David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

20 June 2017

detail : Actual Size

In the old age black was not counted fair,
Or if it were, it bore not beauty's name;
But now is black beauty's successive heir,
And beauty slander'd with a bastard shame:
For since each hand hath put on nature's power,
Fairing the foul with art's false borrow'd face,
Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy bower,
But is profan'd, if not lives in disgrace.
Therefore my mistress' brows are raven black,
Her eyes so suited; and they mourners seem
At such who, not born fair, no beauty lack,
Slandering creation with a false esteem:
Yet so they mourn, becoming of their woe,
That every tongue says, beauty should look so.

- William Shakespeare, Sonnet 127



On 21 June Sotheby’s will stage a curated evening sale. Bringing together a range of works from across the 20th and 21st centuries, this first-of-its-kind auction will include exceptional paintings, sculptures and works on paper which share one common characteristic – each one is no bigger than the size of the catalogue page on which it is illustrated, in actual size.

“We like the idea of breaking the addiction that much of the art market seems to have developed that bigger is always better. We want to reanimate connoisseurship in different ways, in this case by focusing on exceptional works on an intimate scale”, say Thomas Bompard and Allan Schwartzman, curators of the Actual Size sale.

The auction will bring new perspectives to some of the most celebrated artists in modern history including Picasso, Miró, Dalí, Freud, Fontana and Manzoni. It is often the smallest things that pack the strongest punch.

Illustrated below :
Lucio Fontana
Concetto Spaziale
15 by 10cm.
Estimate: 250,000–350,000 GBP

Theatre of the Actors of Regard  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...