Galleries - March 2010

complex display of international contemporary art on paper – and finding the time in the middle of all that to go on a five-week residency at the Guanlan Original Printmak- ing Centre in Southern China, he is now about to open an exhibition of his own, richly varied work – paintings, etchings and collographs – in the Milner Gallery at the RWA. Just what is he on? BACK IN THE USSR . . . It never ceases to amaze how art can really thrive on adversity and a new show (23 February to March 6) at the Mall Galleries, provides yet more potent evidence with a major loan exhibition of one of the great, if perhaps still compara- tively unfamiliar, Russian figures from the now highly regarded non-conformist artists’ group of the 1960s, Vladimir Yankilensky. Branded a “degenerate” by Khrush- chev in 1962, he is now regarded, along with Ilya Kabakov, Erik Bul- atov and Edvard Steinberg, as one of the pre-eminent artists of that generation. Organised by the Aktis Gallery, a new venue spe- cialising in 20th C. Russian artists working outside their native land, due to open this spring in St James’s, this is a must-see show for anyone interested in Russian art of the last 40 years or so. permanent gallery, preferring instead to explore a different route, recently coming to an agreement with the Arts Club in Dover Street to put on 4/5 shows a year in their ground floor rooms. She is also taking on a few more art fairs than before – 20/21, Glasgow and the London – over the next year. The first of the Arts Club shows, ‘Por- tal Painters at the Arts Club’, opens on 1 March – no problems about non-member entry either, just turn up at the door! Judy Stafford at Thompson’s, meanwhile, with a Scottish show this month, seems equally pleased at the way things have turned out – with less time now spent on thinking how to fill such big spaces, she can focus more closely on her clients’ needs. WALSALL BASH It barely seems credible that it is 10 years since the New Art Gallery, Walsall ‘s architecturally dramatic public gallery, opened in a blaze of publicity. Celebrations centre on a 50 artist show entitled ‘Party’, in which Chris Ofili, Gillian Wear- ing, Sam Taylor Wood and Martin Creed are among the exhibitors. PAPER! PAPER! Peter Ford of Bristol’s Off-Centre Gallery has just had a year of the kind of busy-ness that would make most sane men blanch. Apart from being the organising genius be- hind the Royal West of England Academy’s just-closed hit show ‘Celebrating Paper’ – a large and ANTENNAE 8 GALLERIES MARCH 10 A FAIR FOR THE TIMES Founded in 1999 and thus now entering its second decade of seemingly unceasing expansion, the Affordable Art Fair , with its built-in restraints on pricing – still held at £3,000 for the latest ‘Spring Collection’ in Battersea Park, Lon- don (11 to 14 March) – and com- pulsory price labelling, has proved an understandably potent formula in these tough economic times. The organisers have always been careful to keep things fresh – the 120 galleries showing this time, for example, will be offering an entirely different range of artists to the AAF’s ‘Autumn Collection’ – so no sense of déjà vu. As always plenty of clever new features and events as well, with an invitation going out this spring to jotta, a community of ex-University of the Arts (London) artists to curate a showcase of 18 emerging artists in an exhibit of new landscape painting entitled ‘Landscape with- out a Map.’ To see what many of the galleries will be showing at the Fair, go to p37. MARYLEBONE MOVES Things have been on the move in Marylebone recently, with the news that Thompson’s have now left Marylebone High Street for the slightly more compact but no less attractive space down the road in New Cavendish Street formerly occupied by the Portal Gallery. Established just over 50 years ago by Lionel Levy and Eric Lister, cur- rent Portal director Jess Wilder has no plans to move to another George Underwood ‘Soulful Warrier’. Portal Gallery Vladimir Yankilevsky ‘Triptyque No 24: Sarcophagus’ 2008. At the Mall Galleries