On show in London: The Gallerist’s Home
Curated by Laura Fulmine of M.A.H., and introducing the new Howard Hodgkin rugs produced by Christopher Farr, we see the latest of the quarterly installs in the our London showroom celebrating the power of art in the home.
Hodgkin described his art as ‘A representational depiction of emotional situations’. He is widely known as one the greatest painters of abstract in our lifetime, but hated his work being viewed in that way. He loved the way people interacted with his work, insisting that benches were installed in his exhibitions, so that viewers would take time to contemplate and maybe even talk. It is the expressive brushstrokes of the late artist’s work that inspired The Gallerist’s Home.
Fulmine is a renowned art director, stylist and founder of M.A.H. a gallery and prop hire company, offering licensed works by contemporary artists to the world of interiors. The Gallerist’s Home transforms the King’s Road showroom into a serene gallery-like space yet with the warmth of home, one that captures the emotional resonance of the Howard Hodgkin pieces and the play of energy between the artworks. Showcasing a combination of M.A.H.’s emerging and established artists who sit side by side, here as counterpoint to the works of Howard Hodgkin, the installation will be in place until early September.
Hodgkin embraced working on reproductions. As told to FT HTSI by Antony Peattie. Hodgkin’s partner: ‘Howard used to say that he wanted reproductions to bear the same relationship to the painting as a seed packet does to a flower,’ says Peattie, looking at one of two paintings that have been adapted by Christopher Farr. ‘In other words, more vroom. Brought out. Improved.” He laughs. ‘And I think the rugs do that!’
Peattie further shared with us ‘He liked that they had different dimensions. To give its own integrity so that it was never confused with the original, but it has a new life’.
When approaching an interiors project, Fulmine begins with an artwork to guide her curation of the space, whether leading from the media, colours, or brushstrokes. Here, taking reference from the ‘Indian Sea’ hand knotted rug, Fulmine explored a variety of textiles within the Christopher Farr Cloth collections in depths of blues, to play off the energy of the artwork and gave a backdrop of cool grey textured Verticals sisal wallpaper, by Anni Albers.
Fulmine, already a huge fan of Hodgkin, adores the freedom of his brushstrokes and strong use of colour. In her own gallery work at M.A.H., she looks for artists from a diversity of disciplines for her community of over 100 artists who are playful and experimental in their approach. To be able to tie these into Hodgkin works to compliment each other, she found very appealing. It’s the play with the layering of texture in a home that excites her and the stories of the artists, expressed through the hand of the makers.
‘Traditionally if you want to translate a painting into a textile, you use tapestry weaving. It’s thrilling to see the these two transcriptions (knotted carpets) done so successfully and work so much better that tapestry as they capture the pictoral space and sense of depth. The dyeing is incredible.’ Robin Vousden, curator, long-term art dealer and friend of Howard Hodgkin.
Drawn to organic shapes and abstract forms – from collage, clay, mark making, to figurative – Fulmine’s eclectic taste allows the play of contrasts, resulting in each piece standing out more. As you enter the showroom, a collection of M.A.H. artist’s sculpture sits within the window, with pieces from Kelly Jessiman and Noe Kuremoto, with a day bed central to the room, flanked by Hodgkin’s ‘Indian Sea’ and ‘Collage Span’ by Sandra Blow, also produced by Christopher Farr. Plinths display sculpture and ceramics M.A.H’s artists to set the tone, accompanied by art on the wall, including Colt Seager. Throughout the space are presented works by M.A.H. artists, from a collection of playful and colourful ceramics by Charles Antoine Chappuis and collage from Studio SPF, which tonally compliment a ‘Fresh Fruit Crumble’ Hodgkin print. The upper level sees the Sail dining table, designed by M.A.H. in collaboration with Fred Rigby, and glass vases by Vogel Studio, upon a Pebbledash jute rug by Kit Kemp.
Both new Howard Hodgkin rugs are produced by Christopher Farr:
– Indian Sea An Edition of 10. Hand knotted, hand spun wool, 2.5m x 3m. Based on artwork Indian Sea, 2016-2017. 71.1cm x 84.7cm oil on wood. The middle section is cut a few mm lower than the outside ‘frame’ which mimics Hodgkin’s use of wooden frames instead of a canvas.
– Red Sky in the Morning, CF Editions. Hand tufted wool, 1.2m x 1.8m,. An Edition of 150. Based on Red Sky In the Morning, 2016. 55.9cm x 86cm oil on wood. Available from the Gagosian.
Both are developed from original artworks from Hodgkin’s last trip to India, where he travelled often with his partner Antony Peattie.
With many thanks to Antony Peattie and Robin Vousden and Laura Fulmine.
Visit the London King’s Road showroom to see for yourself.