Fine Art Asia 2021
Tanya Baxter Contemporary has built a reputation for showcasing Post-War Modern, Modern British and Contemporary Art from both East and West. First opened in 1995 in Hong Kong, and then in 1998 in London, the gallery exhibits at major international art fairs, as well as managing private and corporate collections worldwide. The Art Advisory is known for sourcing works by key artists for leading collectors, as well as championing mid-career artists and supporting emerging talents.
At Fine Art Asia 2021, Tanya Baxter Contemporary will present works by the most preeminent 20th-century British masters, Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach, as well as paintings by leading British artists Bridget Riley and Sean Scully, who are currently proving to be of great appeal to audiences in Asia and the USA. The exhibition will thus display a balance between the preeminent creators of figurative paintings and those artists who explore form and colour in abstract works.
Lucian Freud (1922-2011) is perhaps the foremost 20th-century British portraitist. On show will be oil portraits from the early 1940s, such as Memory of London, which captures a young artist’s longing for the excitement of the city. In 1933, Freud’s family had moved from Berlin to London to escape the rise of Hitler. The lone protagonist in this painting, a newspaper salesman on the corner of the street where his parents lived, is an example of Freud’s capacity to reveal the inner psyche of his subjects.
Freud’s signature style, marked by thick paint application and a preoccupation with both the physical and psychological flaws of the sitter, is also seen in the wonderfully expressive painting Donegal Man, painted in 2006.
Exhibited for the first time in public, Freud’s charcoal “Sketch of Goldie” offers a rare insight into the artist’s lifelong interest in horses. A highly gestural work, the sketch dates from 2003, when Freud was a regular visitor at the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre in London, a charity providing therapy to disabled children. Freud set up a temporary studio there and became a good friend of Sister Mary-Joy Langdon who ran the centre. “Sketch of Goldie” was his parting gift to her.
From the post-war years until today, Frank Auerbach (b. 1931) is one of the most inventive and influential British artists, known for his boldly coloured and densely impastoed canvases. Born in Berlin, he has lived in the UK as a naturalized British citizen since 1947. One of the most striking features of Auerbach’s expressionist painting is that he paints the same subjects over and over again, especially the streets around his studio in Camden Town. Using his acute powers of observation, he conveys every detail and mood of the urban landscape of his adopted home.
Auerbach’s employs the same method in his psychologically probing portraits, focusing on just a handful of sitters. His exceptional work, Reclining Head of Julia, depicts the artist’s wife, the painter Julia Wolstenholme, a habitual sitter since their marriage in 1958. The painting displays a vigour of rich, broad paint strokes, while the brushwork conjures the palpable emotions between Auerbach and his wife.
An icon of British art of the 1960s, Bridget Riley (b. 1931) is known for her dynamic painting that exploits optical phenomena to evoke compelling sensations of movement, colour and three-dimensionality. Today she continues her exploration of the physical, psychological and social aspects of visual sensation and perception.
Three Colours (Blue, Yellow and Turquoise) Precipitating Magenta belongs to a collection of striped paintings that Riley produced between 1980 and 1985. The gouache maintains the vivid palette and structure that Riley developed following a trip to Egypt in 1979-80 which marked a breakthrough for the artist. Her carefully composed colour chords with their fleeting visual sensations have been likened to a passage of music.
Irish-born, US-based artist Sean Scully (b. 1945) is one of the most important painters of his generation, known primarily for his large-scale abstract paintings often featuring geometric forms with tessellated blocks and gradated colours. Scully synthesizes the traditions of classical European painting with the expressive impact of American abstract expressionism.
Also showcased will be artworks by British artist Tracey Emin (b. 1963) who has been a major figure in contemporary art for over 25 years. This year her work is being exhibited along with paintings by Edvard Munch at a landmark exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London entitled “The Loneliness of the Soul” (May to August 2021). Emin has long had a fascination with the Norwegian expressionist painter of The Scream. Well known for baring her soul and embracing even the most painful experiences to create art, even Emin could not have scripted the current circumstances of the pandemic in which her work is being shown. At a time when angst and isolation preoccupy our existence, her works have an added poignancy.
Pip Todd Warmoth
Highly atmospheric, classically executed landscapes by Royal Academy artist Pip Todd Warmoth (b. 1962) depict locations and people from his travels all over the world. They captivate with their meticulous attention to detail, delicate sensibility and exquisite evocation of light.