Beyond the imposingly formal doors of Chelsea Old Town Hall a quiet revolution of fight, fantasy and fixation awaits. Re-launched the Chelsea Art Fair delivers desirable art. Amidst the Spring assembly of exquisite pictorial florals and landscapes, molten metal has raged to offer powerful figurative forms.
Bushra Fakhoury’s furious Stag Fight is an aggressively executed ritual. Two athletic males bearing stag antlers atop of their skulls – in McQueenesque adornment – clash violently, their primordial animal skinned bodies sprung in choreographed airborne attack. This dynamic anatomical composition is grounded by trailing tails then kinetically charged upwards as their heads butt in whiplashed collision. So would it surprise you to know that its sculptor is female? (Some may be more familiar with her public work Dunamis, the man upholding an elephant, placed on Park Lane, London.)
Philip Jackson’s Venetian figure The Don stands as a formable life sized masqued mannequin of haunting poise and proportional balance. The slashed surface texture of the dark cloak heightens the drama of the smooth fingers lightly resting above the left elbow.
A lead bas-relief panel, Profile by Shaun Brosnan, echo’s the heroic form of the 1940s architectural tradition. Its rain streaked vertical patination softens the intensity of the masculine features. In contrast Pippa Burley’s enigmatic portraiture of Elsa conveys the poignant stillness of middle distance gaze – a work worthy of the pursuit of a fellow bus passenger who was persuaded to sit.
A predominantly classical aesthetic prevails, these sculptures are recognisably human in form and posture, rather than distilled to abstract simplicity. Available works are often by Members of the Royal British Society of Sculptors (MRBS) elected by their peers for their talent and testament to the quality of sculpture at this Fair.