Does your pooch have a penchant for Picasso? London gallery showcases art chosen by dogs

David Shrigley, Hello There (2012) 
David Shrigley, Hello There (2012)  Credit: Video still courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery

The first ever exhibition of art selected by dogs opens next week, in the artist-run Southwark Park Galleries in south-east London. Perhaps inevitably, the subjects are dogs, too.

Situated within the park, the galleries regularly attract canine visitors, says Judith Carlton, the gallery director. “We must have at least 10 regulars who have come in off the park over the past couple of years.”

Dog Show was conceived by art curators and critics whose dogs see more art on a daily basis than most people. “I wanted to celebrate the intelligence of dogs,” Carlton explains.

During the selection process, her dog, Ruby, a border terrier, showed a preference for Martin Creed’s doggy film, Orson & Sparky, while Spencer, the labradoodle owned by Habda Rashid, the Whitechapel Art Gallery assistant curator, barked approvingly at a cartoon-style video by David Shrigley, another former Turner Prize contestant. 

Babak Ganjei, Olive (2019) Credit: Courtesy the artist

Louisa Buck, the art critic, says her dog, Samson, “felt an immediate empathy with William Wegman’s elegant and characterful photographs of Weimaraners”. And how did he express his preferences? “Cockapoos are very expressive… with a wag and a nudge with the nose,” was Buck’s reply. 

Not all the works are for sale but, including prints in large editions, prices range from £50 to £50,000, with a 10-month interest-free deal available through the Arts Council-supported Own Art scheme.

L S Lowry's Pre-Raphaelite obsession

Lot 13: Property from the estate of L.S. Lowry, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Maria Stillman, née Spartali inscribed 'one of the drawings from the studio' (on the reverse of the backboard). Estimate: £150,000 - £250,000 Credit: Christie's

A drawing of a beautiful young woman by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the Pre-Raphaelite artist, which belonged to L S Lowry, goes under the hammer at Christie’s in London on Thursday. Lowry was hypnotised by the beauty of Pre-Raphaelite women, says Harriet Drummond, Christie’s British works on paper specialist. He started buying them at the age of 65, and accumulated 17 by Rossetti alone.

“The Rossetti women are not real women,” Lowry once said. “They are dreams.” He might equally have been referring to the mysterious Anne, whom he painted many times, but is thought never to have existed. “I never had a woman,” he told an interviewer the year before he died.

Lot 15: Property from the estate of L.S. Lowry, Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Female head study for the first of the Three Graces in 'Venus Concordia' signed with initials, inscribed and dated. Estimate: £20,000 - 30,000 Credit: CHRISTIE'S

Lowry was dominated by his mother into middle age, and never married. It was only after his death that a cache of drawings he had made of nubile young girls in provocative clothing were discovered, adding to the mystery of Lowry.

This drawing by Rossetti (£150,000 to £250,000) and another by Edward Burne-Jones (£20,000 to £30,000) are both being sold directly from the Lowry estate.

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