The Art of The Collector at The Halcyon Gallery, London

The Art of the Collector exhibition at The Halcyon Gallery boasts an extremely interesting and diverse collection, with pieces from various artists, each with their own unique style. 

The exhibition includes artworks from the collections of collectors from all over the world, such as Leonardo DiCaprio and the exhibition spans a captivating range of pictures from famous artists such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Marc Chagall, Santiago Montoya, Russell Young and magnificent sculptures from Lorenzo Quinn. 

The diversity of the exhibition ensures there is something for everyone to enjoy, whether it is the bold aesthetic of Picasso, Andy Warhol’s famous Pop Art, or towering sculptures from contemporary artists like Lorenzo Quinn. 

One of the first paintings to greet visitors is Pablo Picasso’s ‘Jacqueline lisant’, (1962) a portrait of his second wife, who was the main and final muse of his paintings. The harshness of the black and white palette, with no colour, really commands one’s attention and is highly engaging, causing an urge to discover more about this woman and her story. Picasso’s pieces in this exhibition are very different from the style that is mainly associated with the artist’s name. Although his unique style is still apparent within the paintings, the bright colours and surreal Cubism is left behind and replaced by heavy shadows and dark monochrome tones. 

A fun, bright atmosphere is created through Andy Warhol’s pieces, which include his collection of food cans and colour-pop prints of Judy Garland and Liz Taylor, portraying their beauty in a bold and bright fashion.

In the middle of the room, there is a half-wall covered from top to bottom with small paintings from Andy Warhol displaying historical figures, as well as well-known characters from stories, such as Romeo and Juliet. However, Warhol has added his own humour to these paintings by writing a small poem or rhyme on each, comedically describing the lives and situations of these characters. 

The lower level of the gallery is filled with grand, beautiful sculptures by Lorenzo Quinn. Each one has its own special meaning and story and stands against the backdrop of wall printed with quotes about love and life, which relate to the work and explain what it symbolises.

Some of the sculpturesare in front of a printed background of real places that include the sculpture, they are placed in a way that makes it look like it is really still there in that place, to help the onlooker imagine what it would be like to be there. 

One of the most powerful pieces is ‘The Force of Nature’ which is a towering naked woman, who is in fact a representation of Mother Nature, hurtling planet Earth around in circles. The piece shows a strong woman, a fiery and powerful force, that can at any moment bring sudden destruction.

Another powerful yet serene sculpture is of a woman, balanced in water as if she is meditating. With her watery reflection beneath her, she appears calm and at peace as the sculptor's words behind her read: 

‘Life to me can be represented through its three pillars: stone, wood, and faith. The past is set in stone, the present is being carved out of wood, and the future is an empty glass to be filled with our accomplished dreams.’ 

‘The Art of The Collector’ truly offers something for everyone and it is this inclusivity which is highly reflective of the Halcyon Gallery’s underlying motivation behind the exhibition - to invite everyone into the art collectors’ world and show that the appreciation of art and art collecting are not necessarily activities reserved for the elite few.  The collectors have graciously opened up their private collections and the gallery has made the pieces accessible.  Two things that are clear from this eclectic exhibition are that art collecting is a highly personal endeavour that results in collections that are as uniquely put together as the artworks themselves and that a collection, like an individual piece of art, can be appreciated all the more when it is shared for all to see.

The Art of The Collector is on at The Halcyon Gallery until 20th August 2017.  More information may be found here.