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September art fair highlights

7 September 2016

number of international fairs herald the start of the autumn season. In London, LAPADA welcomes 113 specialist dealers to Berkeley Square (13–18 September). Organised by the Association of Art & Antiques Dealers, the fair offers the best of both across multiple disciplines – from jewellery and carpets, to ceramics and silver. With such a range of objects on display, there is much to tempt both first-time buyers and seasoned collectors.

The strength of the fair is evident in the roster of new exhibitors, which this year includes Richard Hoppé Fine Antiques, Pushkin Antiques and Kevin Page Oriental Art. The latter offers a rare chance to view important pieces from the Japanese Meiji period, including a large Komai damascene plate. Here, fine wires of gold and silver are fitted into carved grooves to create a complex picture of a warrior in battle. Other newcomers extend the display of modern art: Whitford Fine Art brings European 20th-century painting and sculpture, including Joseph Lacasse’s vivid red Mouvement (1937–65), while Modern British art from the 1930s to the present day can be found at the Boundary Gallery and John Iddon Fine Art – don’t miss Hockney’s beguilingly simple lithograph Anne Combing Her Hair. For furniture, look no further than Yorkshire-based R.N. Myers & Son, whose many enticing pieces include a chest of drawers dating to around 1700. D. Larsson Interiör & Antikhandel presents an 18th-century Swedish rococo tray table and, as ever, Butchoff Antiques offers an impressive selection of 18th- and 19th-century European furniture.

Damascene plate signed Komai, Japan, Meiji period (1868–1912)

Damascene plate signed Komai, Japan, Meiji period (1868–1912). Kevin Page Oriental Art at LAPADA

The fair’s lively events programme is also a draw. The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford continues its partnership with LAPADA for the second year running, and this year’s headline lecture comes courtesy of Islamic art specialist Francesca Leoni, who offers insight into the ‘licit’ divinatory arts practised in medieval and early modern Muslim societies. This comes ahead of the Ashmolean’s upcoming exhibition, ‘Power and Protection: Islamic Art and the Supernatural’ (20 October–15 January 2017).

Also in London, START returns to the Saatchi Gallery for its third year from 15–18 September. With a focus on emerging artists and burgeoning art scenes, this international fair – which features 60 galleries from across 35 cities – is an important reference for anyone interested in contemporary art. Accompanying the fair is START Projects, which includes the first UK exhibition by Cambodian artist Sareth Svay, as well as an in-depth look at the developing arts scene in the Middle East.

In Europe, Brussels Art Square takes over the historic Sablon once again, where it plays host to some 50 galleries and auction houses offering the very best in art and antiques (23–25 September). In an initiative launched two years ago, the event partners with a different European country annually, and this time the special guest is Italy. Thirteen Italian galleries exhibit alongside their Belgian colleagues, among them Alessandro Cesati, Il Quadrifoglio, Torlo Centro Antico and Giuseppe Piva.

Elsewhere, Paris’s Left Bank welcomes the ninth edition of Parcours de la Céramique et des Arts du Feu (6–14 September), which sees 22 international dealers mount displays of ceramics, glass and enamels – from Italian majolica and Sèvres porcelain to contemporary ceramics. Three days of lectures are programmed, including presentations by Béatrice Quelle on Chinese imperial cloisonné enamels, and Antoinette Hallé on Pierre Bayle and antiquity. Among the highlights on display is a Medici polychrome earthenware vase, attributed to Nicola Francioli and dated to around 1520–40 (Galerie Armétal). While in Paris, be sure to visit Galerie J. Kugel’s exhibition ‘A Mechanical Bestiary: Automaton Clocks of the Renaissance’ (9 September–5 November). This is the first exhibition dedicated to the subject and features over 30 automata primarily made in Augsburg – the largest display ever assembled. Among the showstoppers is a gilt-bronze lion clock, dated to around 1620, whose eyes move with the rhythm of its mechanism.

 Automaton lion clock (c. 1620), Augsburg.

Automaton lion clock (c. 1620), Augsburg. Galerie J. Kugel, Paris

Late September marks the 10th edition of the Biennale Internazionale di Antiquariato di Roma at the Palazzo Venezia, which attracts over 30 international exhibitors (29 September–3 October). Highlights include a 1707 view of the Colosseum by Gaspar van Wittel at Robilant + Voena; a marble head depicting Emperor Antoninus Pius at Antichità Valerio Turchi; and a 15th-century  panel depicting the Madonna and Child by Francesco d’Antonio at Moretti Fine Art. More recent offerings come courtesy of Tornabuoni Arte, which offers Alberto Burri’s 1951 canvas Muffa, and dealer Gian Enzo Sperone, who brings Atanasio Soldati’s vibrant Composizione of 1944.

Composizione

Composizione (1944), Atanasio Soldati. Gian Enzo Sperone at the Biennale Internazionale di Antiquariato di Roma

Further afield, EXPO CHICAGO dominates Navy Pier for the fifth year, with a line-up of 145 galleries representing 23 countries (22–25 September). Among the blue-chip exhibitors are Pace, Matthew Marks, Pearl Lam, and Marlborough. This year’s Dialogues programme stands out; it features more than 20 panel discussions with leading figures from the art world including Hans Ulrich Obrist, Dieter Roelstraete, and Beatrix Ruf. Alongside this is a symposium dedicated to the British conceptual art group Art & Language.

In early October, all eyes are on the 12th iteration of Fine Art Asia, which returns to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (2–5 October). This event, the only one in Asia to show fine art and antiques from both the East and West, is going from strength to strength: in 2015 it attracted more than 25,000 visitors. Renowned European galleries exhibiting include Koopman Rare Art, Galerie Lamy, and Douwes Fine Art. There is much impressive Asian art on offer. Vanderven, a specialist in Chinese porcelain, has a fine Ming dynasty temple vase from the late Jiajing period, while Barrère Hong Kong presents a Tibetan gilt-bronze sculpture dating from the 13th–14th century. It depicts the compassionate Tara, a female bodhisattva who was worshipped in Tibet and Nepal.

From the September issue of Apollo: preview and subscribe here.

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