development programme and a very active Youth Advisory Board – all young people from backgrounds and areas that have little access to theatre or careers in theatre. The focus is to give them the chance to explore a career in acting, directing or working backstage, but also developing their leadership skills so they can make their way in a career in the arts and be tomorrow’s leaders.

We have trained generations of the very best theatre makers but recognise that young people from low income backgrounds remain under-represented across the industry. We work with over 150,000 young people through our Associate Schools programme, alongside our 12 partner theatres. This work is in depth and long-term and demonstrates the power of Shakespeare and the arts to impact on young people’s lives and futures. They are very much involved in shaping the work that we do, and we hope their involvement helps to develop a lifelong love of theatre and Shakespeare.

a fake elephant and a boy on a stage for a musical

From The Magician’s Elephant. Photo by Manuel Harlan

LUX: UK government funding for the arts has plummeted in recent years. Why is it important to counteract this?
Catherine Mallyon: School is where first encounters with Shakespeare are guaranteed to happen for all children in England and Wales, and 50% of school children around the world. These formative experiences can define how we feel about Shakespeare and theatre for the rest of our lives. We therefore place a special emphasis on working with children, young people and teachers in primary, secondary, special schools and colleges.

We have compelling evidence built over many years that demonstrates Shakespeare’s plays taught using approaches inspired by the way RSC actors and directors work in the rehearsal room can have a significant impact on young people. It raises aspirations and attainment, develops resilience and confidence, promotes wellbeing, inclusion and a sense of belonging in individual children, parents, whole school communities and in adults.

LUX: Do you see the arts as soft power?
Catherine Mallyon: Theatre and the performing arts are British assets of global significance. The UK Box Office alone generates £1.3 billion per year and theatre directly employs 290,000 people. Britain’s 1,300 active theatres draw a combined audience of 34 million people – twice that of the Premier league. We can achieve so much with a strong, inclusive and vibrant arts sector.

LUX: How did the Board manage to minimise losses over the last 15 months?
Catherine Mallyon: Covid has impacted all our areas of our operations. We lost the majority of our income overnight and had to do everything we could to minimise losses. We adapted swiftly so that we could continue to serve our communities. We offered a range of activity including launching the Royal Shakespeare Community online, offering Homework Help to children, young people and their parents; we continued to work online in communities with our network of partner schools and theatres; we performed outdoors to socially-distanced audiences in our Dell Gardens; and continued our nationwide programmes of talent development and young Shakespeare Ambassadors with young people from backgrounds currently under-represented in our workforce.

We’re delighted that our sponsors and partners continued to support and collaborate with us on our digital, Learning and community programmes and we can now welcome them back to live performances on stage with the opening of our temporary outdoor theatre – The Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Garden Theatre.

Royal Shakespeare Theatre over a river

Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Photo by Sara Beaumont

LUX: Which productions have been most commercially successful in recent years?
Catherine Mallyon: Far and away it has been the wonderful Matilda The Musical – it has won 99 international awards and is still the thing to see in the West End. It came back to celebrate its 10th birthday this autumn. Our productions of Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies were also extremely successful, and we were thrilled to present The Mirror and the Light this autumn alongside Playful Productions.

Read more: Nayla Al Khaja on filmmaking and female empowerment

LUX: And artistically speaking, which productions would your Artistic Director say have broken new ground?
Catherine Mallyon: Audiences experienced a new performance environment easily accessed on their mobile, desktop or tablet with Dream, led by the RSC and created in collaboration with 15 partners including Manchester International Festival, Marshmallow Laser Feast and the Philharmonia Orchestra. The performance used the latest gaming and theatre technology together with an interactive symphonic score that responds to the actors’ movement during the show. We learnt a huge amount from that project and it was a fantastic collaboration.

A castle behind and stage with red seats and lights around

The Comedy of Errors, July 2021. Photo by Pete Le May

LUX: With theatres reopening, the RSC has launched its fourth theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. Tell us more!
Catherine Mallyon: It is very exciting to finally have audiences back at on-stage performances. The new, outdoor Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Garden Theatre was a brilliant way for us to welcome audiences back as many have told us that they are nervous about returning to an indoor setting. It can seat up to 500 people but we performed to a reduced capacity over summer. It’s a beautiful setting by the banks of the River Avon and with the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Swan Theatre directly behind. The Comedy of Errors looked fantastic on the stage.

Catherine Mallyon is the Executive Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)

Reading time: 6 min
woman dancing
woman sitting

Tamara Rojo © Karolina Kuras

Tamara Rojo has spent the past two decades wowing spectators at the Royal Ballet and now at the English National Ballet where she is artistic director. LUX speaks to the outspoken advocate for her industry about ballet’s future – and what gets her on to the dance floor

1. When did you realise that you were meant to be a dancer?

I was 10 when, after many years of enjoying ballet class as a hobby, I realised that if I wanted to continue dancing, I had to follow the same path as the dancers I admired.

2. Have you been able to dance all the roles you wanted, and which was your favourite?

Most of them, if not all, and many I never knew or imagined! I don’t have a particular favourite but there are a few I like for different reasons – Carmen or Frida Kahlo for their indomitable characters, for example. Of the classics, perhaps the double role of the white and black swan is the greatest challenge.

3. Ballet’s training regime is gruelling, but are there qualities that can’t be taught?

I think passion, intelligence and musicality are essential. The saying, “Genius is ten per cent inspiration and ninety per cent perspiration” is pretty accurate, but sometimes genius can really manage to reduce that perspiration!

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4. How do dancers deal with injuries?

Injuries cruelly test the character and sense of vocation of dancers. The recovery time is always hard but it also offers a pause in a fast-paced career to reassess your priorities and values. At the English National Ballet (ENB), one of my priorities was to invest in our medical team and we now offer all the medical and psychological support that a dancer would need to help them overcome the frustration and self-doubt that arise during recovery.

5. Does ballet need to modernise?

Like any art, ballet must renew itself and try to reflect the society in which it lives. At ENB I have expanded our repertoire with work by female choreographers, updated the classical canon with choreographers from different dance traditions, such as Akram Khan, and enabled dancers in the company to have their own voice and freedom when performing.

6. Was going from principal dancer to artistic director at ENB a natural transition?

Yes, partly because I had been preparing for it for many years and also perhaps because I had been a dancer there. I understood the benefits that a performing manager could bring.

woman dancing

© Paul Stuart

7. How should ballet be funded and are you concerned about its future?

I wish I knew for sure, and it’s certainly a timely question. The current UK model, with its transparency and independence from political intervention, is one that enables the best creativity, excellence and access. But I’m worried about what’s ahead. The effects of Covid-19 have been dramatic on the arts. It seems inevitable that it will be months before we can see our theatres at full capacity. Unless we receive substantial help very soon the long-term effects of the loss of talent, venues and institutions will be devastating.

8. What ballet are you working now?

I have been adapting the classical ballet Raymonda for ENB. I wanted to set it in the Crimean War with the heroic figure of Florence Nightingale, instead of its traditional setting of the Crusades. It seemed perfectly timed as a homage to all the nurses, but we have had to postpone it until next year.

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9. How do you choose new ballets?

We consider the choreographer’s vision and language, the relevance of the theme, how they integrate into ENB’s repertoire, etc.

10. Are there enough young dancers wanting to pursue a career in ballet?

There’s no shortage of ballet students, but I am concerned about the lack of positions for current graduates. I also worry about enabling access to professional training for children of all racial and financial backgrounds to ensure the future of ballet is open to all.

11. Are platforms such as TikTok helpful in getting the younger generations into ballet?

They can facilitate access and dissemination, but there’s also the danger of empty exhibitionism or harmful body aspirations.

12. What song gets you dancing at a party?

80s and 90s pop… it was made for the dance floor and it brings instant joy and happiness.

Find out more: tamara-rojo.com

This article features in the Autumn Issue, which will be published later this month.

Reading time: 3 min
Ballet dancers in performance with a male lead
Portrait of Philippe Sereys de Rothschild sitting in front of a stone mosaic

Philippe Sereys de Rothschild photographed at the Grand Mouton residence

Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, head of the Mouton Rothschild family wine empire, recently inaugurated a new prize for the arts. Darius Sanai celebrates with him and his family members on the night of the awards, and speaks to him about patronage, the wine world and running one of the world’s most celebrated family businesses

Photographs by David Eustace

It’s a cool, clear evening in the vineyards of the Médoc, the triangular strip of land that stretches from Bordeaux to the Atlantic Ocean, along the estuary of the Gironde river, and which contains the world’s most celebrated wine estates. From the terrace of Château Clerc Milon, rows of perfectly groomed vines stretch out to the left and right; immediately below the terrace, a lawn drops down along a path lined by exotic bushes, to a steel-and-glass marquee. Beyond this temporary structure, which was erected the previous day and will be gone by morning, are more vineyards, undulating up towards Château Mouton Rothschild, over the brow of a small hill.

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Bordeaux vineyard close up shot of green vines

The Mouton Rothschild vignoble in Pauillac

As the sun goes down, guests sip Rothschild non-vintage Champagne or glasses of deep red Château Clerc Milon 2009, chatting about the show they have just seen. Suddenly, there is a musical introduction and all heads turn towards the stairs leading up from the lawn, from which 20 or so beautiful young people emerge, with a mixture of shyness and performance, and walk two by two through the crowds before dispersing into smaller groups and chatting to guests over glasses of Champagne.

The new arrivals were dancers from the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Bordeaux; earlier, they had given the performance everyone had come for, in the marquee by the vineyard, in front of 100 seated guests. The show marked the second edition of the biannual Prix Clerc Milon de la Danse (Clerc Milon dance prize), awarded by the Philippine de Rothschild Foundation to two outstanding dancers from the Bordeaux ballet. The two winning dancers, Alice Leloup and Marc-Emmanuel Zanoli, had been awarded their prizes at the end of the show; now, after a brief interval, they and their colleagues were emerging, perfectly attired for the evening, to join the soirée. It was a magical moment during a spectacular evening.

Facade of a classical wine cellar with a huge arched wooden door

Wooden arched door to a wine cellar

The private wine cellar at
Château Mouton Rothschild

The prize is the brainchild of Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, Chairman and CEO of Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA, and his siblings, Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild and Camille Sereys de Rothschild. When their mother, the legendary Philippine de Rothschild, passed away in 2014, they inherited one of the most famous empires in wine. Their company, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, owns Château Mouton Rothschild, one of the five ‘first growths’ of Bordeaux and among the most celebrated and expensive red wines in the world; Château Clerc Milon and Château d’Armailhac, also classed-growth Bordeaux châteaux; the Bordeaux brand Mouton Cadet, and much else.

Thomas Jefferson, one of America’s founding fathers, was famously fond of Brane-Mouton, as Mouton Rothschild was then known, and shipped some over to the nascent United States in the 1780s. But it was Baron Philippe de Rothschild, the grandfather of Sereys de Rothschild, who elevated the wine to worldwide fame, first modernising the estate in the 1920s and insisting on ensuring quality by bottling all wines at the Château, and then asking a different celebrated contemporary artist to create a new label for Mouton Rothschild every year. The labels read like a who’s who of 20th and 21st-century art: among them are Jean Cocteau (1947), Georges Braque (1955), Salvador Dalí (1958), Joan Miró (1969), Marc Chagall (1970), Wassily Kandinsky (1971), Andy Warhol (1975), Keith Haring (1988), Lucian Freud (2006) and Gerhard Richter (2015).

Portrait of Philippe Sereys de Rothschild with his daughter, Mathilde on their vineyard in Bordeaux

Philippe Sereys de Rothschild with his daughter, Mathilde

Grand garden with stone statue of a person leaning one hand on his head in front of a hedge

The gardens of the Rothschild estate

The Baron’s daughter, Philippine, strengthened the link with the arts – she herself had been a celebrated actress, and married one of France’s most famous actors, Jacques Sereys – while growing the business; and so, on this evening surrounded by vines under a sky washed by the nearby Atlantic, with stars emerging from the fading blue, it seems entirely appropriate that her children are both honouring their mother and supporting the arts with this new prize.

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Certainly, the winners seemed delighted: “I am amazed,” Alice told me, with a big, dimpled grin, her perfect, wavy hair and immaculate outfit belying the fact that she had been dancing on stage minutes previously. She was sipping at a glass of Champagne shyly, as if it were a rare treat to indulge. “It’s a great thing for them to do, although I never thought I would win. It just helps make all the hard work worthwhile.”

Ballet dancers in motion with one dancer stretching on the ground

Ballet dancers in performance with a male lead

Dancers from the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Bordeaux perform at Château Clerc Milon

A statue of an elf sitting on top of a column in a smart stately gardenThe next morning, I meet Philippe Sereys de Rothschild in a drawing room at Grand Mouton, the family’s traditional residence, a few hundred metres away in the heart of Château Mouton Rothschild. The room is square and traditionally decorated; four chairs have been placed facing inwards towards each other. Between two of them is an occasional table, on top of which has been placed a tray containing still and sparkling water, small bottles of tonic water, and two halves of a lemon on a saucer. Sereys de Rothschild walks in, erect, greets us and offers us drinks, before settling down in a chair, squeezing one of the lemon halves into his glass of tonic water.

He was up, he says, until past 2am the previous night after the party ended, doing a debrief with his nephew Benjamin, who had helped organise everything. “Yes, last night Benjamin said, ‘We’ve got to do a debrief to know if it went well or not,’ and I said ‘OK, OK.’ So, we went through all the stuff that went well and didn’t go well, and it was the best time to do it because we had everything freshly in our minds. When people visit Château Clerc Milon they know it’s the family, they know it’s the Rothschilds. So, the standard is up there and you can’t disappoint them. Nothing is worse than disappointing people who have come to have a great evening and don’t have a great evening.”

All three of Philippine’s children were at the event; while Philippe oversees, Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild, his younger half-brother, is responsible for the collaboration between art and wine at Mouton, and gave a casual and touching tribute speech on the terrace the previous evening, after the formal speeches in the marquee led by Philippe.

Ballet dancers in motion, performing against a backdrop in pastel clothing

It seemed to be quite a grand success for an event that is so young, I observe. “It is a young event and it actually happened much more quickly than I thought it would,” Philippe says. “The Foundation was created in 2015 and we did the first Clerc Milon prize in 2016. We wanted to start the foundation with something local. That was very important for us. Something local, something artistic and something linked to live performance. And all that was linked to my mother, because my mother was very close to the theatre, the Opéra de Bordeaux. Brigitte Lefèvre (president of the jury of the prize and a former administrator of the Opéra Garnier in Paris) really came in very quickly. I gave her a call one day; it was very interesting, she was outside on the street coming out of a documentary on ballet and I said, ‘I’ll call you back’ and she said ‘No, no, no, don’t call me back – what do you want?’

“I talked to her about the prize and everything and I said, ‘I’m looking for someone who could chair the jury.’ She said yes immediately, and it was in November 2015, so it was very, very quick. She was able to put the jury together quickly because after 20 years at the Opéra de Paris, she knows absolutely the whole planet in her world. So, the first prize was awarded in July 2016 and we were very happy.”

It was Lefèvre, he says, who had the idea of the prize specifically supporting young dancers and those who “cement the group together”. “And don’t forget,” he says, “the Foundation only has been going for three years. When we created it in memory of my mother, everyone knew she was very linked to the arts. As you know Mouton is also very linked to art: wine and art, art and wine. We knew we wanted a foundation carrying the name of my mother, and with an artistic purpose. That was very clear. So, we started there.”

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A Harvard MBA, Sereys de Rothschild worked in the finance sector on graduating; in the late 1990s he was chief financial officer (CFO) of an Italian subsidiary of what is now the Vivendi conglomerate. He then ran a successful private-equity fund and created a high-tech investment fund. Was he always fated to take over the family company, I ask?

“No, not at all,” he says, very definitely. “I don’t feel that family businesses have to be run by families. Family business have to have family values, family principles, family ethics, family identities, yes. But that does not mean they have to be managed by the family, which is a completely different thing. We could have said, ‘Managers manage and the family is just there to define the values, principles, identity and culture.’ It was a choice, because it’s true that the family is very much linked to this company, and it was a choice that I made, to say that I was ready to spend much more time with the company, to make sure that we develop it the right way. There is a lot of development going on now, and I thought that the best way to ensure the development was done the right way was to implant myself more in the company. But it could have been different. I did many other things in my life before – some environmental projects, I managed a software company, I developed schools, I did a high-tech fund.

“But I’m not doing it alone, even if I’m managing this company with the objective of developing it, I’m doing it with the family. They are all on the board and we all decide together, and we all take decisions together and we all decide on the investments and whatever we want to do, together. I’m there to manage it and for the leadership, but they are there with me.”

Facade of Château Clerc Milon in Bordeaux

Architectural photograph of stairway leading up to a landing with a hanging light

Château Clerc Milon is a different kind of château with a modern vat house designed by architect Bernard Mazières

Is it different, I ask, managing a family business to running other businesses? “Well, although I’m completely conscious of the fact that it’s a family business, I really try to manage this business by asking myself, whenever I take a decision, is it good or bad for the company? Period. Because otherwise, you mix everything up. Don’t forget that we have 370 people working in this company, so what is important is to make sure that the company lives on and that I pass it on to the next generations. If I start thinking to myself I should do things differently because it’s a family business, then you make the wrong decisions. You have to make a decision, as a business decision, as a company decision.”

A bottle of Château Clerc Milon wine with two full wine glasses in the background

The Château Clerc Milon label features a pair of dancing clowns made of precious stones

Has his experience in the broader business and financial sector helped? “I think what has helped me is working with people with very different profiles. That’s been the most valuable thing. When you go from an environmental project to working with software engineers, working with more high-tech people, working with people in schools, you get used to going from one profile to another and to working with very, very diverse profiles. So, I can talk with people in the vineyards and I can talk with people on the market and I can talk to the people with the Ryder Cup [Mouton Cadet is the official wine of the Ryder Cup] or I can talk with the manager of the Festival de Cannes. They’re completely different types of people and the fact that I have had my own professional experience before has helped me to really make the difference between managing people with very different profiles. That’s probably one of the characteristics of the wine business, is that you really go from the vineyard up to the end of the line, who can be art collectors.”

A large wine cellar with rows of barrels and a crested back wall

The wine empire’s crest on the walls of the cellar

Over the past 20 years, wine has made a transition from being a drink enjoyed by those with the taste and means to acquire good bottles, to a trophy with, at the highest level, an ever-spiralling price. A case of Mouton Rothschild from a good vintage can cost as much as a new compact car, or a haute-horlogerie watch. Is Sereys de Rothschild in the luxury goods business, I wonder?

“No. I don’t really know which business I’m in,” he says. “In other words, in some ways we are in the luxury business, in some ways we are in the collecting business, in some ways we are in the limited series business, in some ways we are an agricultural product, in some ways we are in the tasting and drinking business. Where are we? I haven’t got the faintest clue. But that’s what makes it exciting and very difficult because we are not a luxury product, but we are in some ways a bit of a luxury product.”

Has China, which has been at the heart of the soaring demand for fine wines, affected the way the company does business?

“I would say it has affected it in the right way. What I like about the Chinese market is that it’s really a market of people who like wine, who drink wine, where wine has become part of their life. When they need to celebrate something they think about wine, which is very important, and it’s become a market of people who know wine well and who talk about wine in a very intelligent way. And don’t forget that Chinese people are very sensitive to education, and you cannot understand wine without having some sort of an education process. There is an initiation approach to wine and the Chinese people have understood that. And when you listen to Chinese people talking about wine, some are astonishingly knowledgeable. It’s real wine market in the long term, and a market of real, high-quality wine consumers.”

The wine world has evolved in recent decades. Mouton Rothschild and its fellow ‘first growths’ remain at the top of the ladder, but competitors have arrived from Napa, Italy and elsewhere, and the mid-market, where Mouton Cadet sits, has never been so crowded. What are the challenges facing the business?

“Staying at the top, which is sometimes more complicated than one thinks. The exposure that we have in the media has been multiplied [by the rise of digital media], which puts more pressure on us. It makes us more well-known, but at the same time if you make a mistake or if something goes wrong everyone will know it, so it exposes you much more. But at the same time, it’s very exciting because you’re much closer to the consumer. If they open the bottle and they don’t like it, you know. And 20 years ago, we could guess, but we didn’t know. So, you’re much more in contact with the end of the line, than we were before. Which actually makes things much more rewarding because you know what you’re there for. You know that you’re there to satisfy customers, much more than 20 years ago. So, it’s actually a very rewarding thing and the digital revolution is for me, very positive. The more I hear about the consumer and the more I know the consumer is happy, the happier I am.

Read more: Moynat unveils new collection of bags in London

“That’s the first thing. The second thing is that the market has become much more competitive, at all levels. In other words, it has become very competitive for Mouton Cadet because there are all the Italian wines, all the Australian wines, all the Chilean wines. So we have to fight for our space. But at the same time, it’s also true for cult wines and iconic wines. In other words, the first growths of 20 or 30 years ago were not quite alone, but the market was not too crowded. Today it’s getting more and more crowded. At the same time, it’s exciting because it’s a challenge and it puts pressure and you’re there to make things even better all the time.”

Château Mouton Rothschild has also been working to support the arts, in the form of the collections at Versailles, the legendary palace outside Paris. How do the two châteaux work in tandem, I wonder? “Mouton is linked to paintings, Clerc Milon is linked to dance. So that’s why we really have two very different things. Back at Mouton, because we’ve always been exposed to contemporary art, and it so happened that a certain number of artists that exhibited at Versailles – Anish Kapoor, Lee Ufan and Bernar Venet – also did the label for Mouton. We got in contact with Versailles and said, ‘Can we help you in any way with your contemporary art exhibitions?’ They were very enthusiastic and that’s what we decided to do. Without being immodest, Versailles is an institution, but so is Mouton in a way, although that’s not due to me, it’s been an institution since before I was born. Getting two institutions together that both represent in their own way the ‘art de vivre à la française’, I thought was… rather a great mix.”

There are sounds of activity coming from outside the room; Grand Mouton is gearing up for a celebratory meal with the jury. Sereys de Rothschild smiles as he shakes hands goodbye, and disappears through one of the doors for Sunday lunch with some leading lights in the arts, whom he is supporting. As I walk out along the perfectly raked gravel, and look at the immaculate lines of vine leaves alongside me, I reflect that the faces of the young dancers, the jury members and the patrons may be different, but everything they are doing is comfortably, commendably, consistent through the centuries.

Portrait of Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, head of the Rothschild wine estates

Philippe Sereys de Rothschild on his favourite vintage of Mouton Rothschild:

“It’s difficult! I could mention the greatest vintages: 1945, 1959, 1961. The trouble is, I drank bottles of 1961 when I was much younger – 18 to 20. I drank a bottle of 1961 for my sister’s wedding, and another on her 10th wedding anniversary. Some guests came from England and one person was born in 1961 so we opened a bottle. Each time was different, so how can I say which was the best 1961? The magic about these wines is that they are never the same. They are always fascinating, they are always fabulous. So, if you ask me whether I prefer the 1945 or the 1961, I’d give you one answer today, and a different answer in five years.”

Discover Château Mouton Rothschild: chateau-mouton-rothschild.com

This article originally appeared in the Autumn 2018 issue. Click here to read more content: The Beauty Issue

Reading time: 17 min
Marc Chagall, Dos à dos, 1984

Marc Chagall, Dos à dos, 1984

Marc Chagall’s star still shines bright today: the Russian-French Modernist is coveted by collectors and connoisseurs alike. Our columnist explains why JEAN-DAVID MALAT

opera1Personally, Marc Chagall is by far my favourite Modern artist. His paintings are somewhat like dreams and they remind me of my childhood: indeed, my grandfather was Polish and my grandmother’s family originally from Russia. Growing up, I listened to their stories and traditional tales and, in my mind, these resembled the colourful and oneiric scenes depicted by Chagall.

I think that up to today, he has influenced a lot of Israeli and Russian contemporary artist. He stayed true to his own style all his life. And even Picasso – who is known for being very critical of fellow artists – was a lover of Chagall’s works. I believe it is all down to the combination of colours, and the love and family values he put into his paintings. These are unique.

And the market seems to have picked up on this too. The presence of artworks by the late Master Painter in every major Modern Art auction around the world since the mid-2000s illustrates the recognition that his art has gained on the art market and with art collectors alike. An example of how this artist’s value on the art market has been reinforced since 2005 can be observed in the results of “La Femme du Peintre” (1970). In 1996, this 100 x 65 cm oil on canvas was auctioned at Sotheby’s New York for USD 650,000 (within the estimated USD 600,000 – 800,000). In 2012, the exact same painting was auctioned again at Sotheby’s New York. It was then sold for a hammer price of USD 1,800,000. That’s almost three times more than in 1996, the kind of trend more usually seen by living artists these days. This tendency is due to the fact that the demand for quality paintings by the Master Chagall keeps getting higher, while fewer and fewer pieces are available on the market.

Marc Chagall,Le coq sur fond Noir, 1968

Marc Chagall,Le coq sur fond Noir, 1968

To this day, the record price for a Chagall artwork to sell at an auction was at the August 2013 Christie’s New York sale, when “Les trois acrobates” (1926) sold for USD 11,500,000; well above the estimate between USD 6,000,000 – 9,000,000.

Considering all of the above, it is no surprise that the art market statistics website artprice.com has evaluated that USD 100 invested in 1999 in a Marc Chagall work will have an average value of 178 USD in September 2013.

But beyond that, the world’s most respected art institutions are constantly paying tribute to his great heritage: In 2013, two major UK institutions hosted Chagall exhibitions – Tate Liverpool and Manchester Jewish Museum – that looked into the Jewish heritage and modernist influences that shaped his career; while the Grand Palais in Paris hosted an exhibition of self-portraits at the Musée National Marc Chagall in Nice.

As for 2014, the first major retrospective in Spain devoted to Chagall will take place at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, curated by President of the Comité Chagall, Jean-Louis Prat.

At Opera Gallery, we have been sourcing artworks by Chagall for our collectors since around 2003-2004. And thanks to our international network, we have access to numerous Chagalls, via international collectors.

Marc Chagall,Maries au village,1969

Marc Chagall,Maries au village,1969

In 2006, we hosted our first Chagall solo exhibition in London, which was extremely well-received by our public and collectors. Later, in 2011, we had a Chagall exhibition in Opera Gallery Monaco, then in Geneva. And in May 2013, we decided to bring our collection to Asia and hosted a large retrospective exhibition in Opera Gallery Hong Kong.

It is with great pride that we will also be hosting a retrospective in London, opening on the 15 May 2014 and with which we aim to highlight the prominent role the Russian painter played within the history of art; and also to reinforce even further his value and recognition on the current art market.

Jean-David Malat is Director of the international Opera Gallery group. The Opera Gallery’s Chagall retrospective shows in London in May 2014 and in Singapore in autumn 2014.

Reading time: 3 min
Christa Dichgans - Peru, Lithograph

Christa Dichgans – Peru, Lithograph

Art is becoming a luxury good for the elite: but if it does so, it will die. R.J. MALONE takes the view that we need more ventures like the House of Fairy Tales, aimed at redressing the balance

Gavin Turk

Gavin Turk

Art is expensive these days. And that’s a problem if you’re young, or not one of the global hyper-wealthy, or both. Cue a tide of initiatives by philanthropists, collectors, and sometimes artists themselves, aimed at getting art to a wider audience.

But what about participating, rather than just appreciating? Few do it better than the London-based House of Fairy Tales, which has the active backing of blue-chip names like Gavin Turk, one of the enfants terribles of the Britart movement, Sir Peter Blake, and Jarvis Cocker, lead singer of 1990s cult arthouse band Pulp, among many others.

Based in a part of East London that was once ‘gritty’ and is now ‘edgy’, House of Fairy Tales, run by Turk and his wife Deborah Curtis, uses the money it raises by selling fabulous artworks to fund activities from circuses to workshops.

Turk tells LUX, “Working with the House of Fairy Tales gets me collaborating with ‘young unknowns’ from an array of different backgrounds in many diverse ways; I’m able to share my experiences and at the same time learn a lot about myself. I’ve travelled all over the country from Shakespeare’s Theatre in Stratford to Newlyn Art Gallery in Cornwall via numerous festivals including Glastonbury and Edinburgh. In the future, I’m looking forward to seeing the Art Circus in Canning Town and working on influencing various public housing and social developments.”

Cornelia Parker, one of Europe’s leading sculptors and another key figure in House of Fairy Tales, tells us, “Since I have had my daughter, I realise how important it is to invest in the future of her generation’s creativity. Cultural capital, after all, is our biggest export.”

While Cocker, of ‘Let’s All Meet Up in the Year 2000’ fame, says simply, “The House Of Fairy Tales is the most magical place. I wish I had been able to go there when I was a lad.”

Perhaps the last word should go to Matthew Slotover, co-founder and director of the Frieze Art Fair, who has done more than anyone to raise the profile of contemporary art while simultaneously maintaining its credibility. Taking a break after the latest Frieze, Matthew tells us, “The House of Fairy Tales is an extraordinary project. It engages young people in the arts with a level of imagination that could only have come from artists. It is truly exceptional and I fully endorse their work.”


Stephen Walter - A Night on the Isle of Everyday Nightmares, Lithograph

Stephen Walter – A Night on the Isle of Everyday Nightmares, Lithograph

Nigel Peake - The Night the Wanderer was Misled, Lithograph

Nigel Peake – The Night the Wanderer was Misled, Lithograph

Susan Stockwell - Red Road Butterfly, Screenprint

Susan Stockwell – Red Road Butterfly, Screenprint

Heidi Whitman - Tink’s Night, Lithograph

Heidi Whitman – Tink’s Night, Lithograph

Josh Knowles - (Sketch for) Industrial Dream Mandala, Lithograph with hand finish

Josh Knowles – (Sketch for) Industrial Dream Mandala, Lithograph with hand finish

Andrew Rae - Map of the Inner World, Lithograph

Andrew Rae – Map of the Inner World, Lithograph

Reading time: 2 min
Glassblower - Meticulously shapes glass using heat and air

Glassblower – Meticulously shapes glass using heat and air

How do you lend form to light? With glass, as glassmakers and bespoke light fittings expert Lasvit demonstrates. Yuen Lin Koh investigates

The gentle vibrancy of the day’s first light, seen on the sparkle of a morning dew. The liveliness of sunrays scattered into a dance by the ripples of a stream. The calm of a shaft of luminosity, soundlessly pouring through the oculus of the Pantheon.

For what is essentially electromagnetic radiation — if we are to break it down by physical science — light possesses magic. It’s magic that can be seen, and certainly can be felt, yet has no form. Or does it have to be that way?

Translating to “Love and Light” in Czech, Czech Republic-based glassmaker the Lasvit Group lends physical form to light with every piece created. The medium is perfect in the dualities it presents. Crystalline clear, it is visible — yet invisible in its see-through quality. An amorphous substance, its atomic structure resembles that of supercooled liquid, yet displays all the mechanical properties of a solid — like fluidity frozen in time.

The company founded in 2007 might be young, but the craft is one that has been perfected through centuries. By combining the traditional artistry of North Bohemian glassmaking with the innovative creativity of world class designers, architects, engineers and lighting technology, Lasvit brings Bohemian glassmaking and designing to a new level. Well-known for its high profile collaborations with cutting-edge design leaders including the likes of Ross Lovegrove, Oki Sato of Nendo and Michael Young, and well-loved by consumers for their iconic collections such as ‘Bubbles in Space’, Lasvit is also revered for its bespoke services that have lit many private and public spaces around the world with their magic.

The shimmering lattice of 250,000 crystal pieces and 12,800 artistic hand-blown glass components, stretching like a web across a diameter of 16 metres on the ceilings of the Jumeirah hotel at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi. Giant textured bent glass structures connected to a cascade of hand-blown, hollow glass drops, lit by LED and optical fibre to become whimsical “jelly fish” that float atop the futuristic Dubai Metro Stations. The “Diamond Sea” of handblown glass — some dazzling clear, some in amber tones, some twisted, some curved — creating waves that shimmer above the patrons of The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong.

The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong Lasvit created six pieces for the hotel, including the ‘Diamond Sea’

The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
Lasvit created six pieces for the hotel, including the ‘Diamond Sea’

Majestic in proportions and intricate in detail, each is a shining example of excellence in craftsmanship. Yet each is also an artistic expression — not just of Lasvit’s designers, but also their patrons. Certainly, given carte blanche, their stable of 14 in-house designers can dream up the perfect piece for any space — be it the lobby of a hotel or the dining room of a private home; but more importantly, they have the ability to translate your desires into designs that articulate your message.

‘liquidkristal’ - Developed in collaboration with Ross Lovegrove, the panels explore the innovative use of the material.

liquidkristal’ – Developed in collaboration with Ross Lovegrove, the panels explore the innovative use of the material.

Fine-tuned through rounds of revisions with the client, the designs are then detailed through construction drawings and crafting. Each piece of handmade glass is created at the Lasvit facilities in Novy Bor at the Northern part of the Czech Republic — a pine-forested region steeped in glassmaking traditions since the 13th century. There, master glassblowers from families who have been making glass for generations, and who have honed their personal skills over decades, create what is known as Bohemian glass, known best for its inimitable sparkle.

The creation of every handmade piece remains a very basic process. The glass is made as how grandmothers cook: by feel, rather than by following recipes or formulas. In six ovens roaring at 1600°C almost 365 days of the year, glass is kept at a molten state, waiting to be blown, fused, flameworked, sandblasted, engraved or even hand-painted on — waiting to be transformed into wondrous forms.

The craftsmen labour in the glass studios, sipping on beer — it is the supplied drink preferred for its nutritional value and cooling abilities given that the studios burn at about 40°C all the time. They might look a little rough on the edges, and seem a little brusque in their mannerisms, but they work with glass with the tenderness of fathers cradling their newborn. The organic nature of the medium gives it a temperament that is not to be learnt from books, but to be understood from interaction — just as a child is to be known.

Yet this human element is apparent even in technical glass — machine-made pieces ranging from dainty crystal-cut glass beads to Liquidkristal from Lasvit’s Glass Architecture Division — transparent, undulating crystal walls that lend a mesmerisingly dynamic dimension to still structures. The human expression manifests itself in the creativity and artistry of applying these pieces, of transforming cold, hard components into works of art. “Glass is one of the most interesting materials that a designer can work with,” shares Táňa Dvořáková — a veteran designer who has been with Lasvit for six years, and also the creative mind behind masterpieces showcased at the likes of The Ritz Carlton DIFC Dubai, Shangri-La Tokyo, and now The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Singapore. Even for the seasoned designer, every piece holds a new surprise. “There is always a certain excitement — because when I finally illuminate the sculpture and see it installed, a new and more beautiful surprise is always revealed to me, often one I didn’t even expect,” she enthuses. For the piece at The Ritz-Carlton Residences, she took her inspiration from flowers, “particularly poppies and wild flowers: their freely growing petals have always fascinated me”. With childlike wonder, she expressed the delicateness of the subject in the form of a light sculpture composed of petals formed from a lattice of crystal-cut glass beads — “as if, unable to deal with the ephemeral beauty of this wild flower, someone had transformed it into an eternal diamond”.

The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Singapore, Cairnhill A Lasvit piece hangs as the centrepiece in the dining area

The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Singapore, Cairnhill
A Lasvit piece hangs as the centrepiece in the dining area

Indeed the process is really as artistic as it is technical. The designers are often at the factories during the crafting of a piece, because it is one thing to follow technical specifications, and another to realise an artistic expression. Lasvit’s expertise is not just in the production of glass pieces — they also know exactly what it takes to mount an installation for safety and your peace of mind, and they even produce all the components, from metal structures to hanging materials. They also know just how to light a piece to bring it to life. Because when you love light as much as they do, you don’t just produce light — you capture the soul of it.

Reading time: 5 min
Theaster Gates Photo: Sara Pooley Courtesy White Cube

Theaster Gates Photo: Sara Pooley Courtesy White Cube

Theaster Gates is a phenomenon — one of the world’s most influential artists, he features at number 56 on Art Review’s list of the most powerful people in art. Gates is also a plain-speaking social commentator and activist. Some of his most powerful work is on display this fall at simultaneous shows held at White Cube’s galleries in Hong Kong and Sao Paulo, Brazil. The shows are dominated by ‘salvaged materials’ — found objects, including junk, in layman’s terms— and speak of homelessness, forced migration, and religious and political persecution.

Gates comes from Chicago’s notorious South Side, where he still lives and works. His voice voice is a clear and powerful call connecting art, urban chaos and decay (he trained as an urban planner) and social issues that interweave the world. They are impossible to understand unless seen up close and personal — as anyone who saw his powerful ‘12 Ballads for Huguenot House’, created for last year’s dOCUMENTA (13) fair in Germany, can testify. Now you have a very good excuse for that visit to Hong Kong or Brazil.

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Reading time: 1 min
Former Exhibitions - ‘Van Gogh, Dreaming of Japan’ and ‘Jackson Pollock and Shamanism’ were about transversality

Former Exhibitions – ‘Van Gogh, Dreaming of Japan’ and ‘Jackson Pollock and Shamanism’ were about transversality

This autumn, Singapore hosts two notable events: a Formula One Grand Prix, and the Pinacothèque de Paris’ first ever pop-up museum in the region. Marc Restellini, the owner of the fabled museum, talks us through its collection and his philosophy

“A museum must not become a cemetery.” André Malraux’s remark underlines a fear, which unfortunately, has been well-founded for years, not only in France, but also all over the world.

Marc Restellini - The academic and Modigliani scholar owns and runs the Pinacothèque de Paris

Marc Restellini – The academic and Modigliani scholar owns and runs the Pinacothèque de Paris

His statement raises a fundamental question: what becomes of an artwork once it has left a collector’s walls to take its place in a museum? Whether they have donated, sold or loaned artworks, collectors are the wellsprings of museums. The Louvre, the MoMA, the Hermitage or the NAMOC for example, there is no museum in the world that has not come into being by virtue of private collections.

I have never ceased to wonder why an artwork loses its power as soon as it is exhibited in a museum. Being fortunate enough to have seen the works in the collectors’ homes and being stunned by their splendour, I cannot understand why, when I find them years later inside a museum, that they have lost that magic, that aura which I found in them previously.

Is this the fear that Malraux tried to express? He was, after all, an enlightened art lover who knew collectors so intimately, and who was for so long the head of the French museums as the country’s first Minister of Cultural Affairs from 1958 to 1969.

But what is a museum? In the past, collected objects were kept and exhibited privately. The great collectors such as Barnes, Morosov, or Chtoukine, just to mention some of the best-known, allowed public access to their collections once a week. Is the private museum not an extension of the Curiosities Cabinet? The Curiosities Cabinet first emerged during the Renaissance and was a place to house collections of a variety of objects. The term ‘Chamber of Wonders’ was used later for collections that primarily held works of art. Curiosities Cabinets finally disappeared in the 19th century when they were essentially replaced by museums.

Pinacothèque de Paris,  The art gallery is located at place de la Madeleine, in the 8th arrondissement of Paris

Pinacothèque de Paris, The art gallery is located at place de la Madeleine, in the 8th arrondissement of Paris

The idea today is to bring back everything the museum had lost of its essence and meaning. Indeed the name of the museum that will open in 2015 in Singapore is called La Pinacothèque de Paris. Etymologically, ‘pinacothèque’ means ‘box of paintings’, and connotes intimacy and secrecy. To provide visitors with a taste of what is to come when the Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris officially opens, a pop-up exhibition will open this year on 14 September. Entitled ‘The Art of Collecting, Masterpieces from the Pinacothèque de Paris’, the exhibition will span over five hundred years of art history through prestigious works of art by 20 world-famous artists including Botticelli, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Monet, Renoir, Modigliani, Picasso and Chu Teh Chun among others. The museum in Singapore will mirror that of France, a fine art museum known for its critically acclaimed exhibitions that celebrate transversality and the dialogue between different works of art.

‘Transversality’ is a term that goes some way towards explaining how a small, timeless, community of artists, from all periods, cultures and origins, are united by a similar way of thinking and behaving. By its encyclopaedic approach, every museum tends to make us forget its main role: to ensure that the works stay alive. They all speak of beauty, have identical references and the same historical narrative. But these works have to be placed together in order to set up a dialogue — beyond borders and periods — for they summon up what we all have in common.

Pablo Picasso Jacqueline, Undated

Pablo Picasso, Jacqueline, Undated

That is why, for the first time, I have chosen to show works together without classifying them by period or artist, or even by category like in other museums. By combining them according to my sensitivities and with an iconographic, and aesthetic logic, I have attempted to re-establish the original dialogue found within the art lover’s cabinet, that timeless place wherein the works can converse, dialogue and come to life again.

So forget everything you have been taught, or all you have not learned; let yourself go with the intermingling, the combinations, and try to find the keys you are offered in order to hear the works speaking to each other. You will enjoy, without any complexes, works that are usually impossible to see side by side. You will see Botticelli, Van Dyck or Renoir representing the worthies in the same way, be they Italian in the 16th century, Flemish in the 17th or French in the 19th century. You will also notice that Botticelli and Pierre de Cortone’s circle saw religion in an identical way; and that the landscapes by Picasso, Monet and Ruysdael were constructed in the same fashion.

Chaim Soutine The Bellboy, 1927-1928

Chaim Soutine, The Bellboy, 1927-1928

A singular experience in today’s world, a museum exhibition serves as a reminder that understanding can be framed in an attractive and playful manner, as long as one liberates one’s sensitivity. The artworks shall not be contemplated individually, but should be observed together, within their referential aspects. Future visitors of the Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris will be invited to enter the precious lair of a collector’s passion and experience a repository of wonderment and beauty.

Singapore, a country with numerous museums, shows a strong interest for culture(s) and a serious involvement in community outreach and education. That was therefore natural and logic to implement the Pinacothèque de Paris in Singapore. And as a matter of fact, the Pinacothèque de Paris will offer the first network of museums making the connection between Asian and Western art. We are excited to welcome you to our first show in the Red Dot.

About the Pinacothèque de Paris

Pinacothèque de Paris, the largest private art museum in Paris, will open its first venue outside of Europe in Singapore. Set to fully open by the first quarter of 2015, the Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris will be located at the Fort Canning Centre, within Fort Canning Park. Pinacothèque de Paris is well-known for presenting world-class exhibitions by master artists the likes of Rembrandt Harmensz, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Edvard Munch and Jackson Pollock among others. These masterpieces are borrowed from private collections not normally seen in a museum setting and the way they are presented is unique.

Reading time: 5 min


Ronald Ventura is already a record breaker. When his piece, ‘Grayground’ went on sale at Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings auction in Hong Kong in April last year, the result astounded onlookers. Met by a whirlwind of bids, the piece sold for $1.1 million, the highest for Sotheby’s in its bracket. A year later and now back in Hong Kong, Ventura opened his solo show “Voids and Cages” at Galerie Perrotin this spring. Combining disconnected imagery and references, his work is a mixture of traditional craft and tales, informed by a wide array of artistic inspirations from old masters to Japanese anime and horror films. Ventura, who one days hopes to open a contemporary art museum in Manila, has recently begun the painful business of buying his own art – which is appreciating rapidly in value – back from buyers for his own collection. Today, he holds on to one piece from each solo exhibition so he won’t be stung again. With his work in high demand from solo shows across America, Europe and all of Asia, Ventura is one to watch, particularly for aficionados of southeast Asian art, which is growing in influence each week.

Reading time: 1 min

Marco Lodola, Aladin

As Bowiemania takes over the world, our columnist tells how he is putting on a particularly original, global tribute to the multifaceted cultural icon. JEAN-DAVID MALAT

The current exhibition on David Bowie at London’s V&A, sponsored by Gucci, is an interactive hi-tech exhibition featuring more than 300 objects – handwritten lyrics, original costumes, fashion, photography, film, music videos, set designs, personal instruments and original album artworks, brought together by the V&A for the very first time in order to give visitors a more comprehensive insight into the life, career and mind of David Bowie. One would ask “why such mass enthusiasm for the artist?”, to which only one answer is possible: because he is a legend and his influence on contemporary creative society is exemplary and will be remembered.

Bowie has sold close to 136 million albums, and ranks among the ten best selling acts in UK pop history. In the BBC’s 2002 poll of the ‘100 Greatest Britons’, Bowie ranked 29 – that’s Britons of any type.

Bowie’s avant-garde artistic aura is what made him the legend he is, and art has played a large part in his life. Andy Warhol, probably the most famous artist of the pop art movement, was one of Bowie’s greatest inspirations. In 2003, in an interview with Performing Songwriter magazine about the song he wrote about Warhol, Bowie explained that he took the song to The Factory (Warhol’s studio and workshop) when he first visited America and that Andy Warhol hated it. After this unfortunate event, Bowie got to know Warhol and they became friends.

In 1996, David Bowie even played the part of Andy Warhol in Julian Schabel’s film ‘Basquiat.’ So, in parallel to the Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition, in 2013, the Opera Gallery is opening a visual artistic tribute exhibition on the legendary musician and icon.

Over twenty contemporary artists, from the US, the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe have been asked to create an artwork that pays homage to the singer, in their own style and technique.

The list of participating artists include Spanish portraitist Lita Cabellut – whose large-scale portraits fascinate the viewers with striking depth and colours; French stencil artist C215 who usually makes portraits of the poor 01 and homeless but eagerly accepted the challenge to depict the iconic singer for this exhibition.

British street artists Bob and Chaz from The London Police (TLP) collective are also taking part in the exhibition ‘The Many Faces of David Bowie.’ Famous for their lovable & iconic ‘Lads’ characters that have been seen on streets all over the world, they will bring a new dimension to the tribute display thanks to their unique back-to-basic black and white ink drawing technique. Other street artists from the British scene were selected to take part in the exhibition, such as Bristol-born Nick Walker, who emerged from the graffiti scene in the early 1980s and is now famous for his style and humour that have gained him worldwide recognition. Finally, Mac1 is a photo-realistic graffiti artist who came out of Birmingham’s innovative scene in the 1980s & 90s. He is a selftaught artist who deals mainly with acrylics, oils and inks. Inspired by pop and comic art as well as iconic figures from the past and present, Mac1 has been painting for 19 years, mainly with aerosol paint.

Nick Gentry presents a portrait in his very own recycling-upcycling technique that consists in painting with oil on a background made of floppy disks and cd-roms

And British visual artists Zoobs continues to incorporate different cultures and their representations into breath-taking iconic images that are often themed with death, love, pain, celebration and magic. His images, verging on the surreal, are haunting and sinister yet fashionably contemporary. There is no doubt that his take on a portrait of music and fashion icon Bowie, right up Zoobs’ street, will be strikingly edgy and sensual.

Eduardo Guelfendein, David Bowie

From the French scene, we are delighted to welcome Kan and Blo, from the ‘Da Mental Vaporz’ collective, as well as Hisham Echafaki and Jef Aerosol.

Initially from the south of France, Kan joined the Da Mental Vaporz crew in 2000. Blo, on his side, discovered graffiti at the age of 14, inspired by the urban landscape and hip-hop culture of his childhood. Following his first personal exhibition in 2003, Blo’s work evolved towards a more contemporary approach, yet remaining firmly attached to the codes of his graffiti background. Moving to Paris in 2005, he further developed his figurative style on a variety of mediums. Integrating various techniques and influences, the art of Blo earned him respect from the graffiti community as well as recognition in the contemporary art world, allowing him to display his work in prestigious venues such as Paris’ Grand Palais in 2008.

Jef Aerosol is a main proponent of the first generation of French street artists who started working on the streets in the early 1980s. A legend himself, he will take on the challenge of paying tribute to the British legend David Bowie in the recognisable stencil and collage style that he is famous for.

Mr Brainwash, Bowie Triptych

Mr Brainwash, Bowie Triptych

From the rest of the world, the exhibition will showcase works by the infamous Los Angeles based Mr Brainwash, moniker of Paris-born Thierry Guetta who became famous thanks to Banksy’s film ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop’ and who was introduced to the London public in the summer of 2012 when he took over the Old Sorting Office to present his large-scale installations, murals and stencils largely inspired by the iconic pop culture imagery.

Canada will be represented by painter André Monet, who blends collage of old newspapers and books, and paints portraits over this specially-made background. The traits of his characters are recreated with such precision that one might see a realistic photography arising from a distance. This new technique reveals the strengths and weaknesses of individuals appearing on the canvases.

In the mixed media category, the Italian sculptor Marco Lodola, who participated in the Venice Biennale several times in the past, will illuminate the exhibition with a neon and aluminium sculpture depicting David Bowie as Aladdin – the alter ego hero of his sixth album ‘Aladdin Sane’.

Joe Black, the London genius who describes himself as an ‘image-maker’ rather than an artist, features in the exhibition as well. Famous for his portraits made out of toy soldiers, badges, Lego and other small mundane objects, he will present a portrait of David Bowie entirely made with painted test tubes, proving once again that his ingenuity and resourcefulness are endless when it comes to depicting figures that inspire or have inspired him.

Finally, the most famous Scottish contemporary sculptor, the Royal Academician David Mach, who works with postcards, coat hangers, match-heads and pin-heads to create monumental installations, sculptures and collages, will create a new piece for the purpose of this exhibition, and to render homage to one of the most beloved singers and musicians of our times.

Jean-David Malat is director of the international Opera Gallery group; operagallery.com

David Bowie Is, V&A 23 March to 11 August 2013
The many faces of David Bowie, Opera Gallery London 20 June to 31 August 2013. After London the exhibtion will tour in Opera Gallery venues in Hong Kong, Singapore and Seoul.

Reading time: 6 min

Tracy Emin, the wildest young British artist to have shot to fame after the Royal Academy’s Seminal Sensation exhibition 15 years ago, has calmed down and gone home to the seaside town of Margate. Or has she? Caroline Davies caught up with her at the Turner Contemporary

Tracey Emin in Margate

Tracey Emin in Margate

The exhibition includes new and existing drawings, monoprints, sculptures and neons

The exhibition includes new and existing drawings, monoprints, sculptures and neons

On an icy bright British day, a column of deliberately scruffy DFLs – that’s local shorthand for Down From Londoners – marches deliberately out of Margate station along the grey promenade of this faded English seaside resort. It snakes past the empty, half lit amusement arcades, the shell sculpture decorated tea shops, the tanning salons, the bucket and spades and the few Margate locals on the street at midmorning who turn to give each other a knowing glance. The DFLs are not interested in the superannuated charms of Margate: they are heading towards the angular cement modern building sitting on the edge of the sea wall, The Turner Contemporary, to see the works of Britain’s most famous female artistic talent. They are here to see Tracey Emin.

The show is Emin’s first major exhibition in her home town

The show is Emin’s first major exhibition in her home town

A view of the installation, She Lay Down Beneath the Sea

A view of the installation, She Lay Down Beneath the Sea

Emin is waiting in the gallery on the day I visit. Although this is a return to her hometown, in many ways, Emin never really left here. Works inspired by the town pepper her shows and anecdotes about her upbringing slot their way into almost every interview to explain her pieces, her behaviour.

“You can take the girl out of Margate,” Emin once remarked with her infamous grin. “But you can’t take Margate out of the girl.”

When The Turner Contemporary first opened in April 2011, Emin was one of the first on the scene, visibly emotional as she took a turn around the cavernous space, a trail of press at her heels.

“I never imagined such a beautiful building, an art gallery where I grew up,” Emin said at the time. “Margate’s lost 20 years, it’s been quite run down, but I think this will make a big difference. It’s fantastic, it’s beautiful.” Emin’s arrival on the day I visit for the opening of her exhibition ‘She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea’ is greeted with a gentle hush and rapid cannon of turning heads. She needs no announcement; she has everyone’s silent attention. “Welcome to Margate,” she beams. There is something of a swagger about Emin; her confident stride and her asymmetrical smile are surprisingly recognisable. Her voice is light and high, and speaking to Emin, you first are struck by her directness. She knows what she is saying and why she is here. And it isn’t only about the art.

Sex 1

Sex 1

“This is a shift in my work,” she says, looking confident if a little self conscious. “Something has happened in the last year because I am nearly 50. I am looking at art in a new way and trying to understand what it is that made me an artist, what it is that I love about art.”

The show features several images of beds, the first a series of blue painted images of Emin’s bed, her window and her chest of drawers and later a cast bronze branch lying in the centre of a stained mattress. The mattress was Emin’s, put in her studio after three years of use, the stains made without conscious effort.

“I’m not going to go into the gory details. Believe me, it was all naturally made,” Emin says. “It wasn’t all on my own, I can assure you. It goes back to that thing of being over. It’s over. This explains it very well. It was there, but it’s gone.”

Emin is particularly clear on this point, stern even.

“The girl is gone, she’s never coming back,” she says adamantly and perhaps a little proactively.

Emin has the habit of speaking quickly and determinedly, particularly when discussing her work. It is as though she is worried someone will criticise her before she is finished, interrupting her explanation. However, as soon as the topic of Margate springs up, Emin’s tone softens.

“You’re seeing Margate at its absolute best,” she says, smiling. “Maybe not at it’s most romantic. It’s most romantic when you have thirty foot waves crashing over the sea wall. That’s quite something.”

“That is why Turner loved being here, not just for the beautiful sunsets, but for the storms and the craziness. I always say to people who want to visit the UK, don’t go to Brighton, go to Margate, it’s really dirty. It has a real edge to it.”

Her passion for her home town seems inalienably twisted with a sense of responsibility.

“I’m always anxious with a show, but more so with thisone,” she says. “I’ve been tearing myself to pieces.”

Turner was designed by Stirling Prize Winner David Chipperfield Architects

Turner was designed by Stirling Prize Winner David Chipperfield Architects

“After my Hayward show last year I thought ‘there’s no way I can do some sort of retrospective or survey show, I have to do something completely new’ for two reasons,” she says. “One I owe it to Margate for all that Margate has given me and the other reason is 92,000 people went to see my show at the Hayward. On days like this, I want the beach to be full, I want people swimming. I want Margate to be celebrated again.”

For Emin is an artist perhaps as misconstrued as her home town. She became a household name after the installation ‘Every Man I Have Ever Slept With’ was shown at the Royal Academy’s Sensation exhibition in the summer of 1997; yet she is a sublime draughtswoman, as any examination of her drawings will reveal. An old-fashioned artist at heart, from an old-fashioned seaside town?

“There is a possibility that with this show and with this gallery more people will come to visit than ever. Art can change things. There is a lot riding on it, not just for me but for what art can do. I don’t mean it in an ego way, I could be anyone sitting here saying that, but it is an effect that art can have and it should be positive.”

Emin’s exhibition lasted only through the summer; so is one of Britain’s truly gritty seaside towns worth a visit? “Even if people don’t like my work I still think they should use it as an excuse to come down,” says the artist with her off-centre, tight-lipped grin. “Even if you come down and slag me off, I don’t care, just come.”


Reading time: 5 min


Championed by the influential alternative gallery Beijing Commune, Huang Yuxing is one of China’s artistic stars. Here he speaks to LUX about art, life, and everything.

bei1Born in Beijing in 1975, Huang Yuxing graduated from The Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in 2000. Brought up during China’s meteoric rise to the world’s largest economy, Yuxing’s work have been described as “highly political” although they do not feature humans. Instead, Yuxing’s pieces contain brightly coloured geometric patterns, originally inspired by everyday structures, deconstructed.

“What you feel from my works is my disturbance about the future,” says Yuxing about his pieces. “In my growing years, many good things around me disappeared, but new ones will appear anyway. The future is difficult to predict but it remains, it is still there even if the whole world was destructed.”

“Yuxing is from a new generation of artists that have been brought up in the period when the country has gradually steered itself from political fever to economic development,” says Lu Jingjing, director of Beijing Commune, the gallery representing Yuxing. “In a sense, they experience the influence of ideology in a much different way from the predecessors.”

“His work first attracted me with the tension he created. I think you feel the power the moment you stand in front of a Huang Yuxing painting.”

Yuxing has produced an extensive body of work with a variety of focuses. His “Diary” series touched upon different issues from internet suicide to a bird’s eye view of Hainan Island, all painted on keyhole shaped boards, intended to make the audience into peeping toms. His 2007 work, “When I need Love” saw the artist paint directly on to Ikea clocks, depicting physical brutality, recreation and loneliness, drawn together by the regular tick of the mechanisms.

“My works, which concern now will be a thing of the past. They are presented to the audiences honestly, with no sense of mystery. For me, the shapes attached with colours and feelings in my works, presented deeply, touch hearts. The mystery you feel is from the incomplete perception of the truth, but it would interest you to get into the truth which makes my works more attractive.”



Yuxing insists that he does not intend to intimidate his audience.

“If you can feel that, it means this quality lives in your heart already,” he says. “My work just brings it out.”

Reading time: 1 min

The final frontier Our columnist is a pioneer, an artist who left New York in 1994 to travel to China and establish himself as an artist, curator and commentator on the burgeoning contemporary art scene. From his unique standpoint, he outlines for LUX his views on Chinese contemporary art and its future directions MATHIEU BOYRSEVICZ

I went to China in 1994 as an artist, to get out of NYC and find some inspiration. I was oblivious to what I might find there. I was enamoured by the spirit of the scene and the intensity of the terrain. Then, there was no support system for the artists, and outright intolerance from the authorities.

There was no market or history of contemporary art, but there was a socio-cultural precedent and an impassioned will. This renegade, almost idealistic approach to art dazzled me and was something I felt artists in NYC seemed to have lost a long time ago.

There were no real venues for contemporary art; you had to seek it out, mainly in the artists’ homes. The direct contact with the work, people and stories gave me tremendous insight. The changes that have happened since then are parallel to those of the country itself. China’s art market is the second largest in the world. In the summer of 1998 there was only the recent, awkward, birth of one gallery in Beijing and one in Shanghai. Now there are tens of thousands of galleries.

The economic aspect is only one side. The change in attitude from the officialdom is astonishing. Now all the major academies train ‘contemporary artists’ and the government has sanctioned places like 798 in Beijing as ‘cultural zones’ and official tourist destinations. There are initiatives across the country, by both public and private sectors, to establish ‘world-class’ art museums. The Ministry of Culture has even established an Experimental Art Committee, served by some of China’s most important avantgarde artists.

Then there is the case of the Chinese artists on the international circuit. In the late 90s and early 2000s most of the [Western] art world politely rolled their eyes and dismissed Chinese art as another perestroika-like phenomenon. Now the most prominent galleries in the world – Gagosian, Pace, and White Cube just to mention a few – all have Chinese artists in their stable. Major Western museums are not only exhibiting contemporary art from China, but are systematically collecting it as well.

Up until the late 1990s, the market for Chinese art was mainly an export one; made in China, consumed in the West. China offered something sexy to Western dealers and curators – the rebel, the revolutionary, working against the system, moreover a communist system.

Chinese contemporary art also evolved with multicultural and post-colonial theory in the West. It made a perfect ‘other’, an Orientalist’s feast. In many people’s minds this export dynamic also impacted the nature of the work.

Westerners established the market. In the early 2000s it finally became apparent to the Chinese government and private sector that contemporary art had serious market value. The Chinese themselves got involved and the ante was raised – prices shot up, galleries and private museums opened and the system blossomed.

I’ve had the pleasure of watching some artists evolve and others sadly retrogress. I recently launched Xu Bing’s new Book from the Ground project in China and watching this artist’s evolution has been nothing short of astounding. Xu’s ability to retain his commitment to and concentration on many multi-faceted, long-term projects simultaneously, along with serving as vice dean to the Central Academy of Fine Arts is truly astonishing.

Liu Wei (the younger) is somebody who I thought in the 1990s was just following trends and would eventually fade away, but over the last few years he has become a firestorm of truly awesome production. Zhang Huan is also someone who has gone through multiple periods of metamorphosis, each one begetting the next.

Yang Fudong never ceases to amaze. Just when you think he’s repeating himself he delves a little deeper, pushes the bar further and dazzles. Ding Yi is interesting for the complete opposite reasonbecause he does nothing but repeat himself like a wise monk murmuring his mantra.

No matter what one thinks of Ai Weiwei’s tactics and the spectacle surrounding him his ability to stand up for his beliefs is truly anomalous in China. He is one of the few citizens, and certainly one of the only artists, to make his revulsion to injustice a brilliant art and effective protest. Xu Bing is another big inspiration. He approaches his artworks as a scientist might approach research. His explorations are almost like a lifelong unthreading of our global cultural spindles.

In terms of new young artists, Gao Weigang came out of nowhere a few years ago with a very mature body of work and has been coming on with full force ever since. Gao is a conceptual artist that oscillates between many different mediums with such ease, confidence and understanding of his materials, while at the same time retaining a consistent language, subdued sense of poetry, humour and temper.

Xu Zhen is the Chinese art world’s jester. Both his early work and reincarnation as ‘Made In Company’ (a collective of which Xu is the director) are not only hyper-imaginative (think the Cookie Monster surfing the internet on acid) and rich with humour but also poignant in their take on global politics.

Ouyang Chun, Lee Kit, Zhao Yao, Liao Guohe, Lu Yang, Zhang Lehua, Lin Zhipeng are all other exciting young artists to look out for. Unlike Western artists who get into art as a way to express themselves – meaning the existential angst of being alive – much contemporary Chinese art has, up to this point, been more focussed on the bigger socio-political picture. Maybe it’s a generational thing, but many artists are now looking at themselves, the personal, psychosomatic terrain of their daily lives.

Chinese contemporary art is a by-product of globalization. The history of contemporary art in China started in the late 1970s when China opened up its economy to the outside world; financial investment, literature, film, art, and culture also poured in.

On the other hand we now see a very homogenized approach to the arts, especially with artists born after 1980. They have had a different socio-economic experience than previous generations; many have studied abroad, are socialmedia crazed, drink Starbucks. Much of their work looks like it could’ve been made anywhere in the world. This, perhaps inevitable, situation evens the playing field but at the same time makes things less diverse. The current debate for artists and the creative industries in China is how to be contemporary while still being Chinese.

The Chinese economy is facing one of the toughest times in recent years but this leaves the 1%, the biggest consumers of art, largely unaffected. Those with money in China don’t have many investment options; the real estate market and stock market are bust. There was a bubble growing; maybe it hasn’t burst completely but it’s deflated. Yesterday I ran into an artist who was recently evicted from his 798 studio and returned to working at home. He said “I feel like we’re going back to early 2000 days… but it’s a good thing!” The cycles help to clean things up a bit, weed out the weaklings, and hopefully reinvigorate the art.

Mathieu Boyrsevicz is a curator and art advisor based in Shanghai and New York. Latterly Director of Shanghai Gallery of Art, he opens his own gallery space in China this autumn.


Reading time: 6 min
Rupert Shrive: Painted Lady, 2012

Rupert Shrive: Painted Lady, 2012

Serena Morton had a unique challenge to curate an art collection for one of London’s landmark historic buildings, now an exclusive members’ club. The twist: she had to complement décor ranging from Georgian grand to Zaha Hadid-designed cool. Caroline Davies discovers how she did it

How do you start curating for a space like Home House?

Before this project the art in Home House was a bit of a mish-mash. Over the years, someone would take a fancy to this or to that and it would go in. The Courtauld Institute was based at Home House from 1932 to 1976. It is a strong thread that holds the house together and we wanted to bring it back with a big statement.

We looked at Home House members. They all have a connection to London, are varied in age and are a pretty sophisticated bunch. We decided that you could make the balance of membership more interesting by really creating a solid art program, which helps draw more of a culture crowd.

Why did you decide to have individual artists in each room?

I have launched, run and directed 3 galleries, two of my own and one for someone else, and curated exhibitions in many different pop-up forms. The one thing I know is that it is much less impactful when you put a bunch of artists together who don’t really have any connections. This is happening a lot at the moment, but the connections are still forming. We don’t really have a current movement so why would you mash them all together? When you just have one thing to look at and the space around it it’s more interesting.

Home House is itself a set of rooms. It was three Georgian town houses which were joined together, each a residence so each room is different and so is the décor. Spreading the art across all the rooms wouldn’t necessarily work, but these ‘mini galleries’ allow the art to flow and creates conversation.

Which artists did you use and why?

They range in age from seventies downwards. You have some really senior artists like Ethel Walker and Simon Edmonson right down to some emergent stars like Jim Threapleton and Robi Walters who recently won the Lexus Telegraph prize.

Rupert Shrive, who has had double page Vogue spreads around the world, a huge piece in the Grand Palais and is now in the Courtauld, is on the staircase. Ethel Walker, one of the leading Scottish colourists has painted some huge panels in the dining room, they take you up to the heavens. Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis is in The Garden Room next to her; I love the scale she uses, which is physically difficult, combined with her feminine take on landscapes. I hope the dining room atmosphere elevates your palette and your senses, rather than getting indigestion because you are looking at something rather pornographic.

Jim Threapleton: 3-Quinuclidinyl Benzilate IV, 2012

Jim Threapleton: 3-Quinuclidinyl Benzilate IV, 2012

Piers Jackson’s geometric shapes are in the bar, which is the core, the kernel of the club; everything else starts to morph around that. Theo Mouxigouli, next door, is very different. He is a Georgian painter based in Shoreditch. He lives in squats and travels around with his canvases rolled on his back. His work is mainly of London, representational, all about feeling with a sense of going back to the past. I think you get a kind of mini buzz from each. Simon Edmondson is a huge heavyweight that London forgot. He has a whole installation in one big member’s lounge which is almost going to be like a Rothko chapel. He creates large interior scenes with a muted pallet, sometimes quite sexual. I think he needs to be seen again. Jim Threapleton was a film maker that has been studying at art school. It has taken a long time to work out what he is doing visually and he has not shown; it’s about slowly presenting him without too much over exposure. I loved Robi Walters’ work as soon as I saw it. There is such an intelligence and positivity about it. He is a massive star in the rising and still very young. Chris Moon is in the House lounge. The Hayward described him as a cross between Bacon and Hockney which is a rather large statement. He is a darn good painter.

How did you select the artists?

I tend to go with my gut feeling. I picked people that I hoped would appeal to a range of ages and members. All the pieces are originals, there is no edition work and they are all technical; they don’t look like things that have been made easily, you couldn’t do it yourself. There is a lot of conceptual art around at the moment and it is not that. It is nice to promote the emerging rather than fully blown. There is a gang of artists that everyone knows about in the London scene at the moment and I wanted to present something different. I am working with these people, but I am always working with a huge number of others as well. I think it’s only natural that you would promote people that you believe in.

The Octagon 02 dining room

The Octagon 02 dining room

How did you work with your artists?

All of the artists have been in to see the space. They go away, put together a mock up, come back and we talk. As a curator they trust me to say what I think and to steer the project. At the end of the day, I have chosen the pieces with them. We work together; I’m very artist indulgent.

What do you want to achieve?

I’m not trying to be clever, I’m just trying to present things that are interesting and beautiful and well made. I’m tired of going to art fairs, tired of being presented with over-priced things. I call it the “I could do that” school of art. I feel we are in serious times and we can still put something forward that is hopefully taking this to a more beautiful, hopeful, positive place.


Reading time: 5 min

Tasmania may be an unlikely location for a cutting edge art show, in a state-of-the-art museum space. But that’s exactly what you’ll find if you make the spectacular journey to the Museum of Old and New Art this summer Darius Sanai

If ever there were a show that could be dubbed Adventure Art, it would be this. On an exposed tip of the island at the farthest corner of Australia sits the spectacular Museum of Old and New Art, a space that combines a microbrewery, chic wine bar, restaurant, arresting architecture, and, oh, one of the world’s greatest collections of global antiquities, combined with dramatic works by leading contemporary artists from around the globe.

It is into this space that Jean-Hubert Martin, former director of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, is guest curating a one-year show launching this June, entitled Theatre of the World. The show is a journey through the wildest recesses of Africa, South America, Australasia, and east London, with works by artists ranging from Chris Ofili to Sidney Nolan.

There are more than 300 works on in a show the museum describes as taking visitors “on an experiential voyage that moves them from the visceral to the symbolic, and the factual to the poetic.”

In an interview with LUX, Martin commented: “There is no reason to look at art only in terms of historical and geographical categories. An anthropological perspective allows for comparison between any creations of humankind. It provides a much broader scope.”

Those making the journey, he said, “should be free to interpret and play with their imagination, combining and playing with their knowledge, not mine, in front of items we have put together to excite their neurons.”

And if your neurons don’t get enough excitement from the 4000 year-span of the works on show, there’s always the rest of MONA, which includes a rather splendid winery and brewhouse. MONA itself is the creation of David Walsh, a brilliant, colourful, and eccentric Tasmanian multi-millionaire, and if his aim was to put Tasmania on the world map, one could say he is certainly succeeding. A visit to MONA is an adventure in itself; and getting there only adds to the fun.

Reading time: 1 min

Indonesian art is hot at the moment as collectors worldwide discover its variety, spirituality and depth. Arianne Levene, a leading global curator of Asian art, presents her four favourite Indonesian artists.

Agus Suwage

Agus Suwage

Agus Suwage

Agus Suwage is one of Indonesia’s most influential artists. I first came across his work in 2008 at the Shanghai Art Fair where he presented an impressive installation of 50 watercolour depictions of major 20th century artists. This particular work, portraits of our most controversial and challenging conceptual and performance artists, excited me not just for the artist’s exceptional drawing skills, but for his almost encyclopedic knowledge of and interest in art history. The work is a homage to those who have most informed Suwage’s practice (Marcel Duchamp, Nan Goldin, Sarah Lucas); its quotations of iconic and transgressive poses create a tissue of visual rhythms, presenting the body as a site of influence.

Eko Nugroho

Eko Nugroho

Eko Nugroho

Eko Nugroho is a key figure in the contemporary Indonesian art scene. His unique visceral visual language, which borrows from comic books, a combination of traditional Indonesian folk art, western painting and urban art, allows him to communicate serious political messages to both his contemporaries and to the younger generation. The hybrid characters in his art populate a mysterious universe, one which is disconnected to the rapidly changing nature of the world, dominated by social and political injustices around us. Nogroho’s multidisciplinary approach, which includes murals, paintings, sculptures, drawings and embroidery, add to his universal appeal whilst highlighting his creative talent.

Ariadhitya Pramuhendra

Ariadhitya Pramuhendra

Ariadhitya Pramuhendra

Ariadhitya Pramuhendra is rapidly making a name for himself as an artist to watch in Indonesia. His large-scale black and white charcoal portraits capture the viewer with their striking beauty and powerful spiritual undertone. As a Catholic in a predominantly Muslim country, Pramuhendra is continuously driven to question his own identity. I am particularly fascinated by his daring decision to revisit figurative painting, reviving the tradition of western selfportraiture as well as Christian iconography by repeatedly depicting himself in a position of authority. His most recent works search for the truth and divine in man by raising thought provoking questions regarding the legitimacy of universally accepted organisations, such as established ‘state’ religions and medical institutions.

Nyoman Masriadi

Nyoman Masriadi

I Nyoman Masriadi

Arguably the most well-known of the contemporary artists working in Indonesia today, Nymon Masriardi’s razor sharp observations of Indonesia’s male dominated society and, more precisely, its art world, are both highly entertaining and superbly executed. Superhero’s, boxers, footballers, athletes and men at work are characters that appear again and again in the artist’s theatre of the absurd and serve as both his alter ego and his contemporaries. Whilst his style has evolved tremendously in the last ten years from a more cubist inspired caricatural figuration to a comical realism, there remains a definite artistic stamp thanks to his signature black skinned figures.

Arianne Levene, Founder of New Art World. newartworld.co.uk

Reading time: 2 min

Six of the best Anyone with a few million to burn can buy a Richter, but who are the hottest living artists that everyone doesn’t know about? Our columnist, a consultant to some of the world’s most prominent collectors, gives the lowdown on her hot half dozen LISA SCHIFF

Tal R

Tal R is an Israeli-born, Danish artist who is often mistaken as German. His presence in Berlin and Düsseldorf seems to have overshadowed his actual roots in Copenhagen. I think this is important because much of what makes up Tal R’s paintings, drawings, or sculptures comes out of his personal experience in Denmark. One visit to the Tivoli Gardens and all of his figures come alive. While less known in North America, Tal has a line-up of European museum shows through 2017. He will be having his first New York show at Cheim & Read this November which should not be missed.

Tal R: Night Awning, 2012

Tal R: Night Awning, 2012

Sterling Ruby

Sterling Ruby

Sterling Ruby

Sterling Ruby is not unknown; maybe he even has too much attention. Nonetheless, I think it’s worth mentioning because I think he still has a way to go. Sterling has been making interesting work in LA for at least a decade now, if not more, and it keeps on coming. Sometimes an artist can attract a certain market hype early on that can actually damage his or her career. This has been the case with Sterling, but he seems to be impervious to it. Sterling shows with Xavier Hufkens in Belgium and with Sprüth Magers in Berlin and London. He is currently considering several galleries for representation in the US.

Sterling Ruby’s Installation at Sprüth Magers Berlin

Sterling Ruby’s Installation at Sprüth Magers Berlin


Charline Von Heyl

Charline Von Heyl

Charline Von Heyl

Charline has been making great paintings for decades. Unfortunately, the first thing most people say about Charline is that she is Christopher Wool’s wife. At long last, those days are finally fading. One of the many difficulties in being a painter is to contribute something new to the history of the medium. It’s not easy to emerge with an original visual vocabulary, but Charline has done it and done it brilliantly. For the past few years, she has had back-to-back museum shows in both the US and Europe, and they are knockout shows. Sometimes it takes time to catch up with an artist’s vision. I have been looking at Charline’s work for years and finally, with her last show at the ICA Boston, I had my “aha” moment; I am catching up with her vision. The best news, the paintings are incredibly undervalued. At least for now, but I doubt for long. See Petzel Gallery in New York to learn more about her work.

Charline Von Heyl: Spanish Fly, 2007

Charline Von Heyl: Spanish Fly, 2007


Roe Ethridge

Roe Ethridge. Self-portrait (Polaroid)

Roe Ethridge. Self-portrait (Polaroid)

Roe, I think, will emerge as the William Eggleston of this generation. Lately photography has taken a back seat to painting and sculpture, as the heyday of the big, glossy works of artists like Gursky and Struth seems to fade into the distance. Roe’s particular style never made it to the heights of fashion as did the former, and that appears to be a good thing as all the while he has been making consistently good work with consistently positive critical response. His prices have been kept fairly low over the years while the quality in production has remained high. I have been buying and selling his work for 10 years now and cannot wait to see where he is at in another 10 years. I am guessing he will go down in photo history as epic and I suspect he is now recession proof. Andrew Kreps Gallery in New York is where I bought my first photo in 2002 and it’s where I just bought the most recent.

Roe Ethridge: Louise with red bag, 2011

Roe Ethridge: Louise with red bag, 2011


Alex Israel

Alex Israel

Alex Israel

Alex Israel: Sky Backdrop, 2012

Alex Israel: Sky Backdrop, 2012

Throughout the history of southern Californian art, certain major father figures have emerged – Baldessari, Ruscha, Opie, Zittel, Kelley, McCarthy, Pittman amongst others. It seems that young Alex has a good chance of sliding into one of these spots. His work is informed entirely by popular culture but particularly that of SoCal today and largely by Hollywood film culture. He makes art different than any other artist working today – i.e. faux talk show videos, sunglasses, paintings fabricated on the Warner Brothers’ lot, rented film props, etc. Alex’s work is already becoming difficult to access. Javier Peres in Berlin is the best way to find him.

Tavares Strachen

Probably the best secret tip I could impart would be regarding Tavares. Born and raised in the Bahamas, he made his way via scholarship to RISD for his BFA and Yale for his MFA. Now based in NY, he makes art that is informed by science and that largely engages timely questions about man vs. nature and man’s place in the world. Unlike other black artists, Tavares is not focused on blackness as a subject; rather he is interested in the way travel, the Internet, and globalization have contributed to general displacement for any race. He reminds us of Gauguin’s famous work: Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? Although he does not have representation just yet, it’s almost impossible to obtain works by Tavares. Somehow those in the know have already made their way to his studio.

Tavares Strachan: 01 02 Already Home, 2010

Tavares Strachan: 01 02 Already Home, 2010

Lisa Schiff is principal of Schiff Fine Art schifff ineart.com

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