Private Collections is a selection of 20th Century work that provides a unique opportunity to see together both a remarkably complete collection of Camden Town Group, British Figurative and Impressionist paintings. It is also an insight into the desire to collect, and how personality can shape that process. This collection comes directly from one source and is being offered for sale in its entirety through Messums London. Included are iconic works by Sickert, Pissarro, Bevan, Lamb, Gore and Manson. Many are works that were in formative exhibitions, and most have been bought with a collector’s eye from places such as the Fine Art Society, Piccadilly Gallery, Agnews and as well as Messums.
Christopher Mason-Watts has been collecting since he was four years old. He began with the colourful little picture cards that appeared in the boxes of Brook Bond tea. He bought his first artwork when he was seventeen and his first serious purchase was a pocket sized painting by Walter Sickert, bought when he was twenty three, it cost him almost a third of his annual salary.
In truth, Christopher Mason-Watts would have liked to be an artist. Instead, however, he went into law and for thirty years was a mental health judge. Creating collections became is way of being creative. Christopher has loved the Camden Town Group since he first discovered their work as a teenager and it was this group that he focused much of his collecting efforts towards.
Though they held only three exhibitions between 1911 and 1912, the Camden Town Group was one of the most vital, exciting and well-known collectives of the twentieth-Century British artists. Their centre point and guiding light was the painter Water Sickert (1860-1942). This collection includes both important and less vital pieces by all of the Camden Town Group, with exception of Duncan Grant and James Dickson Innes. But since neither exhibited at the Group’s first show, Christopher feels his set is complete.
11 July – 22 August
This year’s Material: Textile is an online exhibition of historically important and highly collectable textiles by some of the most important Modern female designers working in Britain. Brought together for the first time with an accompanying catalogue and podcast – the exhibition highlights the relevance of these mid-century textiles and the vital role they played in the evolution of taste and culture. It offers us all a unique insight into the artistic vision and originality of these women.
11 July – 22 August
Thiébaut began his career in 1976, training in France, Belgium and in England under Michael Cardew and Richard Batterham. Returning to France in 1981 he set up his first workshop in the Loire Valley and in 1984 built a new studio in the Vosges with a wood-fired kiln.
Examples of his work can be found in many public collections across Europe in Belgium, France and Germany. He is represented in the V&A museum and has recently been exhibited in the Louvre.
5 September – 24 October
“There is the simplified form that allows the eye to comprehend the piece as a single coherent whole, like a passage in a Bach Cello Suite. Less is more, no fuss. Balance is all. A sweeping line fades and then reappears as you move around the undulating form,
invoking the optical effects the artist experienced among the dunes of the Arabian deserts. And, with this, comes a sense of rhythm and dynamism; of an object in motion, as light and shadow and perspective generate a kinetic energy. Such things are in the DNA of a Bridget McCrum sculpture or painting or drawing.” Will Gompertz
Bridget McCrum (née Bain) was shipped to the west country from a home in London to avoid the war; there she found horses, landscape, art, and above all, a friendship with a young Elisabeth Frink. This exhibition, which is shown against the backdrop of Elisabeth Frink’s studio in the barn gallery, charts her recent work and also looks back at some of her earlier pieces. It considers life through a shifting between shapes and images and looks at how McCrum (like Frink) found ways to free herself from the restraints of figurative precision.
McCrum’s approach to sculpting is a reductive one, removing mass from a block of stone using carving and sanding tools. Now in her eighties, McCrum’s technical ability has not faded and she arrives at stylised shapes that play with light and weightlessness, as with her many birds which may be taking off, alighting or in flight.
31 October – 28 November
We have known the extraordinary Charlie Poulsen since a chance meeting at Messums Wiltshire just over a year ago, which led to a pop-up exhibition of his work in the Long Gallery last October. Charlie joined our roster of represented artists this year and we are delighted to be able to show is work in our new, permanent space in Harrogate this Autumn. Drawing has, in recent years, been Charlie’s primary means of expression. Whilst traditionally regarded as a secondary, or preparatory, activity, drawing has an immediate, direct and simple effect. He says, “it evokes and suggests rather than fixes, it feels transitory and ephemeral, echoing the lives we live”. His works are both delicate and light but also repetitious, frenetic, wild and in constant movement. Looking at Charlie’s work is similar to listening to a piece of music… the observer may lose oneself in the intricacy of the layering and mark-making. There is a language of harmony and rhythm in this experience and their scale also gives them an authoritative control of space and an unimpeded interaction with the eye.
Dante Marioni is an American glassblower whose signature style has been described
as the purest of classical forms executed in glass. His amphoras, vases, and ewers are derived from Greek and Etruscan prototypes, yet they are imaginatively and sometimes whimsically reinterpreted. Dante trained in Venetian glassblowing techniques with some of the greatest masters in contemporary glass and continues to push the limits of his practice.
31 October – 28 November
Dante Marioni is an American glassblower whose signature style has been described as the purest of classical forms executed in glass. His amphoras, vases, and ewers are derived from Greek and Etruscan prototypes, yet they are imaginatively and sometimes whimsically reinterpreted. Dante trained in Venetian glassblowing techniques with some of the greatest masters in contemporary glass and continues to push the limits of his practice.
Saturday 5 December – Saturday 30 January
A dedicated environmentalist and true polymath, Kurt Jackson’s holistic approach to his subject seamlessly blends art and politics providing a springboard to create a hugely varied body of work unconstrained by format or scale.Jackson’s artistic practice ranges from his trademark visceral plein-air sessions to studio work and embraces an extensive range of materials and techniques including mixed media, large canvases, print-making and sculpture.
For his debut at Messums Harrogate, Kurt will present a body of new works painted en plein air in his home county of Cornwall.
There are no historical events to show at this time.