LONDON MASTERPIECE 2014





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Summer in London means Masterpiece, one of the landmark events in London’s collecting calendar, which opens today. As a huge devotee of antiques and art fairs, A-Gent of Style was eager to witness this year’s edition, now in its 5th year, and attended the preview yesterday, his enthusiasm hugely enhanced in the last few weeks by the daily build-up on Instagram. Rating Masterpiece as one of the highlights of the London art fair circuit, A-Gent of Style was wowed this year once again by the sheer brilliance and diversity of the elegantly curated vignettes showcasing objets of the highest calibre.

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Masterpiece London brings together 150 leading exhibitors, old friends and newcomers (A-Gent of Style made some great discoveries), from around the world to showcase a superb selection of museum-quality art, antiques, jewellery, furniture and design. The fair attracts keen collectors, connoisseurs and enthusiasts across a wide range of collecting categories and has established itself as notable highlight of the annual art fair calendar. Set in the magnificent South Grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea Masterpiece takes place during London Art Week until 2 July.


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As in previous years, the range of disciplines is vast, providing something of interest for every visitor. Each item is selected and individually vetted by a committee of independent experts and specialists before the fair begins, which guarantees quality and authenticity is of the highest order alongside fabulous bars and dining such as Scott’s, The Ivy and Le Caprice.


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A-Gent of Style
 presents today snapshots he took yesterday of the works which dazzled him, offered for sale at the 2014 fair. Visitors will no doubt relish the chance to acquire such rare pieces or simply enjoy temptation on a grand scale.

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“Masterpiece is just that – a masterpiece. Its success is a testament to the vibrant international art scene, the passion of collectors, exhibitors and curators, and the dedication of those who devote their time and energy to making this show a reality.



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– Imagery by A-Gent of Style – 






‘FROM THE GALLERY TO THE ROOM’ at SIBYL COLEFAX & JOHN FOWLER





“At our Brook Street showrooms we once again have the opportunity to show
how this works in reality, and by taking the painting out of
Jenna Burlingham’s gallery and into our historic rooms you can see how exciting this style of decoration can be.”

– Philip Hooper, design director for Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler –


IMAGE: Q311470 Artwork: ‘January 1973:4’ screenprint by Patrick Heron Bronze: ‘Ravel ll’ by Richard Fox

Artwork: ‘January 1973:4’ screenprint by Patrick Heron
Bronze: ‘Ravel ll’ by Richard Fox


A-Gent of Style would like to inform you of a special collaboration opening tomorrow that should not be missed. 

Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler are delighted to present a forthcoming exhibition From the Gallery to the Room, in association with Jenna Burlingham Fine Art.
The exhibition will be held at the company’s historic 39 Brook Street, Mayfair premises from 17-27 June, 2014. “The exhibition gives us the opportunity to show what an exciting dynamic can be created in our Brook Street showroom by mixing our furniture and antiques with modern paintings” says Philip Hooper, design director for Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler. “At Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, the decorators and designers like very much the dynamic that is created when furniture and objects from different eras are played off against one another; this is best seen when modern pictures are placed within our interiors. It is becoming more and more the excepted standard that a client will have a collection of 20th century, contemporary paintings and crafted objects and it is part of our role to curate and bring a sense of logic to a potentially random mix of things.”

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 Jenna Burlingham Fine Art, founded in 2010, is located in a refurbished Grade II listed building in Kingclere, Hampshire, one-hour from London and her gallery is a favourite among discerning interior decorators and collectors. On show will be works by leading Modern British artists, including Ivon Hitchens, Patrick Heron, Roger Hilton, Elisabeth Frink, Winifred Nicholson, Mary Fedden and John Piper. “The exhibition is a wonderful chance for me to work with accomplished interior designers, and to exhibit carefully chosen Modern British and Contemporary art, drawings, sculpture and ceramics in the unrivalled setting of Brook Street” says Jenna Burlingham. “Jenna’s eye for the decorative means that her works are the ideal foil for our antiques” says Philip Hooper. “From the Gallery to the Room gives a true insight of how we consistently find ourselves decorating houses for the 21st century.”



IMAGE: Q311345 Ivon Hitchens 1893-1979 October Trees, Ashdown Forest, 1939 signed oil on canvas 21 x 24 in 53.3 x 61 cm Laurence McGowan:8 inch bowl, 2013 Signed with monogram Glazed stoneware 8" Elisabeth Frink Horse in the Rain, 1976 signed and numbered 2/9 (on the underside) bronze with a dark brown patina width 10 in width 25.4 cm (EF009)


Ivon Hitchens (1893-1979) ‘October Trees, Ashdown Forest’, 1939
signed, oil on canvas; bowl by Laurence McGowan, 2013, signed with monogram
Glazed stoneware; Elisabeth Frink ‘Horse in the Rain’, 1976, signed and numbered 2/9 (on the underside), bronze with a dark brown patina

 

All Furniture: Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler. www.colefaxantiques.com

All Artwork, ceramics and bronzes supplied by Jenna Burlingham Fine Art.  www.jennaburlingham.com






‘ABCDCS’ THE BOOK: A SPECIAL FEATURE AND INTERVIEW WITH DAVID COLLINS STUDIO





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“I have always wanted to see things I imagine made into a reality”

– David Collins –



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The wait is now over. Finally. The much-awaited ABCDCS book by David Collins Studio, heralded as the most important interior design book of 2014, is now available. After months of speculation and anticipation, the publication of the first monograph on (and partially by) David Collins will allow design connoisseurs and enthusiasts to ‘own’ a part of the rich legacy that the late designer left behind him in a career spanning almost three decades which somehow redefined people’s lives in public and private.

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A-Gent of Style has expressed in various features on his blog the unswerving admiration and deep influence David Collins has had on him over the years,
which reached their peak when his design icon unexpectedly left a marvellous and rather flattering comment a year ago on his feature of his latest Alexander McQueen store.


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Two weeks ago, A-Gent of Style had the privilege to be invited by David Collins’s long-standing team, now the custodians of his vision, to interview Communications Director, David Kendall, about the book, its genesis and its conception. Little did A-Gent of Style know he would be the first person outside the Studio to see the book that had arrived the day before from the publishers (Instagramers would have been teased that night by a preview shot of the final book cover). 



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And this is what A-Gent of Style will reveal about the book. ABCDCS is beyond chic. And timeless. Everything in this weighty tome is considered and striking (would you expect anything else from their studio?). It delights, surprises and is resonant with meaning. Organised alphabetically rather than chronologically, and showcasing David Collins’s myriads influences and inspirations, this unique and sleek epitaph boasts a bold portfolio of stunning images themed around buzz words and commentaries Collins had written himself.

As A-Gent of Style discovered ABCDCS for the first time, iconic but also lesser known or even unpublished projects  – hotels, restaurant, bars, residences or retail spaces – popped up, as well as a great sense of pace and colour permeating it. Madonna’s foreword is honest and well-worded. A meticulous attention to details appears and captivates. Favourite collectable objects such as Line Vautrin, Fornasetti and Primavera resonate with ideas and mesmerise. The palette of colours associated with Collins’s works, principally his beloved trademark blue and its various gradation, shines through and dazzles.


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ABCDCS
is a unique piece of memorabilia, an essential reference book and a fitting tribute and celebration to a towering and much-missed personality of the design world. No doubt ABCDCS will instantly become a must-have and a classic on many coffee tables.


The interview:

David Kendall, Communications Director, David Collins Studio

David Kendall, Communications Director, David Collins Studio



What was the inspiration for the book?

Back in 2009, we wanted to put together some sort of collateral for the launch event of our Ritz-Carlton residences, MahaNakhon, in Bangkok, and David came up with the idea of an alphabetical portfolio which would take the form of a small give-away book (fifty-two pages in the end) organised from A to Z, with one letter for each page, each letter representing a word, for instance Architecture, Beauty, Colour etc, and one image illustrating that word.


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MahaNakhon, Bangkok

MahaNakhon, Bangkok

 

MahaNakhon, Bangkok

MahaNakhon, Bangkok



How did the ABCDCS come about?

After the event, David thought about turning this small book into a ‘proper’ book. We worked on it on and off for five years, updating it along the way. David would at times look at it, make amendments, edit it. The keywords changed every time we looked at it. M was for Music then he wanted it to be Madonna [he settled for Music in the end]. But the themes are the same; they were just refined over the years. We were very fortunate David finished writing the text for every letter by the end of last year. He was very good at writing. He was very much involved. He’d laid out the bones. There was little editing to do in the end [David points out David Collins had written a book on hotels, not his own, called ‘New Hotel: Architecture and Design’ published in 2001]. And we already had all the images. David had chosen some of them already and he also suggested we cropped others or use some details. All we had to do was produce and edit the final version.



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ABCDCS. Why this title?

ABCDCS was David’s choice from the beginning. He always said that’s what it would be. And that’s what it is, ABCDCS!


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Can you describe the covers?

The front cover is David’s home in London. We went through many images but we wanted it to be one of his homes in the end. This image captures materials, colour, texture, a slightly abstract, dream-like quality, which is more engaging and intriguing than a ‘hero shot’, with the usual symmetry. We also preferred a close-up to show details. The image is layered with antique marble, metalwork, mohair carpet, shagreen, silk velvet. And of course, it shows shades of blue, David’s favourite colour. We worked for instance on the gold lettering which was too gold originally and settled on a more subtle brass finish. The actual book without the sleeve is covered in a purpley blue linen, another favourite colour of David’s.
The back cover is a close-up of the hand-stitched green upholstered walls in David’s home.

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Can you tell us about the graphics?

The typography and the font were developed by the same graphic designer as the original small book, which were somehow inspired, amongst others, by the Goyard logo.


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Are all of David Collins Studio’s projects in the book?

Most of them have been included. The book has a variety of sectors, residential and commercials, and includes some of the last projects up to the last nine months.
We didn’t want to have a portfolio whereby there would be a section dedicated to each project. The themes dictated the images.

Private residence

Private residence

 

The Blue Bar, The Berkeley, London

The Blue Bar, The Berkeley, London



What can we expect from the book?

Something chic but also a sense of pace and colour as you flick through the book. 

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Can you tell us about your collaboration with Assouline?

It was a great collaborative project. I remember we’d produced first drafts. I had different dummies on my iPad and I ended up having a meeting with a publisher from Assouline in New York and, soon after showing them to her, she decided then and there they would love to publish it because it was so chic. Assouline were very supportive from the inception of the project. We’re delighted with the result. The photos are so strong as we worked with so many talented photographers over the years. The quality of the print is amazing. It would be lovely to see it translated in different languages.


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How was the process for you?

It was a fun process, quite emotional of course too, but I thoroughly enjoyed the process and finally seeing the final copy. For me, personally, it had to be done properly; it’s David’s book, it had to be perfect. We’d been working on it for so long. We came close and true to David’s vision, I hope. We think he’d be happy with it. I’d love to do another one.


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How was Madonna involved?

We reached out to Madonna because David had always said he’d like her to be part of it. She was wonderful. What came back from her blew our mind. It is a long, personal, beautiful and touching introduction. It hasn’t been changed at all, it’s completely verbatim. We’re very grateful to ‘Muriel’. You’ll have to get the book to understand why…


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David Collins


What does ABCDCS represent?

ABCDCS is a landmark for us. It marks the legacy we’ve inherited from David. It is timely. It is also a way of celebrating the Studio. We are very lucky to still be very busy; we have some exciting projects coming up. It will also be fun to celebrate the book, which was a huge task in the last year. We hope people will like it.



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A-Gent of Style would like to thank David Kendall, Jodi Feder and Simon Rawlings at David Collins Studio for giving him the amazing opportunity to preview the book with an interview, and for all their help and support.


– Photographs by Assouline, David Collins Studio and A-Gent of Style







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