Old Master Dialogues

Selected works and new commissions responding
to the Old Master prints and drawings collection of Richard Day

10 OCT 2013 – 29 JAN 2014

Curated by Day+Gluckman


Artists: Gordon Cheung, Ann Marie James, Fiona Macdonald, Geraldine Swayne, Bouke de Vries, Flora Whitely

New Commissions: Aly Helyer, Chloë Steele, Richard Stone, Mark Wright

Works from the Richard Day Collection: James Abbott Pasquier, Abraham Bosse, Ludovico Carracci, Guiseppe Cesari, called Cavalieri d’Arpino, French School 18th Century, Steven Godden, Townley Green, Wenzel Hollar, Constantin Renesse, Alan Reynolds, Paul Sandby, Circle of Sandby, Thomas Stothard, John Varley, Jean Antonine Watteau, Antonio Maria Zanetti

Old Master Dialogues considers the influence of old masters both on their ‘schools’, ‘circles’ and also on contemporary art practice within the notion of ‘follower’. Four contemporary artists, Mark Wright, Chloe Steele, Aly Helyer and Richard Stone have been invited to respond to works from the personal collection of the Old Master Drawings Dealer Richard Day. Alongside these responses a further group of artists whose work references Old Master genres add additional and important notes to the exhibition.

Traditionally museums aim to strictly observe the hierarchies of history, whereas collectors and artists acquire or visually consume anything and everything that appeals to them personally. A collection, like an installation or a sculpture, a painting or a drawing becomes a composition in itself; edited, discussed, discarded or revered. Day started his career as a partner at Sotheby’s in the 1960’s, leaving to focus on his independent dealership in Bond Street, London. His collection is not one of household names. The works are small, discreet and dearly loved and represent a very particular and personal taste, honed from fifty years of researching, buying and selling artworks as an Old Master dealer and expert in drawings.

Many contemporary artists source ideas, styles, techniques and subject matter from the Old Masters – sometimes overtly, sometimes conceptually and often through particular colour palettes or composition.  This is no great revelation – the art history lineage is a wide, sprawling web of intersecting influences. Day’s collection shows, for example, the influence that Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola (called Parmigianino) had on Zanetti, or Samuel Palmer on Alan Reynolds and John Varley.  Old Master Dialogues teases out some of these connections: the relationships between Old Master works and contemporary practice and those between peers, then as now. 

Richard Stone

Richard Stone

Flora Whiteley

James Abbott Pasquier & G Swayne

Mark Wright 

Flora Whiteley

Chloe Steele, Salon Hang, Richard Day

Hands, French School