Colnaghi is pleased to announce the opening of their new gallery in London in October 2016, during Frieze Week.
A Century after the 256–year old firm Colnaghi moved from Pall Mall to Mayfair, they have returned to St. James’s where their new home is a 4,000 sq. ft. gallery in Bury Street. At Bury Street Colnaghi look forward to presenting Master paintings and sculptures in a fresh context, reimagined for the 21st century audience. The Crown Estates building has been carefully remodelled with bespoke design and interiors by Colnaghi´s Creative Director Diego Fortunato.
Beautifully redesigned Space in St. James’s breathes new life into Old Masters The new gallery enjoys several exhibition areas and a large ground-level window, with the company’s celebrated and treasured library creating a focal point in the basement of the building’s central atrium, holding almost 10,000 volumes of reference books and catalogues dating back to the 18th century. This illustrious Colnaghi library is carefully arranged around a stunning monochrome marble fl oor, and reached by a Kubrickian white stairwell, juxtaposing a futuristic feel with an appreciation of the historical importance of the gallery’s heritage and its important collection of art books which refl ect the emphasis placed on art scholarship.
“We are thrilled to be starting an exciting new chapter in the Colnaghi story with the opening of our gallery in Bury Street. The space has been designed and built as an exciting destination where we can present paintings and sculptures with a fresh approach, in a context suited to the 21st century, and where the library and art scholarship remain at the very centre of what we do. From this new home we’re looking forward to celebrating great art with a contemporary perspective, and continuing Colnaghi’s long and illustrious history of placing works of art in great museum and private collections.” Jorge Coll, CEO of Colnaghi
On Friday 7 October Colnaghi CEO’s Jorge Coll and Nicolás Cortés will host a VIP Party to formally open the new gallery. There will be some surprises at the party including a video installation created by Spanish contemporary artist Eugenio Ampudia.
To launch the new space, Colnaghi will install a Vanitas exhibition, opening on 6 October during Frieze Week, and running until 4 November. Vanitas will feature approximately 30 paintings and sculptures from the 16th to the 20th centuries, all related to the theme.
Vanitas, the Latin for vanity, refers to a genre of symbolic works of art that sought to remind the viewer of their mortality and of the worthlessness of worldly goods.
Vanitas works flourished in the late 16th and early 17th centuries and sought to highlight the inevitability of death and transience of earthly pleasures. They often include symbolic objects and memento mori such as skulls, fruit, flowers, wine, musical instruments and candles. Exhibition highlights include a magnificent still life by the Spanish Baroque master Andres Deleito (fl. 1656-1663) and a striking terracotta bust of a wigged skeleton.
Founded in 1760, Colnaghi is among the oldest and most important galleries in the history of the art market. The gallery initially established itself in London as the premier dealer of prints, but by the end of the 19th century it had begun dealing in Old Master paintings and drawings. Colnaghi soon developed important relationships with museums in Europe and with a new generation of collectors in America, including Isabella Stewart Gardener, Henry Clay Frick, Robert Sterling Clark, and Andrew W. Mellon. As Colnaghi’s ties to the museum world strengthened so did its commitment to scholarship—a commitment that remains a priority today.
Throughout its long and varied history, Colnaghi has successfully evolved and adapted to changes in the market. The latest shift came in 2015, when Konrad Berheimer, Colnaghi’s owner, launched a partnership with Jorge Coll and Nicolas Cortés, who had established themselves as a major force in the market for traditional art through their eponymous gallery. With this new partnership, Colnaghi has further strengthened its dedication to scholarship through the development of new academic publications and the presentation of even more diversified works of art. Colnaghi and Coll & Cortés continue to establish new ties to the museum world in Europe and the U.S., working with museums to advance their acquisitions and collections goals.