‘A Visual Odyssey: Selections from LAC (Lambert Art Collection)’ on show at Frieze Week London starting October 3rd, features 306 objects across three different centuries and represents the contemporary spirit that is a testament to the pioneering collecting vision of Baroness Marion Lambert, who was greatly encouraged by her late husband Baron Philippe Lambert.
Assembled over generations by the Lambert family, ‘A Visual Odyssey’ demonstrates an energy and flair for collecting across the ages. Each item testifies to the same exacting eye for not only the giants of contemporary art, but also those of the worlds of photography, furniture, design and fashion. A family of collectors, the Lambert Art Collection proposes the act of collecting as an artistic pursuit in its own right.
Bold visual resonances proliferate throughout the collection, creating connections across the centuries; the gleaming metallic patina of Rudolph Stingel’s Untitled silver wallpaper motif finds an echo in the gilded decoration of a Louis XV ormolu mounted ebony bureau plat that is the historical point of reference for the collection. Charles Cator, Deputy Chairman at Christie’s has said:
‘When I first saw this magnificent Louis XV ebony bureau plat and cartonnier thirty years ago, it stood alone with Alberto Giacometti’s three Grande femme debout and the impact was so strong I have never forgotten it. Paul Gallois in Christie’s furniture team has brilliantly discovered the original owner of the desk – Baron de Besenval (1722-1791), a celebrated collector and friend of Marie-Antoinette. The ensemble is subsequently recorded in the fabled collection of Baron Gustave de Rothschild in Paris from whom it has descended to the Lambert Family. It is one of the most exciting pieces to come on the market for many years and is an outstanding example of the most up-to-date neoclassical taste in Paris of the 1760s.’
Highlights will include works from some the most interesting contemporary artists working today, including Christopher Wool, Ugo Rondinone and Mark Bradford. A focal point of Wool’s recent Guggenheim retrospective, Untitled (1995) is an ambitious summation of the formal vocabulary he has developed throughout his ongoing flower series, incorporating three patterns placed in dialogue with an accumulation of rich yellow gestural brushwork.
These sit side-by-side with a selection of photography that stretches from Henri Cartier-Bresson, Erwin Blumenfeld and Josef Koudelka through to Cindy Sherman, Marilyn Minter and Andreas Gursky and furniture from Donald Judd’s late-1980s desk and two chairs to Jean Dunand’s 1920s screen with its prowling panther and rearing cobra engaged in mortal combat. More texture to the sale comes from four 1980s haute couture dresses by Roberto Capucci and a 1953 Topolino car.
Presented by acclaimed designer Jacques Grange, the selections will be on view from the 3-14 October at Ely House in Dover Street, London, which was built between 1772 and 1776 for the Bishop of Ely. Jacques Grange’s staging of the collection will create unexpected juxtapositions and playful encounters across the breadth of art history and encourage viewers to discover connections across all items in the collection. The origins of this collection lie with the Lambert family in Belgium, whose matriarch helped to rebuild the banking dynasty after the war.
Simon de Pury:
‘This is a highly personal collection where a refined and bold taste runs throughout the mix of high and low and across works of different periods and different values, all of which make it resolutely contemporary in feel. It is most unusual to find in the same collection a French 18th-century bureau plat and cartonnier, outstanding 20th-century decorative arts, that range from the gorgeous Jean Dunand screen to the exquisite Donald Judd desk, a collection of posters that students were plastering on the walls of Paris during the May revolts in 1968, and a great group of artworks by Richard Prince, Rudolf Stingel, Ugo Rondinone or Cindy Sherman. In my opinion the three works by Christopher Wool are some of the best abstract paintings by the artist ever to come on the market.’
Set to be a highlight of Frieze week London, A Visual Odyssey will end in auction on 14 October at Christie’s King St, London, as part of the Frieze week auctions at Christie’s, and will also be live streamed. The auction will be presented simultaneously on both Christie’s and de Pury websites, both different in concept, and will feature the highest levels of photography and video content to create an unrivaled digital auction experience.