Gerry Farrell sits in his Bruton Place, Mayfair office surrounded by all his favourite sculptures, which he laments are all for sale. In October The Sladmore Gallery will celebrate their fiftieth birthday. The 50th anniversary exhibition begins on 15 October and will present fifty special sculptures, some for sale and some loaned from private collections. Closely followed by Mark Coreth’s exhibition, an Indiaphile renowned for his life size bronze tigers, Coreth will be the artist in residence during his show the week of 10 November.
The Sladmore Gallery began life as an annex to the home and private zoo of the Horswell family. The late Harry Horswell was passionate about animals, lamas, iguanas, zebras and exotic birds, living or life like in bronze; he would drive to Paris and buy incredibly unusual Animalier that attracted the great international collectors. His son Edward Horswell took over the business and soon became the leading authority on Auguste Rodin, Edgar Degas, and Rembrandt Bugatti sculptures, which are now almost priceless, many are even still available at The Sladmore’s sister Gallery in Jermyn Street.
The Sladmore Gallery began life as an annex to the home and private zoo of the Horswell family. The late Harry Horswell was passionate about animals, lamas, iguanas, zebras and exotic birds, living or lifelike in bronze; he would drive to Paris and buy incredibly unusual Animalier .
In 1985, Farrell’s father sold Christies Contemporary Art, their family business, and for five years Farrell’s jolly personality accumulated many private clients and in 1990 he joined up with his friend and fellow naughty old Etonian Edward Horswell, son of Harry, who had nurtured the Gallery in is father’s image but now wanted to expand with a likeminded soul. Together they have developed The Sladmore into London’s No 1 repository of contemporary sculpture and 20th century masterworks, mostly in bronze but including three ceramicists, the scale of the works range from tiny to monumental. Their most famous and monumental artist was recognised early by Farrell, Nick Fiddian Green, whose thirty foot tall study of an Indian Marwari horse head, with its distinctive inward turning ears, was installed at Marble Arch in 2009. Today the gallery has moved into figurative sculpture with the meticulous anatomical work of Sophie Dickens.
Farrell’s sense of the absurd, incredible eye for talent, straightforward charm and 100% good manners, have created a niche clientele of obsessive collectors who hurry from all over the world from Thailand to South America, at the suggestion of seeing something new and unique. The Sladmore exhibit at all the international Art Fairs, including TEFAF Maastricht, Masterpiece London, and the Paris Biennale. The Gallery’s reputation is so esteemed they advise museums, corporate and private collectors worldwide. And Sladmore have an unusual “price promise”, that has been rarely used but which guarantees achieving for clients the original price, as a minimum, paid for something.
Personally Farrell has eclectic tastes with his collection at home comprising an early Egyptian bronze mongoose from 400 BC, some Chinese jade and two creepy taxidermies (a snake and a squirrel on a plate both) by Polly Morgan, all randomly dotted around his house. Farrell routinely keeps an illustrated diary, published via The Urban Sketchers Group, an illustrated social network for amateur artists.