Duton’s Presents Rare Antiquities and Wonders at Asian Art in London

This Sunday 5th November marks the opening of Duton’s third edition of their Appreciation of China exhibition to take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel until 8th November.

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Entitled The Exhibition of Chinese Legacy, the presentation will feature a rare array of ceramic and sculptural masterpieces that have received praise from Chinese and international museums alike. The collections range from painted potteries from the Neolithic period and the Northern Qi Dynasty to Tang Dynasty horses, camels and auspicious beasts.

This key event launching Asian Art in London reflects Duton’s essential role as a platform for authentic and exquisite Chinese art and culture. A rare glimpse into the origin of Chinese art, each artwork on view is certified by Oxford Authentication, with many dating as far back as the old Tang and Song dynasties. The hero piece of the exhibition is a monolithic pair of painted horses, each 90 centimeters in height, the likes of which would be extraordinary to find even in the most prestigious of  institutional collections.

As the first Asian art company to arrive in Europe, Duton’s (est. 1999) is the first and premier Chinese auction house in the UK. Their Chairman, Mr. Du, a leading voice for Chinese art and antiquities, was vastly ahead of his contemporaries with his vision to bridge the longstanding cultural histories of China and Britain.

Against the contemporary backdrop of Asian Art in London, a key event in the British social diary, Duton’s will invigorate these important art objects with renewed cultural relevance. Unique to the location, Grosvenor House Hotel hosted the first ever exhibition of Chinese art in London in 1935. The event is a trusted partner of the Cultural Office of the Chinese Embassy, and will be attended by high profile members of British and Chinese society. Integrating Chinese art into the greater international art community is at the heart of Duton’s mission.


‘It’s how well you bounce’ at Bethlem Gallery

Bethlem Gallery is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a new group exhibition entitled It’s how well you bounce, which explores resilience and its relationship to the imagination and artistic practice. The gallery is an art focused platform for former and current patients of the historic Royal Bethlem Hospital in Bromley, supporting artists with lived experience of mental illness to involve themselves in the positive direction of art making. ArtAttack chats with Bethlem Gallery’s curator Sam Curtis about the show’s themes, the gallery’s milestone anniversary and what the future holds.

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Mr X outside Bethlem Gallery. Photo Ed Watts, Courtesy Bethlem Gallery
 How does the theme of resilience manifest itself in the works in the exhibition?

The theme of resilience manifests itself in the works in the exhibition in diverse ways, we see the works of artists who draw on the imagination as a positive and strategic response to life pressures, works that are born out of the artist’s ability to adapt and survive to new and often challenging circumstances, artists that resist or document resistance to social and political pressures, artists that reroute negative thoughts into something more positive through their art making, artists that map, shape and transform their identity through art making and therapy and importantly we can encounter artworks and projects that critique the notion of resilience that says we need to ‘man or woman-up’ and bounce back from adversity . It’s how well you bounce includes artworks that explore a specific aspect of resilience as well as artworks that come from artistic practice that is itself a form of resilience.

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Installation view of Grayson Perry, Map of an Englishman, 2004. Photo: Ed Watts. Courtesy: Bethlem Gallery

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Simon Patterson Presents a Safari at the De La Warr Pavilion

From 20th May, the De La Warr Pavilion will present Safari: An exhibition as expedition, an anthology of works by the British artist, Simon Patterson.

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…words fly up…,, 1996 (detail) © Simon Patterson, by courtesy of the artist 

Interspersed throughout the gallery space and hence taking the viewers on their own mini safari, the works on view will span a quarter century of Patterson’s career and feature wall drawings, sculpture, prints, photographs video and installation, as well as a public intervention, a site-specific commission and on opening day, a staged sea battle in collaboration with Bexhill Sailing Club!

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Simon Patterson, rehearsal of Seascape, 2017, with Bexhill Sailing Club. Photo: Sin Bozkurt

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Brexit themed art show opening in Fitzrovia this Friday – We interview the artist, Tarek Sebastian Al-shammaa

On Friday 19th May Gallery DIFFERENT will present 35-year-old contemporary painter, Tarek Sebastian Al-shammaa’s debut solo show Fall of Europe II (until 22nd May).

We at ArtAttack stumbled upon Tarek’s artwork last year and have been great admirers of his painting practice ever since. His painterly use of space is quite extraordinary, filling the canvas with symbols and figures that tell stories of our world within the greater context of mythology. Each tiny element he chooses to include says something powerful. No iconography is wasted.

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Thanksgiving, 2017, Acrylic and oil on canvas, 200 x 200 cm

The artist’s main practice is history painting as he explores historical and mythological subject matter juxtaposing it with the harsh realities contemporary Western society. Within each of the epic paintings he presents the viewer with poignant psychological insight into his  own  life  and  heritage;  Al-­shammaa  is  half  French  and  half  Iraqi, and  so  has  found  himself  straddling two oft-­opposing cultures throughout his life.

Recurring  themes  across  the  young  artist’s  paintings  include  consumerism,  war, love,  lust  and  political  oppression,  as  well  as  the  opposition  and  even  conflict  of Western  and  non-­Western  culture  and  ideals.  In  the  body  of  work on view,  Al­shammaa  depicts  everything  from  iconic  myths like that of the Tower of Babel to mythical iconography such as Mother Earth, all within a present-day context.

ArtAttack contributor, Franzi Gabbert, had the chance to interview Al-shammaa in regards to his upcoming exhibition as well as his general practice.

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‘Degas: Little Dancer Rediscovered’ at Stair Sainty Gallery

In 1881, a fourteen-year-old girl divided the Parisian art world. She was a lowly dancer, only a small thing, but the subject of a now instantly recognisable icon of modern art, Edgar Degas’ sculpture Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen. Degas debuted her at the Sixth Impressionist Exhibition, where he was met with both ridicule and respect for his depiction of the seemingly unassuming moment a young student of the Paris Opera Ballet dance school stretched herself into a relaxed version of fourth position (although apparently not without some pain, as her strain is palpable). For an art world accustomed to idealised marble sculptures in imitation of classical antiquity, this was shocking – he had sculpted her from beeswax, and adorned her with a tutu and ribbons. Was this Degas’ frivolous joke, just a mocking wink at a straight-laced bourgeois society, or a more vicious indictment? Or was he simply trying to experiment, push the boundaries of what art could be?    

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Edgar Degas, ‘Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen’, 1880-1, cast c.1990s

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Yayoi Kusama Comes to London! An immersive exhibition at Victoria Miro.

Victoria Miro presents a new exhibition by Yayoi Kusama. Spanning the gallery’s three locations and waterside garden, the exhibition features new paintings, pumpkin sculptures, and mirror rooms, all made especially for this presentation.


This is the artist’s most extensive exhibition at the gallery to date, and it is the first time mirror rooms have gone on view in London since Kusama’s major retrospective at Tate Modern in 2012.

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‘Beyond Borders’ Unicef’s Next Generation London Art Week @ Blain|Southern

ArtAttack is proud to be showcasing, Beyond Borders, an exhibition and auction in aid of Unicef’s Children of Syria Emergency Appeal.


Hosted by Blain|Southern, one of London’s foremost contemporary art galleries, the exhibition and auction will take place the week commencing 16 May coinciding with Art16 and Photo London.

Organized by Unicef’s Next Generation London  – a group of young professionals who commit their time and resources to support Unicef’s work –  the exhibition will culminate in a live auction at the gallery with pre-bidding online powered by Paddle8, and a full showcase of works available to preview on ArtAttack’s Curated Art Page (with the option to also donate towards the cause). All of the proceeds from the event will go towards Unicef’s Children of Syria Emergency Appeal.

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‘Everybody wants to own that unique piece that no-one has yet; and that is to be found in the Primary Market’ – ArtAttack meets Verena Schneider

Back in January ArtAttack visited The London Art Fair, and we were delighted with what we saw. A real highlight was visiting Venet-Haus Galerie’s stand, filled with various works including spectacular sculptures by Dee Sands and exciting pieces by contemporary photographer Dieter Blum. We also had the pleasure of being greeted by the wonderful Managing Director Verena Schneider and her colleague Terence Carr.

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Verena Schneider | Courtesy Venet-Haus Galerie

The Venet-Haus Gallery was founded in 2007. The gallery focuses on comprehensive, contemporary painting and sculpture of international repute. Over the years, well-known artists like Dieter Blum, Günther Ücker, Bernar Venet and Dietrich Klinge have featured prominently. In 2013, the gallery came under the present management. They saw it as an exciting challenge to discover talented young artists, for example Johann Büsen, Kristian Evju or Barbara Anna Husar and promote them alongside the already established.

I had the chance to speak to Verena about the gallery, her advice for new collectors, and their future plans.

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Back to Black – Kapoor vs The Rest

To the wrath of his fellow artists, Anish Kapoor confirmed last week that he has gained the exclusive rights to Vantablack, the blackest shade of black ever made.

The material is so dark it makes crinkled aluminum foil appear flat

Known as ‘Vantablack,’ the carbon-based substance is so dark that it absorbs 99.96 percent of light. The colour is produced by the UK firm Surrey NanoSystems and was developed for military purposes such as the painting of stealth jets.

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