FOR ITALIAN GLAM IN LONDON
The Estorick Collection in Islington is Britain’s only museum dedicated to modern Italian art.
In a converted Grade II-listed Georgian house, the museum is best known for its concentration on Futurist works — the art style associated with modern life and technology in the early part of the 20th century.
Brooklyn-born Eric Estorick (1913-1993) developed a passion for Italian art on his honeymoon and collected through the Forties and Fifties, ending up as a dealer for Hollywood clients such as Lauren Bacall and Billy Wilder, and finally as founder of the Grosvenor Gallery in London.
Loyal to England to the last, he refused offers from Italy and the US to house his collection — which had been on loan to the Tate — and in 1994 the Canonbury Square house was purchased to display the art.
Open until June 25, the collection is showing the work of Giacomo Balla, a pioneering figure in European modernism, whose works concentrate on light, movement and speed at the beginning of the last century.
All 116 works in the show are on loan from the Biagiotti Cigna Collection. Do make time before you leave for prosecco and panini in the Italian-run café.
- Giacomo Balla: Designing the Future is at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39A Canonbury Square, N1.
THE NAKED TRUTH
Two current London exhibitions use the female nude to highlight issues of power and race, but in very different ways.
South African-born Lisa Brice’s exhibition at the Stephen Friedman Gallery in Mayfair is an intimate show in every sense of the word: the women on view in these small works on paper are involved in everyday rituals of dressing and undressing and seem to be unaware of the artist.
All the paintings are done in a deep, striking blue — creating light, shade and depth. For the artist, this particular hue brings to mind Trinidad carnival revellers who paint their skin blue in order to become emboldened by the vibrant, energetic traditional characters of the “Blue Devils”.
- Lisa Brice, until April 22 at Stephen Friedman Gallery, Old Burlington Street, W1.
At Tiwani Contemporary in Marylebone, Phoebe Boswell’s exhibition features digital tech combined with traditional draftsmanship to create pencil drawings, animations and installations. Modern tech gives these female nudes a voice.
The life-size models each hold a mobile phone, with its screen visible to the viewer. When scanned with a phone or iPad, the screen reveals an observation or fact chosen by the woman portrayed to reveal something she wants you to know about her, or about her life.
- For Every Real Word Spoken, by Phoebe Boswell, until April 22 at Tiwani Contemporary, Little Portland Street, W1.
BUY A PIECE OF ART A WEEK
Contemporary Applied Arts represents the work of 350 “designer makers” who use traditional skills to create memorable pieces for the home.
Its current Object of the Week which is announced via social media on Friday mornings, is by ceramicist Jin Eui Kim, who lives and works in Cardiff.
He creates visually and intellectually stimulating pieces which play with spatial illusions and refer back to his South Korean heritage.
Each Object of the Week can be ordered online and can be anything from scarves or jewellery to glassworks or furniture.