September 30 2011
Kick-started by Henry Moore in 1940, Ascher’s artist collaborations have become a key feature of the brand, not to mention much-coveted collectors’ items – its 1946 Henri Matisse wall panel sold for nearly £3m at auction earlier this year.
Now Ascher’s creative director Sam Ascher is bringing back the Artist Square Project first started by his grandfather, Zika Ascher, more than 70 years ago – and in the very limited quantity of 120 pieces (£3,250 each).
The man stepping up to the plate with two new designs is Picasso-praised artist Zao Wou Ki, who also happens to be the last artist commissioned by Zika for the project in 1955. Hand-printed in Indian ink on rice paper, the designs (first picture) showcase Zao’s shift from his more figurative work in the 1950s to complete abstract, and come packaged in a pillowed maple and rosewood handmade box that sports an engraving of both Zao and Zika’s signatures.
But, for those hankering after Ascher’s vintage pieces, Art London (October 6-10) will be showcasing the Whitford Art Gallery’s collection, which includes Alexander Calder’s scarf (entitled La Mer, £10,000) and Ben Nicholson’s Moonlight design (second picture, £7,500).