Galleries - April 2011

DORA HOLZHANDLER Dora Holzhandler paints the world – its lovers, mothers and children, solitary contemplatives, people in the marketplace – with sparkling immediacy and pristine clarity. Her ‘paintings possess an ineffable tenderness, they make us recall our childhoods, our myths, our roots’, Edna O’Brien has written. That is as much true of her port- rayals of, say, dancers circulating with blissful abandon in a meadow scintillating with daffodils, or lov- ers reclining on coverlets of ex- uberantly intricate patterning, as it is of depictions of women at the hairdressers, in a teashop at Nice or on a vibrant red London bus journeying through a silvery grey winterscape of stark brooding beauty. Her exhibition at Gold- mark affirms her status as ‘a tem- peramental primitive’ (in the art critic Eric Newton’s words), a highly original pattern-maker, a watercolourist of subtle delicacy, who says, ‘all my paintings have esoteric secrets in them’ and ‘the mystical moment is what my paintings are about – if it isn’t that, it isn’t anything’. Born in Paris in 1928, a Londoner since child- hood, she says tellingly, ‘art has got almost nothing to do with something visual – it’s very stra- nge – you have to disappear and your subject appears.’ Philip Vann PAUL LEWIN A gifted painter of land and seascapes, the Cornwall-based BRITISH ART SHOW 7 High-profile contemporary art ex- hibitions should never just aim for a London audience, but isn’t deliberately excluding the capital needlessly replacing one form of exclusivity with another? Although each incarnation of the quin- quennial ‘British Art Show’ tours around the UK, it has pointedly avoided London since 1990, even though it is organised by South- bank Centre’s Hayward Touring. Thankfully, this policy has been abandoned for ‘British Art Show 7’, which is at Hayward Gallery until 17 April. Highlights include Charles Avery’s ongoing series ‘The Islanders’, an epic parallel universe developed via wonder- fully intricate drawings and hallu- cinatory installations, and Luke Fowler’s delicate film that finds beauty in capturing seemingly- inconsequential sights and sounds. Many of the works seek to challenge conventional under- standings of time, but it marches relentlessly onwards in Christian Marclay’s collage of around 3,000 film clips in which the time of day is mentioned or captured on a clock or watch. Marclay has fash- ioned a 24-hour marvel from these fragments, somehow managing to find a clip for every minute and showing them synchronised with local time, creating a gloriously entertaining timepiece: Robert De Niro glances up at 2.03pm; it’s six minutes after midnight on Sunset Boulevard. Utterly mesmerising. Pryle Behrman artist Paul Lewin is currently showing at Webbs Fine Art . Lewin’s shimmering, airy and imp- ressionistic evocations of Britain’s and Ireland’s coastlines, often painted in series (in oil, water- colour and mixed-media), also have an earthy, visceral quality to them. In fact, when Lewin worked from a studio in Devon, he sourced a pigment, ‘Bideford Black’, from a coal-like seam, which he then processed into his own paint. By such interventions he has been able to enact a sort of alchemical connection with what he depicts. Below the Crowns is an oil that shows the surf-scarred rocks and turquoise seas on the far-thrust toe of mainland England and there are other oils here, as well as the dazzling watercolours, that reveal Lewin to be an accomp- lished ‘en plein air’ practitioner. Like that other open air painter, Monet, whose work he admires, Lewin will re-visit certain motifs in the landscape in order to ‘get to know them better, and to record how they change with time’. His paintings not only simulate rain, light, sea and rock, it seems, but states of mind as well; bejewelled, darkling purples and opal light emanate from these moody reveries. Clive Joinson C hristianMarclay ‘TheClock’2010at theHaywardc/o WhiteCube. JosephHerman ‘In thePit’1952at BoundaryGallery.Andrew Squire ‘Waterhole’at Thompson’sGallery. PatriciaCain ‘FlorenceTryptich’ (detail)pastel,321x170cmatThePastelSociety. Paul Lewin ‘Below theCrowns’atWebbsFineArt. DoraHolzhandler ‘FridayNightLovers’,2010, 29.56”x23.79”atGoldmarkGallery. 9. GALLERIES APRIL 11