Piano Nobile is delighted to announce From Omega to Charleston: The Art of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant 1910-1934, an exhibition of painting and applied art by two of the most innovative and influential British artists of the twentieth century. Curated in partnership with Richard Shone (author of Bloomsbury Portraits, 1993 and curator of The Art of Bloomsbury, Tate, 1999), the show explores the unique creative relationship shared by Bell (1879 1961) and Grant (1885-1978). Together, they emerge as consistently radical practitioners at the very heart of their cultural milieu. The first dedicated exploration of this theme for a quarter of a century, the exhibition relates their early years flush with post-impressionist experimentation to their later work at Charleston, Bell’s and Grant’s shared Sussex home.
Drawing from private collections and a substantial group of works from the Charleston Trust, the exhibition will also include one of Bell and Grant’s most spectacular joint commissions: The Famous Women Dinner Service. Begun in 1932 at the request of the art historian and director of the National Gallery Kenneth Clark and his wife Jane, its fifty plates were decorated with images of famous women through the ages, from Sappho to Greta Garbo. Considered lost, and never publicly exhibited, this service forms an impressive testament to Bell and Grant’s close working partnership.
A new, fully illustrated publication will accompany the exhibition with an essay and catalogue entries by Richard Shone, and contributions from Hana Leaper (Charleston scholar, Fellow of the Paul Mellon Centre, and Senior Lecturer, Liverpool John Moores University) and Darren Clarke (Rausing Head of Collections, Research and Exhibitions at the Charleston Trust).