Galleries - September 2010

THUMB nails 14. GALLERIES SEPTEMBER 10 There was always a very honourable tradition of painter-printmakers in this country in the 20th C. – Anthony Gross the very personification of them. “Etching needs painting and painting needs etching – and both need to be part of the whole art of living” was how he put it and in this exhibition ( Redfern) , drawn largely from his prolific years in France after World War II, you see him moving backwards and forwards between motifs and means. Always a plein air painter, etching was very much the medium through which he revisited and reflected on a subject – to what effect! Anthony Gross ‘Street Scene, Bach’ 1930 The art of wood engraving has had a chequered history over the last cen- tury. Rescued from commerce in the 1920s by the newly formed Society of Wood Engravers, the Society lapsed again in the 60s, only to be revived by Hilary Paynter in 1984. The medium is now well on the way to reviving its former glories, this large one-woman show of her work at Bankside a marvellous exemplar, and reminder, of the range, richness and versatility of this ancient medium, a quality also apparent in a new book on her work Full Circle (£25/34 from Bankside) or Art Matters . Hilary Paynter ‘Fallen Angel’ With Luke Frost now emerging into the limelight – a Tate St Ives artist residency in 2008/9 and now this first show at Beaux Arts (London) – the Frost dynasty moves into its third generation. These paintings are from that residency and form a very specific response to the light and space he found in the historic Porthmeor Studio No.5, previously occupied by Patrick Heron and Ben Nicholson. Huge, high and expansively lit, Frost’s reaction was either to stack dazzlingly hued canvases up the wall or into the right-angles, minimalist fashion – to startlingly sharp effect. Luke Frost ‘Pale Blue Volts’, photo Steve Tanner Having moved to the Lizard fifteen years ago, Louise McClary sees no reason why she should ever leave the place – the gleaming mud and dense sub-tropical vegetation of its secretive river estuaries and the sparse, far-horizoned granite uplands providing her with all the visual stim- ulation she feels she is ever likely to need. The quietly poetic and intensely painterly ‘inscapes’ that result from this process of ‘total immersion’ possess a meditative quality that makes her amongst the most interesting middle-generation painters working in Cornwall today ( Adam , Bath) . Louise McClary ‘Each New Flower Holding Water’ Nicholas Usherwood