A Century after the 256-year old firm Colnaghimoved 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 centuryaudience. The Crown Estates building has been carefully remodelled with bespoke design and interiors by Colnaghi Creative Director Diego Fortunato.
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 floor, 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 reflect the emphasis placed on art scholarship.
Jorge Coll, CEO of Colnaghi commented:“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."
To launch the new space, Colnaghi will install aVanitas 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.