Tag Archives: Royal Albert Hall

Miles Davis art: vibrant paintings, tentative drawings

Miles Davis art - paintings

Miles Davis art: oil on canvas – Shape Shifter © Miles Davis Estate

First, a frank admission: I’m a sucker for Miles Davis art – just as I am for Miles Davis music.

So I approached the small Miles Davis exhibition in London last weekend with keen anticipation. It was definitely worth the trip, if slightly underwhelming.

Miles Davis art: the venue

The show, curated by Balmain Fine Art, from North Yorkshire, was mounted in the circular ground floor corridor of London’s Royal Albert Hall – a suitably monumental setting for a Miles Davis art exhibition.

Miles Davis art in London

Royal Albert Hall, venue of the exhibition

The show comprised over 50 pieces – a few paintings and prints, but mainly drawings, in pencil, biro and felt-tip. Most pieces were signed, with the familiar “Miles1” signature; a few were stamped with the signature/red Mandarin characters logo of the Miles Davis Estate.

The pieces in the collection ranged in price between £2,000 and £9,500. Most were in the £3-4,000 range.

Miles Davis art: paintings

There were some very desirable pieces of Miles Davis art on display.

Particularly impressive was the exhibition’s key artwork, Shape Shifter, an oil on canvas, provenance “Jo Gelbard New York”, priced at £9,500 (pictured at the top of this review).

I’m partial to Miles Davis oil paintings, especially those, like Shape Shifter, with an African aesthetic. They never fail to evoke emotion. Admittedly, the emotion is often fear. Just as I wouldn’t have risked speaking out of turn at a Miles Davis gig, I approach the best Miles Davis art with trepidation.

Miles’ African period is dominated by a vibrant colour palette and bold, textured brushstrokes. At its best, this type of Miles Davis art manages to fuse the figurative with the abstract: it takes you a while to realise that you are looking at human faces.

Miles Davis art: limited edition prints

Ezzthetique, a limited edition seriagraph, published by the Miles Davis Estate, is also very tempting. The print, #210 in an edition of 300, wasn’t hand-signed, but carried the Estate’s stamp. It was priced at £750 (presumably including the black frame).

Miles Davis prints - Ezzthetique

Miles Davis art: limited edition prints – Ezzthetique © Miles Davis Estate

Seahorses, another limited edition seriagraph (#170 in an edition of 300), was disappointing. Its colour palette is uncharacteristically timid, its composition unusually vague for a Miles Davis painting.

The drawings – the bulk of the Miles Davis art on display in London – didn’t do much for me, however. I find most of the paintings bold, vivacious, engaging. But fewer drawings excite me – many are too inconsequential, tentative, unconvincing for my taste.

Miles Davis art – provenance, curation, conclusions

The provenance of the Miles Davis art in the London show was variously stated as: the Miles Davis Estate, Miles Davis Estate Europe, Giulia (also expressed as “Gilulia”) Trojer New York, and Jo Gelbard.

While the curation and commercialisation of this small exhibition of Miles Davis art wasn’t perfect, it reaffirmed my admiration for the paintings and prints: Miles Davis, giant of twentieth century music, was also an accomplished painter – a key member of the rock art elite.

Copyrights: illustrations: Shape Shifter and Ezzthetique © Miles Davis Estate; Royal Albert Hall photo © Rock Art Editions 2015; text © Rock Art Editions Ltd 2015. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

Rock Art: what to see in July

Early Rolling Stones photograph

Early Rolling Stones by Terry O’Neill, on show at Izzy Gallery, Toronto, Canada, © Terry O’Neill 1963?

There’s a wealth of Rock Art exhibitions running around the world at the moment. Here are some of the most promising.

NEW SHOW

TERRY O’NEILL: The Rolling Stones plus many other 1960s musicians and other celebs on view at Terry O’Neill: The Man Who Shot the Sixties, Izzy Gallery, Yorkville Avenue, Toronto, Canada. 27 June-24 August.

TOP SHOWS

PETER BLAKE: A new permanent mural, Appearing at the Royal Albert Hall, on display near the Cafe Bar, Royal Albert Hall, London. Free. Gathers 400+ performers who have appeared since the Hall opened. Notable rock musicians include Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Queen, The Rolling Stones, and The Who.

Peter Blake will be best known to many readers of ROCK / ART / EDITIONS for his celebrated artwork on the cover of the Beatles album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

BOB DYLAN: photographs by Daniel Kramer, Paulucci Space Theatre, Hibbing Community College, Hibbing MN. To 23 August. Free.

PATTI SMITH: a dozen or so photographs in the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition, Le Grand Palais, Paris. To 13 July.

GREAT BLACK MUSIC: Michael Jackson, Cesaria Evora, Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Myriam Makeba, Oum Kalsoum, among many others. La Cité de la Musique, in NE Paris. To 24 August

RONNIE WOOD of the ROLLING STONES: Ronnie Wood: Art and Music, William Benton Museum of Art in Storrs, University of Connecticut. To 10 August. Free.

AMERICAN COOL: 100 “cool Americans”, including musicians Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Miles Davis and Jay-Z, film actors like Lauren Bacall, and writers such as Ernest Hemingway. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian, Washington DC. To 7 September. Free.

(You are strongly advised to check details with a venue’s website before travelling – some shows require advance booking and details can change, often at short notice)

Have you seen any of these shows? What did you think of it?  Your comments are very welcome.

Have we missed an important show?  Visitors and galleries: please tell us of any show we have missed, for inclusion in next month’s round-up.

Please send comments/details of shows to ROCK / ART / EDITIONS via “Leave a reply” at the top of this post.

Rock Art – what to see in June: Peter Blake, Bob Dylan, Oasis

Rock Art at the Royal Albert Hall, London

Peter Blake with friends in front of Appearing at the Royal Albert Hall by Peter Blake. © Royal Albert Hall 2014. Image by Andy Paradise 2014

There’s a wealth of Rock Art exhibitions running around the world at the moment. Here are some of the most promising.

NEW SHOWS

PETER BLAKE: A new permanent mural, Appearing at the Royal Albert Hall, on display near the Cafe Bar, Royal Albert Hall, London. Free. Gathers 400+ performers who have appeared since the Hall opened. Notable rock musicians include Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Queen, The Rolling Stones, and The Who.

Peter Blake will be best known to many readers of ROCK / ART / EDITIONS for his celebrated artwork on the cover of the Beatles album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

OASIS: Definitely Maybe – The Oasis Photographs, by Michael Spencer Jones, is also on show at Royal Albert Hall – Ground Floor Corridor of the Royal Albert Hall, Fri 6 – Sun 29 June. Can be viewed when attending performances at the Hall, and on two free open days, Sat 28 June and Sun 29 June, 10am – 4pm. Entry via Door 12.

BOB DYLAN: photographs by Daniel Kramer, Paulucci Space Theatre, Hibbing Community College, Hibbing MN. To 23 August. Free.

TOP SHOWS

BOB DYLAN: Dylan’s Drawn Blank Series, The Ross Art Group gallery, New York. To 14 June.

PATTI SMITH: a dozen or so photographs in the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition, Le Grand Palais, Paris. To 13 July.

GREAT BLACK MUSIC: Michael Jackson, Cesaria Evora, Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Myriam Makeba, Oum Kalsoum, among many others. La Cité de la Musique, in NE Paris. To 24 August

RONNIE WOOD of the ROLLING STONES: Ronnie Wood: Art and Music, William Benton Museum of Art in Storrs, University of Connecticut. To 10 August. Free.

AMERICAN COOL: 100 “cool Americans”, including musicians Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Miles Davis and Jay-Z, film actors like Lauren Bacall, and writers such as Ernest Hemingway. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian, Washington DC. To 7 September. Free.

(You are strongly advised to check details with a venue’s website before travelling – some shows require advance booking and details can change, often at short notice)

Have you seen any of these shows? What did you think of it?  Your comments are very welcome.

Have we missed an important show?  Visitors and galleries: please tell us of any show we have missed, for inclusion in next month’s round-up.

Please send comments/details of shows to ROCK / ART / EDITIONS via “Leave a reply” at the top of this post.