Richard Green Gallery, Bond Street, London
Bond Street and its tributaries are a fierce arena for the combative art of aggressive spending. Liquid and very disposable incomes are swiped into the coffers of glittering stalls. A steady trickle of trinkets, finery and the most desirable of objects swap ownership, but rarely exchange hands as these are not items to be handled, at least not very often.
Richard Green, the established purveyor of 20th Century art to individuals with a good head for investment and the assets to afford good taste, has opened a new outlet at number 33 next to Sothebys. He has chosen to dress his stall with the neoclassical trappings of the Adams architectural encampment. An Helenic bas-relief adorns the bronze framed stone facade, a scene from the Odyssey representing the birth of modern art, a bold reinterpretation of the avant-garde as renaissance. Perhaps this context was a pill too bitter to swallow on its own.
Inside, celebrated naive scenes of working class industrial gatherings are given pride of place alongside the revolutionary introspection of the abstract expressionists. “How much does an Auerbach go for these days?” was the question that I overheard. An assistant rummaged around the back of the work, presumably looking for a barcode but revealing a simple price tag, “this one’s is one million, one hundred”. “Fascinating” was the reply, and indeed it was.