Julian Hartnoll
37 Duke Street St. James's · London · SW1Y 6DF · 0207 839 3842
fine artmonger · established 1968
Julian Hartnoll's news and views from November 2009

Christopher Wood would air his opinions on current sales  so I have no qualms in expressing mine about his sale.

No one who knew Christopher's home in Marston Bigot would not have felt saddened by the sight of the sale room in the Hangar at Christies South Kensington last week. That is not to say that Christies did not make a fine hand of it - but in the School House it all fitted in so well and its coherence could be understood.

In many ways this second sale was far more the real Christopher than the first which took place before his death. His taste in furniture was for the more overtly Gothic, the painted and the aesthetic - each piece had its own character and for the most part the designer was unknown. Christopher was not a follower of names. That is perhaps what made this such a buyers paradise and why with its modest reserves the sale was nearly a sell out - compare it with the ridiculous sale of designer furniture at Dreweatts recently where the name was the aim and for the most part the target was missed.

For my part I bought an aesthetic whatnot which I remember first seeing in Christopher and Sarah's house in Winchester Street. If your introduction to the Aesthetic Movement was through Elizabeth Aslin than you will understand the importance of the cult of the sunflower; this whatnot had the most superb band of carved stylised sunflowers. Once upon a time I had offered Christopher £3000 for it - on Sunday I bought it for £1,250.

Which brings me to my point - keep your eyes open - there are gems about and they can be bought well. It is only the super stars, the glamour pieces which tick all the banker's boxes which attract the moneyed - now is the time for the more modest to re-enter the market.

by Julian Hartnoll
10 November 2009 5:05 PM

Anselm Kiefer at the White Cube is well worth seeing. They call him a new symbolist - but is he not right into the tradition of 19th century German Romanticism plus a bit of kitsch ? Correct me or give me your view - leave a comment using the link below.

plus plus You must go to the Museum of Everything ( at Sharpleshall Street in Primrose Hill). You won't see such a Saatchi like operation applied to Outsider Art again - done rather too whimsically for my taste but a real gift to our knowledge of these strange obsessive artists. My tip for the next art market boom.

There seem to be green shoots in the market at last.

by Julian Hartnoll
05 November 2009 4:49 PM