Galleries - July 2010

mix is to be found at the Kings Road Gallery –hardly surprising considering its original role as an extension to the Art House in Hong Kong. British and Asian artists rub shoulders: Tony Eyton with Ling Jian, Pip Todd Warmoth with Zeng Chuanxing. Up neigh- bouring Park Walk are Cricket Fine Art and Fairfax Gallery , with their own particular stables of artists (dog aficionados will delight in Rosemary Cook's sculptures at the former). Gagliardi meanwhile has notched up 30 years in the Kings Road, and passionately promotes a wide range of artistic talent, much, as befits the gallery's connections with Aosta, of Italian origin. Forza Chelsea! Thirteen years after the 'Sensation' exhibition at the Royal Academy launched enfants terribles such as Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas into the public consciousness, a new collection of British art bought by Charles Saatchi, this time entitled 'Newspeak: British Art Now' is on display at Saatchi Gallery (Part One to 17 October). So how does 'Newspeak' compare to its illu- strious predecessor? Not very well –but in a good way. Whereas 'Sensation' was tightly curated by the RA's Norman Rosenthal Market forces may have driven the military and the artists out of Chelsea –except of course for the Pensioners and the Arts Club – but there remains at least an artistic connection in the form of the many galleries scattered around the Kings Road. Whether it be the big guns of Saatchi , happily squatting in what was once TA territory, or one-woman outfits such as Caroline Farm- iloe's, the spirit of Chelsea lives on. The fact that the Town Hall is a favourite site for art fairs, and that 'Masterpiece 2010' chose to be just a short walk from Sloane Square, underlines the lasting appeal of the area. The Flying Colours Gallery , a happy Scottish transplant to London, occupies a courtyard just off the Kings Road and shows artists as refreshingly divergent as Bert Irvin and Tim Pomeroy. In July centre stage will be held by Pam Hawkes' highly wrought (often combining oil paint with copper leaf) canvases. Further along the Kings Road, the 'central' branch of the Northcote Gallery purveys such talents as Ffiona Lewis and Daisy Cook, whose limpid but powerful paintings of the littoral will be on show in 'Restless Earth'. Rather a different around his theme of a new and radical attitude to realism, 'New- speak' has a scatter-gun approach that offers a broader and more representative snapshot of current painting and sculpture. (Signifi- cantly, Saatchi seems to have eschewed video or performance art, but then, for the cynically minded, these have historically been much harder to resell.) Amongst the highlights are un- settling pictures by Ged Quinn, in which Arcadian vistas reminiscent of Claude or Poussin are invaded by bizarre interlopers culled from film and literature, and Sigrid Holmwood's updating of 19th C. Swedish genre scenes painted in eye-watering fluorescent colours. Forever the adman, Saatchi has a keen eye for a big, bold statement. John Wynne’s towering sculptural assemblage of 300 recycled sp- eakers is a lyrical musing on both obsolescence and nostalgia. In its centre is an air-driven pianola – powered by a snaking, quivering length of hose emanating from a vacuum cleaner –that plays mel- ancholic fragments from Franz Lehár’s 1910 operetta Gypsy Love . As with the Tate Triennial or British Art Show, 'Newspeak' isn't really claiming a prophetic insight into the future of British art, rather it is an admirable selection that simply grants the spectator time to reflect and take stock. CHELSEA RULES S arah Drury N EWSPEAK P ryle Behrman S igrid Holmwood ‘The Last Peasant-Painters Peeling Potatoes’, (Old Woman Mill), 2007, at the Saatchi Gallery © Sigrid Holmwood