Galleries - April 2011

tenaciously after his death in 1984 to the point where, last year, their collection was gifted to the Whit- worth Art Gallery. They form a key part of a show that also in- cludes Pacheco, Auerbach, Clough, Rego and Roger Hilton. JOSEF HERMAN With no museum retrospective in London since 1980 and none planned, even in this, his centen- ary year, Josef Herman’s critical reputation is still at an oddly low point. It’s been left to Martin Tinney (in February) and now Agi Katz at the Boundary Gallery is mounting a splendid show of 84 paintings, drawings and prints. Quite rightly the focus of the show is on that remarkable 11 years spent in the Welsh mining village of Ystradgynlais at the end of the war and into the mid-50s, the epiphany he had on his arrival there (“the image of the miners on the bridge against that glowing sky mystified me for years with its mixture of sadness and grandeur”) shaping the rest of his career until his death in 2000. How this working-class young Polish Jewish artist got there, fleeing in stages across Europe and ending up, without a word of English, in wartime Glasgow is a truly epic story. Meanwhile his empathetic identification with this tightly knit community resulted in a moving body of work, one that stands up to the vagaries of history and taste with its warmth of feeling and sense of common humanity. NU more than a touch of the late Craigie Aitchison about Glasgow- based painter Andrew Squire’s animal paintings showing at Thompson’s (6 to 24 April) which should ensure not only that the exhibition is a shoo-in in sales terms but that it also raises plenty of money for the World Land Trust, to whom the artist is generously donating 10% of his sales. This remarkable charity, which is going very much to the heart of the animal conservation prog- ramme by purchasing endan- gered habitats all over the world, has already saved over 500,000 hectares of South American rain- forest, orang-utan jungle in Borneo and elephant corridors in India. A decent amount more from this one hopes . . . THE GREAT OUTSIDER I can’t let this issue pass without drawing attention to the excellent exhibition currently running at Plymouth Arts Centre (to 1 May) commemorating the remarkable life and work of Monika Kinley, recently retired after a life-time as an independent gallerist and cur- ator. Apart from a brief period at the Tate in the 50s, life for this Berlin and Vienna raised dynamo has been one of espousing often unfashionable artists and move- ments and making them main- stream. Pre-eminent here has been her work on Outsider Art, a passion first shared with late hus- band Victor Musgrave in the 70s and which she continued ANTENNAE 8. GALLERIES APRIL 11 REINVENTING PASTELS For whatever reason, perhaps its sheer difficulty above all, the cont- emporary image of the pastel medium is not a very strong one, the perceived preserve of the technically painstaking and the eccentric individualist. Signs are that this is definitely changing, not least through the quiet efforts of the old-established (1898) Pastel Society under the imaginative leadership of President John Ivor Stewart. They aim to bring into the membership a younger genera- tion of more experimental artists beginning to explore pastel’s rich, contemporary possibilities. Thus for the annual show at the Mall Galleries (20 April to 1 May) they are not only inviting respected figurative artist Alison Lambert to show one of her monumental charcoal portrait heads but have also asked two emerging young Scottish artists – Patricia Cain (Glasgow-based winner of last year’s Threadneedle Prize) and Edinburgh’s Matthew Draper. The former’s broad, confident large-scale pastels of industrial scenes and the latter’s expressive, action-based landscape abstrac- tions should certainly shake up a few preconceived notions about the medium – let’s hope the Society now has the will and intention to make them members. WORLD LAND TRUST With their dense, luminous col- ours and spare, witty forms there’s