Luxury department store and Halcyon Gallery launch exclusive new partnership - Art at Harrods - with opening of new 4000 sq foot gallery space and storewide art installations.
Harrods, the world’s most iconic luxury department store, will see its famous Brompton Road windows taken over by artworks from renowned Anglo-American pop artist Russell Young this week.
Young, who is best known for his diamond dust depictions of 20th Century icons of entertainment and sport, is the first artist to ever be afforded the honour in Harrods’ 171-year history.
Spectacular pieces showcasing America’s leading ladies Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy, The King of Rock’n’Roll Elvis Presley and heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, alongside British music giants David Bowie and Mick Jagger, and martial arts superstar Bruce Lee, will dazzle hundreds of thousands of shoppers and passers-by until February 5th.
Young is a celebrity favourite. Almost nobody else can boast such a uniquely eclectic and wide-ranging array of world-famous collectors, including Brad Pitt, Kanye West, Barack Obama, David Bowie, Idris Elba, the Kardashians and Dame Elizabeth Taylor. The late Oscar winning actress insisted on visiting Young at his studio in California herself, to watch him in the creative process.
The ground-breaking collaboration marks the start of a new initiative between Harrods and the prestigious Halcyon Gallery, aimed at providing those visiting London’s flagship store with a continually changing, immersive art experience.
This is the first time that Harrods has engaged into an exclusive and collaborative partnership with an art gallery. Operating under the Art at Harrods brand, the move reflects Halcyon Gallery’s position as one of the leading gallery businesses in the world and compliments its core practice of opening up art to new audiences and its long-standing commitment to public art placements both in the UK and around the globe.
Harrods and Halcyon Gallery have also launched a brand new 4000 square foot gallery space on the 3rd floor - featuring world class artworks by the masters, including Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso, and some of the most celebrated living artists, such as Bob Dylan, Dale Chihuly, Lorenzo Quinn and Paul Cummins. Halcyon’s primary focus will be on showcasing immersive works, including boundary breaking digital exhibits. Further installations will be strategically placed around the store, and regularly updated, as part of the new art enrichment programme.
Young comes from humble beginnings. Born in 1959, he was given up for adoption by his teenage mother at just three months old and grew up in a working-class family in the North of England. However, Young was inspired by the iconic Hollywood movies he would watch with his father, getting wrapped up in the stories of America and falling in love with the superstars on screen.
He studied photography, film and graphic design at the University of Chester and later attended Exeter College of Art and Design, before moving to London in search of a break. It wasn’t long before he gained recognition for photographing the early live club shows in the late 70s of Bauhaus, R.E.M and The Smiths.
In 1987, Young was commissioned to photograph George Michael for the sleeve of his Grammy Award winning album Faith. The immortal work led to assignments shooting musicians including Morrissey, Bjork, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross and Paul Newman. He went on to shoot more than 100 music videos for leading artists at the height of MTV's popularity in the 1990s.
Young only started painting towards the end of the decade after moving to New York in 1998 and renting a small studio in Williamsburg. In 2003 he launched his first exhibition, a sold-out show of Andy Warhol-style prints called Pig Portraits in Los Angeles.
Young remains true to his medium, screen-printing on the same press originally used by cultural icon and Pop Artist Andy Warhol. Young describes the physical process of screen-printing as being a traditional method of making art, previously used for mass advertising and eventually popularised by Warhol. Young began to experiment with diamond dust in 2007, having been drawn to the opulence of the light shimmering off the multi-faceted glass. Each of these original, hand-pulled works combined screen-printing on linen with diamond dust to capture a sense of glamour and beauty.
The exhibition of Young’s diamond dust collection of ICONS and Brompton Road window takeover has been created exclusively for Harrods.
Speaking at the Art at Harrods launch, Russell Young said:
“To have my paintings in the windows at Harrods is an honour. I am displaying my collection of diamond-dusted paintings of icons who were like beacons of light in my youth, like Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Kate Moss, Muhammad Ali and Elvis Presley. These icons are cast in a myriad of colours, hand-mixed from opulent pigments sourced from around the world, and I look forward to seeing them radiate and shine in the cool winter light of London. My relationship with the Halcyon Gallery is a rare and precious thing; many artists seek the kind of love, devotion and integrity that a space like Halcyon shows for my work, and it is a wonderful privilege for the Halcyon Gallery to bring my works to Harrods.”
Alex Wells-Greco, creative visual director at Harrods, said:
“Harrods’ first creative campaign for 2020, titled Icons, will celebrate the individuals, creativity and design that changed our world. We will kick off with an exclusive show of Halcyon Gallery artist Russell Young. Young’s work portrays photographs of cultural and pop icons of the past and present in a diamond-dust patina. During the dark month of January, what better way to start the year than with the brightly coloured, larger-than-life artworks of Russell Young?
“Harrods has an amazing relationship with the Halcyon Gallery and in 2020, we are delighted to introduce and co-create the Art in Harrods programme, showcasing contemporary exhibitions across the store for Harrods’ customers to enjoy.”
Halcyon Gallery Managing Director Russell Green said:
“We are incredibly excited to start this new partnership. Harrods is the most prestigious store in the world and our new gallery on the 3rd floor will definitely create a unique experience for the millions of visitors to the store.”
ICONS at Harrods follows Young’s landmark retrospective at Modern Art Museum, Shanghai, in 2018. Young was the first American- British contemporary artist to ever exhibit at the prestigious museum. Young’s work is represented in numerous prestigious collections, including of the Polk Museum of Art in Florida, the Albertina Museum in Vienna, the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art and the Saatchi Collection among many others. Young has exhibited in museums and galleries in London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, New York, Detroit, Miami and Los Angeles.
Russell Young’s ICONS runs throughout January at Harrods previewing Russell Young’s next major exhibition which opens at Halcyon’s New Bond Street Gallery in February 2020 FAME.
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Harrods began as a wholesale grocer and tea merchant in east London, first opening its doors in 1834. Since then, it has grown to become the world’s most famous department store, known for its unrivalled range of luxury merchandise. As well as exclusive brands and myriad departments, one of Harrods’ most renowned attributes is its unparalleled service. Harrods continues to be guided by its philosophy of “anything is possible” and, to this day, our customers remain at the heart of everything we do.
About Halcyon Gallery
Halcyon Gallery was established in 1982 as a platform for inspirational art. The gallery is now based in Mayfair, London and represents a selection of renowned international artists. Together Halcyon Gallery’s three London spaces and Shanghai space host a diverse programme of contemporary art, showing both established artists and new, emerging talent. A dedicated team specialise in rare masterpieces ranging from Impressionism to Pop Art, working closely with clients to build collections that have emotional resonance and importantly, impeccable provenances.
About Russell Young
Russell Young is a British-American artist best known for large silkscreen paintings using imagery drawn from recent history and popular culture. Young's artistic output includes painting, screen printing, sculpture, installations and film.