Friday, 31 May 2013
Wednesday, 29 May 2013
Monday, 27 May 2013
To quote Nicky Haslam: "...a thunderbolt rent the chintzes and fringes of Mayfair and Sloane Street. Aimed with the opportune accuracy from the god-like visage of interior designer David Hicks, 'geometrics' hit the custom-staled decorating ground with a lightning flash. His rooms were spare: square chairs, white or beige, sat squarely beside double-cube sofas set rigid to walls, standing on wall-to-wall carpet with small square designs. Uplights cast their dramatic chiaroscuro over vast, unframed Francis Bacon canvases. Metals gleamed and a square of black patent leather shone. It was an eye-opener all right, and I awoke from my Beaton reveries with a jolt."
FOLLY DE GRANDEUR published by Jacqui Small with ravishing photographs by Simon
Knowingly or unknowingly, design since the Sixties
has been influenced by the designs of David Hicks - his innovations in colour, the use of space, the freshness and airiness of his rooms were all innovations.
There are some six books by him. I have 'Living with Design' published in 1979 and 'David Hicks - A Life of Design' by his son Ashley, published in 2009:
|The Britwell Hall Fireplace |
|Elaine & Vidal Sassoon Sitting Room |
|For Keith Lichtenstein, King's Road, Chelsea |
|Setting up displays at his new shop David Hicks |
Saturday, 25 May 2013
The architecture of The French Enlightenment [mid-18th century until the French Revolution] you can but admire in Britain - William Kent, Vanburgh, Hawksmoor, Robert Adam [right: portrait by George Willison c.1773], Tradition of the Grand Tour, etc.
|Zoffany's painting of Charles Towneley and colleagues, of c.1781, recently-imported classical statuary at his home of 14 Queen Anne's Gate, London. Note the splendid carpet.|
|The Barrieres of Paris, elevations of ten now destroyed customs posts|
In the 19th century, my favourite is Schinkel [1781-1841], a charming looking man.
|Above: Schinkel's set design for Mozart's 'The Magic Flute' |
Extract from Karl Friedrich Schinkel 'The English Journey' Journal of a Visit to France and Britain in 1826:
Friday, 16 June
Looked at interiors of colleges and churches. First a beautiful garden outside one of these buildings, and old church, part of which is Anglo-Saxon, Christ Church. Picture gallery in Radcliffe's foundation, bad, incomprehensible how such things can be exhibited. - Chapel and cloister in the college at the entrance to the town [Magdalen]. Good stained glass from Rubens's time, new glass opposite, vestibule of the church with an iron stove in the middle, where the smoke is drawn away under the floor. - Another courtyard and church at the entrance to the park, vestibule, 4 pinnacles on the tower. - Church in the main street. the wooden roof construction without beams and with flat pointed arches, as small iron roofs are now made. - Library [Radcliffe Camera], circular building with arches all round; 2 fine candelabra, especially the one with the 3 Ibis figures. Once can see clearly how the circular shape is retained in a triangle. View from the gallery of the Library into the various colleges quite distinctive and opulent but very repetitive architecture. - Collection of natural history specimens and antiquities in another ponderous building (next to it execrable herms), Druid rings in glass mosaic, perhaps Phonoecian. Models of Stonehenge near Salisbury. - The church of another college with stained glass windows by the old Dutch school and that of West.
Thursday, 23 May 2013
Tuesday, 21 May 2013
John Stefanidis Fabrics available from:
Chelsea Harbour, London, SW10 0XF
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7352 9977
40 NE 40th Street, Miami, FL 33137
Phone: + 1 305-576-6222
752 North La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: +1 310 858 6884
Sunday, 19 May 2013
Designed by Edwin Lutyens in the 1920's,
revived and elaborated by John Stefanidis
|Note: Monkey topiary made with ivy on a wire structure|
to replace stolen Lutyen's 18th Century statues [right]
|A pond could not survive under an ancient Mulberry tree |
Arabella Lennox-Boyd advised clipped box.
Friday, 17 May 2013
Thursday, 16 May 2013
A morning spent at the V&A is a morning well spent
‘David Bowie Is’
[March 23- August 11, 2013]
A remarkable show, outstandingly well curated.
An excellent, informative article on Bowie, his life, by Ian Buruma ‘The Invention of David Bowie’ in the New York Review of Books [May 23-June 5, 2013] …Bowie changed the way many people looked in the 1970’s, 1980’s even the 1990’s…it is entirely fitting that the Victoria and Albert Museum should stage a huge exhibition of Bowie’s stage clothes, as well as music videos, handwritten song lyrics, film clips, artwork, scripts, storyboards, and other Bowieana from his personal archive..
In marked contrast, the Zeitgeist of the past decades, a well-mannered show Treasures of the Royal Courts shows the Tudors and Stuarts had close relationships with the Russian Tsars. Elizabethan silver-gilt at its most magnificent lent by the Kremlin Museum. Objects given to the Tsars, once looking dismal and tarnished in their glass cases, can now be seen in all their splendour.
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Monday, 13 May 2013
|The Acropolis, Athens|
Starting with the Roman copycats, Neoclassicism has evolved and transmuted over centuries...
I have been in all of Palladio’s villas, and in each and every one I was uplifted and longed to inhabit them. Palladio’s architecture is convivial, agreeable and inspiring, all in proportion to man’s inspirations.
|Raphael's self-portrait with Giulio Romano|
Room of Psyche
Saturday, 11 May 2013
Palazzo dei Diamanti,
At Palazzo dei Diamanti, there is a splendid exhibition on the films of Michelangelo Antonioni, a native of Ferrara, and best known in the UK for 'Blow Up'.
Until June 9, 2013
is a 'genre' painter, 'assemblagiste' in the tradition of surrealist art - her work is astonishing. Here are examples in her Bologna house.
Forresteria di Villa Valmarana ai Nani, Vicenza
Frescoes by Tiepolo [1727-1804]
Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza
'Son et lumiere' at the Teatro Olimpico
...theatrical with music - a waltz - most inappropriate!
Basilica Palladiana, Vicenza