Aurore Ogden, The Art's Club's art director, on her favourite painters and the best galleries to scout out in London
From a young age I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by beautiful art and design. My parents collected a number of works by Scandinavian artists, but their acquisitions were usually guided by their extensive, far-flung travels. Wherever we went in the world we would always wind up in the nearest museum or art gallery.
As director of art I am primarily responsible for curating the Club’s art events programme. This is comprised of topical panel discussions, contemporary artists in conversation and private studio and exhibition tours. A large part of my day is spent researching event concepts and meeting with artists, galleries and museum directors, both at the Club, which attracts a diverse cross-section of people working in the arts, and beyond.
A definite highlight for me was when Frances Morris, the director of Tate Modern and photographer Wolfgang Tillmans spoke at The Arts Club. Frances has been uniquely positioned to track (and contribute to) Wolfgang’s career trajectory over the past 20 years, culminating in his superb show earlier this year at Tate Modern, so they made for a really interesting pairing.
I have a pretty diverse range of tastes but Helen Frankenthaler, the American abstract expressionist painter, is my current obsession. I’m planning to go to Paris just for the day to ensure I catch her show at Gagosian before it closes. She experimented tirelessly in a range of media, but it’s her use of colour that I love the most.
For sentimental reasons I would say Winslow Homer’s Breezing Up is my favourite artwork. Homer’s original studio is still located right next to our house in Maine. The seascape he depicts in his painting is one we are lucky enough to look out at every day we are there.
Piano Nobile on Portland Road is a favourite gallery of mine. It specialises in modern and contemporary British art and is run by father-son team Robert and Matthew Travers. We had the chance to work together on our John Golding show at The Arts Club as they represent the Golding estate. Frestonian Gallery, which recently opened on Olaf Street is also worth a visit. Its inaugural show, The Luminous Language, was a wonderful pairing of David Hockney, William Crozier and Adrian Berg, among others.
This month we open We Impose No Rules: Select Works from the Gutai Group at The Arts Club. It has been curated by Wedel Art and promises to be sensational based on the works selected thus far. In the run up to the Frieze Art Fair in October we have Tad Smith, president and CEO of Sotheby’s, coming to speak about the art market in the current social and political climate, followed by Dr Xa Sturgis, director of the Ashmolean in November.