Galleries - May 2010

ofmajor shows on Matisse and Picasso amongst others, he has- still found time to paint seriously and proper celebration ofthis aspect ofhis life is being made with a room ofhis radiant, light- filled abstract paintings this month at Tate Britain, plus a further smaller group at Piano Nobile. ANOTHER COUNTRY In the desperate desire ofcon- temporary curators to impose often rigid intellectual constructs on their exhibitions, there can be only one loser (apart from the viewing public ofcourse) so it is interesting to note the steady rise ofartist-led shows. The problem can very often be the reluctance of institutions to give them the space. So due acknowledgement must be made ofthe Estorick ‘s enterprise in inviting ten respected London-based painters to open a visual dialogue with an artist rep- resented in their collections. Org- anised by Italian-born Lino Manocci and including artists such as Tony Bevan, Andrzej Jackowski and Luke Elwes, this is a group based on friendship (many of them have shown together in Italy) rather than any shared style or technique and the show is all the better for it. The show benefits, moreover, from the highly insightful texts each artist has contributed to the catalogue. More please! cracking: initial submissions until 31 August to www.thenationalope-, with the top 500 required to submit the origi- nals in person or by courier. SPRING FAIRS Two fairs this month share dates: the Affordable Art Fair, Bristol, with 50+ participating galleries, the subject ofthis month’s special feature (p28) and the Battersea ContemporaryArt Fair (both 14 to 16 May). As attentive readers will be aware, the artist (rather than dealer) led fair, usually with no commission payable, is a growing phenomenon these days – Windsor last month, Reading back in November – and another very big (170 stands) comparative newcomer, the Untitled Art Fair is on early next month (4 to 6 June) in Chelsea Old Town Hall. But Battersea was unquestionably the first, beginning life in the 80s and as they say, still very much a con- tender, not to mention fun . . . GOLDING AT 80 Artist-art-historians are always to be treasured, for their comparative rarity and the particular value of their insights. But there can be few to compare with John Golding, who, I am shocked to see, is cele- brating his 80th birthday – in my head he’s a permanent 35, my eye-opening tutor for a term at the Courtauld. Author ofmajor vol- umes on 20th C. Modernism – Cubism in particular – and curator ANTENNAE 8. GALLERIES MAY 10 LIGHT AND DARK A well-established idea on the Continent, Museums at Night is beginning to take off in the UK. This year’s event, co-ordinated by Culture24 for the Museums, Libr- aries and Archives Council and scheduled for the weekend of 14 to 16 May, has several hundred participating galleries and muse- ums. The geographical spread could hardly be greater, as two in- triguing evenings at opposite ends of the country, also nicely linked by their particular relationships to light and dark, make clear – the spooky, rattling buildings of Geevor Tin Mine in Cornwall (dark enough already and always most productive at night) on the one hand and the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses at Fraserburgh on the northern tip of Aberdeenshire (illu- minated by the the old lenses of lighthouses), on the other. If these are too far, there’s plenty more at . GET CRACKING Having been involved with the Chichester-based National Open Art Competition as Chairman of the Selectors in the early Noughties, as it emerged from comparative regional obscurity to an event of genuine national significance, I’m delighted to see it going from strength to strength. With a panel of selectors now chaired by Gavin Turk and including Catherine Lam- pert (ex-Whitechapel) and £37,000 worth of prizes, this is worth most serious artists’ time – this year artist photographers too. So, get Luke Elwes ‘Trace’ 2009 Estorick Collection