In London with Nicholas Christopher, founder of Turon Travel, the travel agency to the art world
IN ANTICIPATION OF ART WEEK LONDON, THE LRFA BLOG TRACKED DOWN NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER, AN INVETERATE TRAVELER HIMSELF, PRINCIPAL AND FOUNDER OF TURON TRAVEL, THE TRAVEL AGENCY FOR THE ART WORLD. TURON , FOUNDED 35 YEARS AGO IN SOHO, BEGAN AS AN AGENCY THAT BOOKED PLANE TICKETS FOR ITS LOCAL CLIENTELE BUT AS SOHO DEVELOPED ITS IDENTIFY IN THE 1980s AS THE DESTINATION FOR GALLERIES OF CUTTING-EDGE ART AND THE OLD WAREHOUSES OFFERED ARTISTS EXPANSIVE LOFT LIVING AND WORKING SPACE, TURON TRAVEL EVOLVED INTO A HIGHLY SOPHISTICATED AGENCY SPECIALIZING IN INTERNATIONAL ART-RELATED TRAVEL.
TODAY’S LRFA BLOG WELCOMES NICHOLAS BACK FOR HIS INSIDER’S SCOOP ON THE FORTHCOMING WEEK IN LONDON AND ITS ENVIRONS. THE FAIRS INCLUDE FRIEZE, FRIEZE MASTERS, AND PAD; CHRISTIE’S, PHILLIPS AND SOTHEBY’S OFFER A WEALTH OF POST-WAR, CONTEMPORARY AND ITALIAN ART; AND STELLAR GALLERY AND MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS ABOUND, ALL GEARED WITH AN EYE TO THE INFLUX OF INTERNATIONAL COLLECTORS AND CURATORS.
ADDITIONALLY, NICHOLAS HAS INCLUDED SOME GREAT SUGGESTIONS ON FOOD, BEVERAGE AND HOTEL HAVENS.
HERE IS A SELECTION OF LONDON HIGHLIGHTS, SOME EXPECTED AND SEVERAL OFF THE BEATEN PATH.
THANK YOU, NICHOLAS!
The 5th year of Frieze Masters will be held a week earlier this year, from October 6-9, 2016, the invitation only preview on Wednesday, the 5th. The fair brings together 134 of the world’s leading historical and modern galleries offering a broad chronological spectrum from antiques to Old Masters to late 20th Century modern masters. The works are expertly vetted and the quality extremely high, further strengthened by Frieze’s brilliant collaboration with international independent and museum curators.
At Frieze Masters, don’t miss the acclaimed Spotlight Section, curated by Toby Kamps of the impeccable Menil Collection in Houston. This curated section is dedicated to solo presentations by under-appreciated artists from the 20th Century. “Spotlight has been a revelation for me – a place for discovering alternative and little-known histories of international 20th Century art”, Kamp explains.
It is interesting to note that the crossover trend at auction has found its way to Frieze Masters. This next edition will feature joint presentations between 18 galleries, including Hauser & Wirth, an international gallery with venues in Zurich, London, Somerset, Los Angeles and New York exhibiting outstanding modern and contemporary artists and Moretti, a celebrated Old Masters dealer with galleries in Florence, London and New York. Salon 94 (New York) will collaborate with Bernard de Grunne (Brussels) juxtaposing Judy Shapiro’s figural work with African and Oceanic sculpture.
Between Frieze London, Frieze Masters and PAD, and the auction previews and sales, it seems almost frivolous to suggest some alternative art-related venues but here goes.
In quest of adventure from another century and a short walk? Explore the remarkable house, museum and library of 19th century architect, Sir John Soane, a wonderfully intimate place interest untouched since his death with its eclectic collection of paintings and objets d’art. The current exhibition “Cloud-Capped Towers’ explores the influence of William Shakespeare on the life and work of Soane.
One of the most interesting synergies between a celebrated historical venue and major contemporary art exhibitions has been initiated at Blenheim Palace, the home of the 11th Duke of Marlborough and his family. Two years ago, art collector and curatorial advisor, Michael Frahm, the director of Blenheim Art Foundation, launched an exhibition program with the work of Ai Weiwei. Blenheim is not the conventional white-cube setting and the juxtaposition between the contemporary work and the 18th Century palace and the great masters whose works already fill the rooms is both a challenge and an inspiration.
The current solo exhibition of a significant leader of the Italian Arte Povera movement, Michelangelo Pistoletto, explores the diverse range of his work, from painting to sculpture to large-scale installation and showcases new works created specifically for the Palace. This brilliant exhibition is integrated into both the fabric of the building’s 18th Century interiors and the surrounding grounds.
Don’t miss the brilliant William Kentridge’s major exhibit, Thick Time, at Whitechapel, of six large-scale installations of his renowned animated expressionist drawings and film exploring time, colonialism and revolutionary politics.
By now, the only priority is probably a delicious meal and somewhere to sit. At the Beaumont Hotel in Mayfair, home of the celebrated British sculpture’s commission ROOM, combine the two. Anthony Gormley’s sculpture forms a unique bedroom to a suite in the hotel. A dark, mysterious space, the artist’s intent was to “sculpt darkness”, encouraging the occupant to enjoy a meditative pause.
Another haven of serenity and a favored oasis of the LRFA blog is the counter at the Tsukiji Sushi Restaurant at the Westbury on Bond Street. You are guaranteed excellent service and, beautifully presented, the most innovative and fresh sushi and sashimi.
If you prefer a step back to old London, visit a traditional pub for kidney pie, smoked salmon, and classic Dover sole. The Red Lion, in St. James’s offers hearty selections such as sausage and mash, toffee pudding complemented by Fuller’s ales and the Guinea Grill at 30 Bruton Place, established in 1675 in Mayfair, offers the finest Scotch beef and warm hospitality.
Whatever century resonates the most, London offers an outstanding menu of art, food and adventure.
PLEASE CONTRIBUTE YOUR TIPS ON LONDON PLACES TO SEE!
THE LRFA BLOG AND NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER OF TURON TRAVEL WELCOME ALL SUGGESTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS THAT MAKE YOUR LONDON VISITS SPECIAL ONES. THANK YOU!