Galleries - May 2010

13. GALLERIES MAY 10 First encountering Michael Cullimore’s exultant watercolours some 5 years ago I couldn’t believe I’d missed out on an artist who had been going strong since the early 60s! Blake, Paul Nash and a whole English vision- ary tradition lie behind this Devon-based artist’s work to which he adds his own, often quite distinctively turbulent voice – a woman transforming into a galaxy, a bird’s eye view of a Suffolk resurrection with a figure dis- appearing into a stormy sky. Lyrical and incandescent, the overriding impression is of a wonderfully generous and fertile imagination. Art Stable . M ichael Cullimore ‘Sea and Galaxy’ Two distinguished members of the RBS, Margaret Lovell and Deirdre Hubbard, are showing together here for the first and sadly, due to Hubbard’s death in 2009, last time. It makes for a nicely contrasting show, with Lovell’s tall and dynamic vertical forms nicely complemented by Hub- bard’s altogether more organic treatments of the human figure. Rich with the inter-play of convex and concave planes, Hubbard’s pieces also con- vey something of the touching softness and physical vulnerability of the nude female form. A sad loss to the sculpture community. Porthminster . Deirdre Hubbard ‘Sliced Nude’ Nothing wishy-washy, it should be said, about the work of the ten mem- bers of the Pastel Society invited to show at Gallery LeFort this month, an exhibition which, in its rich variety, should quite change the ideas of anyone who still views this undervalued medium as fusty and dated. Technically challenging, of course but, in the hands of top practitioners like these, visually very rewarding also. Invidious to pick names perhaps but I was particularly struck by Jeanette Hayes’ sweeping, semi-abstract landscapes and Norma Stephenson’s bold hill- and mountain-scapes. N orma Stephenson ‘Looking West of Caple Curig’ Altogether quieter and more delicately coloured than his other Fauvist coll- eagues – Derain and Vlaminck in particular – Albert Marquet has become something of the forgotten man of the movement. This show ( Connaught Brown ), the first substantial one in London in 25 years, should change all that and explain just why his closest painter friend, Matisse, had such a profound respect for his work, comparing it, interestingly, to the Japanese master Hokusai. Looking at these spare, limpid paintings, particularly those of marine subjects, you can see exactly what he was getting at. Albert Marquet ‘Eau Bleu’ 1942 THUMB nails Nicholas Usherwood