Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Old School Book

Just in, a superb revised edition of The School Prints book by Ruth Artmonsky. Produced to the exacting standards of the Antique Collectors' Club, this is a beautifully produced hardback. Are there any drawbacks? Not really, only that Peter Ashley has elbowed his way in and written a postscript. But at least it's at the back. Buy the prints from Goldmark, buy the book from Goldmark too.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Collage Education

Apologies for being so lax with this blog. It's just that Mr.Goldmark has had Lord Carrot running about delivering and picking up art all over the place. Everywhere from Maldon in Essex to Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire. Anyway, as is so typical here, your back's turned for five minutes and you find there's even more people wandering about the corridors. One of them is Alex J.Wright (don't ask about the 'j') and he's installed in the Red Room making films. Of course I grind what's left of my teeth because film is one of my passions, but Mr.Wright is right on the snap of a clapper board. I've spent this morning having a butcher's at his film of Francis Davison, and have to say it was a real eye opener. Being a lover of collage it's made me look again at his work, much of it gathering together on the gallery walls for a show starting here this Saturday. Francis Davison (1919-1984) had a major exhibition at the Hayward a year before he died, and didn't give them titles. So it was his wife that called the above Green, Black, Yellow, Pink & Blue. He was also averse to explaining his work, and the only clue those near to him had as to which way up they were supposed to be, were the position of drawing pin holes in his studio wall. But something he did say was: "People often ask what is the aim, what is the meaning of the collages, instead of looking to see what has been made with paper instead of paint". Exactly. Come and see what he means.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

A Right Pair

There's an exhibition coming up at the Goldmark Gallery that's a real must. A great flurry of activity has attended a show of paintings by Dylan Waldron. I'm knocked out by his still lifes of fruit and veg., so reminiscent of those seventeenth century pics of lobsters and dead hares. And there's something companionably erotic about this row of pears. Or is it just me? Of course I find out that he lives in the same village as that Peter Ashley, so there's obviously been some collusion going on. However, I do urge you to get a Butcher's Hook at his work. It starts this Saturday in the Gallery and there's an accompanying catalogue in enticing colour and indeed a film that shows Mr.Waldron walking his patch of country. Probably thinking about what vegetable to paint next.

Friday, 26 March 2010

High on High Street

The latest online Goldmark catalogue is out now, and Lord Carrot is very pleased to see in it a selection of original Eric Ravilious lithographs from the inestimable High Street. Widely recognised as being amongst the finest illustrations of their kind in the 20th century, the walls of Carrot Hall would have the lot up there. The stories they tell of High Streets gone by is one thing, but of equal interest are the idiosyncratic choices of shops, chosen as much, one suspects, for their extreme drawability and, well, fun. As much as I like Edward Bawden, Eric's best friend and companion-in-arts, he could be a bit of a curmudgeon (to say the least) but Ravilious appeared to never take himself that seriously. Often photographed with a fag on (I wish someone could tell me what brand- I imagine untipped Gold Flake) he seemed to really enjoy his life before sadly losing it so prematurely in cold Icelandic waters during the Second World War. The family butcher and hardware shops are here, but also a plumassier, firework seller (Ravilious loved fireworks) and the inevitable undertakers. Does Lord Carrot have a favourite? That's very hard, but I keep going back to those scrumptious hams.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Poster Post

These posters really do have to be seen to be believed. All too familiar from reproductions in books, they are as close to the original large posters that got stuck up on those ubiquitous advertising columns (colonnes Morris) on the Paris streets of the 1890s as it's possible to be. In fact, they're even better. The print runs of the large posters were extended so that collectors could eagerly buy them for their truly awesome designs. But because you needed a fairly large salon to show them off, the original printers, Imprimerie Chaix, sent four reduced copies every month to subscribers, from December 1895 to November 1900. The gallery has a first set here now. The man behind it all deserves to be in the pantheon of graphic designers that these days would include Milton Glaser, Saul Bass and Alan Fletcher. Jules Cheret (there's an acute accent on the first 'e') was not only a formidable artist in his own right, but his three-stone lithographic process meant that designers were quick to recognise that their work would be displayed for everyone in rich, vivid colours. And it wasn't just Parisien or indeed French designers that benefitted. Alongside the instantly recognisable Lautrec and Mucha are the Beggarstaff Brothers and Maxfield Parrish. You can find out more here, but be quick, I'm trying to find a way of smuggling them out round the back where's there's an easy climb over the wall to the car park.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Market Daze

Every Friday we have an open-air market just around from the corner from the gallery in Uppingham's square. (Mike's round there now, getting the fish.) Which means we all enjoy a fabulous source for fresh fruit & veg, local cheeses, trilby hats, nail brushes, olives, watch batteries, pork pies and the added bonus of not being able to park anywhere. So if you're thinking of coming and seeing what's on offer at Goldmark's, make it a Friday. If you don't all come at once you can join us for lunch, where you'll find those same cheeses, charcuterie and a box of Carr's Melts (you have to be quick to get your hand in that). The only trouble is, being surrounded by such colourful art everyday, you can't help seeing it everywhere else, hence this abstract. I'm calling it Orange, Limone, Blue & Green Study. With 'Orange' pronounced 'Orraahnge' obviously.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


I don't know. No sooner has my erstwhile neighbour Peter Ashley insinuated himself in here with Mike Goldmark, (both of them going into huddles in the corner talking about the Unmitigated County Guides they're going to do AND books about folly towers and fag packets), than he waltzes in here with this. I knew he was a 'railway buffer' or whatever it's called (trainspotter), but it looks like he's been clearing out his drawers of all the stuff he's undoubtedly nicked out of 1950's waiting rooms. Oh yes, it's all in here- tickets, luggage labels, cigarette cards, bits of torn timetables AND I don't doubt the wrapper off a Brief Encounter rock cake. Of course everyone falls over themselves and it all gets done up as a 'Mixed Media' limited edition print called Shunt With Care. I'll mix media with him if he does it again. Although as I've got his lawnmower in bits in my barn I suppose I ought to keep quiet about it. For a bit.