London Art Week 2016
OF GODS AND MEN: An Exhibition for London Art Week
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm; Sat 1st July 10am to 5pm, Sun 2nd July 12pm to 5pm
6 Hill Street
London, W1J 5NF
The Daniel Katz Gallery is pleased to be staging an exhibition titled Of Gods and Men, which will feature a dichotomy of outstanding sculpted figures - that is, depictions of Gods alongside those of men. The exhibition explores the different characteristics that are used to portray a figure of a God, adjacent to the traits imbued to a portrait of a “mere” man. Frequently charged with making a man appear heroic or divine, or instilling a Deity with human qualities, which does the sculptor in fact make appear more God-like? We will exhibit a beautifully carved marble relief by the greatest British Neoclassical sculptor, John Gibson, showing Cupid pursuing Psyche. An exquisite tour de force in relief carving, this work of art was made to commemorate the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland in 1854. It shows the two lovers captured in mid-flight, serene and elegant, helplessly holding each other’s gaze. Here we see two Gods, representing the humanly subject of falling in love. Fittingly the sculpture stayed in the collection of the family until 2014, a lasting matrimony. Peering over this celebration of marriage will be the colossal, highly impressive plaster bust of the Neoclassical painter Giuseppe Bossi by his friend Antonio Canova. Heroic in its scale, the bust superbly renders the sitters fine features; his concentrated gaze and splendid hair, which combined with deep-set eyes and square jaw imbue the sculpture with a tremendously strong sense of character. In essence, Canova is elevating his comrade to a God-like status through the power of this bust. It mirrors an extremely similar portrait he made of Napoleon, the Emperor no doubt also wishing to be portrayed as no ordinary mortal. Standing alongside Bossi will be an equally imposing terracotta portrait of Emperor Lucius Verus by Carlo Albacini, modelled in the late 18th century. Lucius Verus co-ruled alongside Marcus Aurelius from 161 to 169 AD. Shown here with exaggerated deeply cut hair and beard, he glances out beyond the viewer with a steely outward glance. This monumental depiction is based on the Antique prototype, perhaps the most famous of which is from the Borghese Collection, now in the Louvre. The Roman historian Suetonius records Vespasian’s last words as being: Dear me , I think I am becoming a God. These sculptures served to depict the Emperors, posthumously at least as Divine Rulers. Amongst all this steely proving of strength and worth will be a wonderful large scale terracotta group of Silenus with the Infant Bacchus by Christophe Veyrier. It was made as a modello for a life-size stone statue in Aix-en-Provence. Silenus, a demi-god who nursed and educated the God Bacchus is here shown holding him up the infant warmly and affectionally. He has been playing the panpipes for his young charge, and the lively composition evokes a tender fatherly scene between man and boy, far removed from the oft-depicted heroic struggle of the Gods in art. London Art Week is the world’s most important gallery-based celebration of pre-contemporary art. The event celebrates the exceptional riches and unparalleled expertise available within the galleries of Mayfair and St. James’s – a unique neighbourhood which represents the international and historic centre of the traditional art trade. Incorporating more than 50 specialist art galleries and three major auction houses, and including a selection of leading international participants who come to London to take part in the event, London Art Week showcases an impressive array of exhibitions highlighting paintings, drawings, sculpture, and works of art, from antiquity to the 20th century. With all participants situated within walking distance, London Art Week offers a unique platform which convenes VIP collectors, international museum curators and enthusiasts who explore the galleries and meet with specialist dealers. Now in its fourth year, the attraction and convening power of the event was most recently evidenced at the 2015 edition of London Art Week which recorded significant sales and attracted tens of thousands of visitors from around the world, including representatives from over 50 major international museums.