Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.
It may come as a surprise to readers to discover that Nando’s is a major patron of the arts. The chicken chain, which is a sponsor of this week’s 1:54 Contemporary African Art fair, is a major collector of contemporary southern African art and currently has more than 7,300 works on display across the walls of its UK restaurants. Grayson Peri-Peri, anyone?
It’s been 20 years since the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum opened in Bilbao, inspiring culture-led urban regeneration projects the world over. But on the day of the Guggenheim’s grand opening, not everyone was confident about the project. As Gehry himself told Rowan Moore in last weekend’s Observer, ‘I went over the hill and saw it shining there. I thought: “What the f*** have I done to these people?”’
In an illuminating interview with The Times (£), the art historian Bendor Grosvenor reveals the origins of his unusual Christian name. ‘Bendor’ is derived from Grosvenor’s family crest – ‘a band (or bend) of gold (or) on an azure background’. However, this explanation didn’t always wash with the art historian’s teenage peers: ‘Lots of things cause you pain at school,’ he told Wade. ‘Being called Bendor certainly didn’t make life any easier. My father, bless him, had slight delusions of grandeur when I was born. If it wasn’t for the fact that I hate the name “Ben” I would have done something about it.’
As the Rake disclosed a few months back, Sky Atlantic’s Riviera was his box set addiction of the summer months. Now, courtesy of artnet news, he’s discovered how Julia Stiles, who played the protagonist, prepared for her role as an art advisor-cum-collector. ‘There was a lot of discussion about the pronunciation of artist names,’ she reveals. ‘Egon Schiele is featured heavily because one of his paintings is forged, and that’s a major part of the show. I remember from college people pronouncing it as “Egon Schiele” [Sheel]. Then I called a couple of my friends who were more knowledFrgeable than I am and they were like, no it’s “Schiele” (Sheela).’