Halcyon Gallery at Harrods are delighted to present works from their flagship exhibition, currently on at the New Bond Street Gallery, ‘Dashi Namdakov: A Nomad’s Universe’. Preferring to work in bronze, ‘the most visually expressive material’ according to Namdakov, his work submerges the viewer into the world of ancient legends, of horsemen, warriors, shamans and Buddhist lamas. All works reflect ancient Siberian and Central Asian cultures and are rooted in the artist’s childhood.
“Namdakov is a talented artist who uses his classical training in the traditions of the Russian school of sculpture to create unique works that are steeped in the spirit of Buddhism.” Lyudmila Martz, Head of Department, Sculpture of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.
Namdakov is a renowned sculptor in Russia with a growing following in North America and Europe and his work can be found in public collections including: the State Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the State Museum of Oriental Arts in Moscow, the Russian Contemporary Art Museum in Moscow, Tibet House in New York City and the Guangzhou Museum of Art in China. Private collections include the Russian President V. Putin, Roman Abramovich and collectors in the USA, UK and internationally.
The exhibition at Halcyon Gallery follows the installation of a specially commissioned sculpture by Namdakov of Genghis Khan in Marble Arch. The spectacular bronze statue rises to almost five metres from hoof to helmet and features the great Mongolian leader descending from heaven on horseback. Genghis Khan is placed next to Cumberland Gate, Marble Arch, against the beautiful backdrop of Hyde Park. The location has been chosen to allow thousands of Londoners and visitors the chance to view Genghis Khan as they pass through one of London’s busiest junctions.
Halcyon Gallery at Harrods are delighted to present works from the first solo exhibition by contemporary artist David Wightman. Previously on display in our Mayfair gallery, a selection of his new works, painted between 2011 and 2012 have been brought to Harrods. Wightman bridges the genres of landscape and abstraction. With his artistic roots in traditional painting, Wightman’s work holds a graphic preciseness that has earned him extensive international recognition. In 2003 he was awarded the Hunting Art Prize from The Royal College of Art, London and has recently finished a residency as part of English Heritage’s Berwick Gymnasium Arts Fellowship, Berwick-Upon-Tweed.
Inspired by Caspar David Friedrich and Ad Reinhardt, Wightman creates his landscape and abstract paintings using a systematic process that relies on craft and discipline. Every work is made from individual pieces of wallpaper, painstakingly cut with a surgical scalpel and placed side by side, never overlapping. After stretching a canvas, he applies the wallpaper, then sands and primes the work, ready for painting. Wightman describes the process as: “far more labour intensive than the end product suggests”.
Wightman’s new work is interested in the contradictory connotations of mountain landscapes: their beauty and terror; their isolation and wholesomeness. It is this sense of the age-old mountain, isolated and cold, that makes a subtle yet ingenious reference to the predicament of the landscape genre. Prescribed as ‘dead’ on more than one occasion by critics, the “perfect landscape” genre is now considered crass and kitsch. The connotation of kitsch is a theme Wightman embraces by using textures of wallpaper, similar to the wallpaper he remembers from his youth, to create his own landscapes. Although the paintings are disguised in uplifting colours, there is a quiet, nostalgic sadness in Wightman’s work, a hint of class struggles, and with it an integrity and critical eye that appears to be missing from much of contemporary art today.
In addition to the work of David Wightman, we also have original figurative artworks by Spanish artist Royo on display along with a selection of photo-realist work by American artist Douglas Hofmann. Sculpture on show in the gallery includes Lorenzo Quinn’s impressive ‘Gravity’ which stands at 1.6m tall and the colourful, thought provoking work of Mauro Perucchetti including his piece ‘Guns N’ Roses’ which features Mauro’s typical bright colour palette together with keenly observed social commentary.
Master Graphics on show include pieces by Pop artist Andy Warhol and screenprints by Frank Stella and Donald Sultan.