Galleries - March 2011

11. GALLERIES MARCH 11 OBJECT & PLACE Almost routinely described as the doyen of Scottish 20th C. print- making – he not only set up the printmaking department at the Glasgow School of Art after arriv- ing there from the RCA in 1954 (and ran it until his retirement in 1991) but also founded both the celebrated Edinburgh and Glas- gow Print Studios in the late 60s and early 70s – Philip Reeves is still at nearly 80, a remarkably active figure on the Scottish sce- ne. Always a prolific producer, he still regularly shows his beautifully spare and now quite radically ab- stract intaglio prints in a wide range of Scottish galleries. He is celebrating his approaching 80th birthday however, with a show at Cyril Gerber ’s in Glasgow that looks back (not something, I sus- pect, he does much of) to the work he was doing back in the late 40s and 50s as a precociously gift- ed student/young lecturer – den- se, tightly structured little etchings of the urban scene, made both before, and after, his arrival in Scotland. They throw a revealing light forward to the recent work as well – “the object and the place [are] an important aspect of my work” he has tersely written of it. These richly atmospheric prints go straight to the very heart of that concern. NU HILTON’S HUNDREDTH As 20th C. Modernism is, for obvious reasons, referenced in- creasingly only through the arch- ives, it is fortunate that Newlyn Gallery had the flexibility to take up the proposal by Roger Hilton’s widow Rose for a Centenary Cele- bration of his work. Revealing and moving as well as shockingly funny (listen to Reg Watkiss’ re- corded interview with the artist) the exhibition concentrates on the period from the late 50s when Cornwall increasingly became Hilton’s home. The work, together with photos, letters and sketch- books, has been sourced from private collections and the family, so that while downstairs we are drawn into the intimate domestic arena of Hilton’s life and partic- ularly the final months – not so much an idyll as a free-fall frenzy of charcoal studies and gouaches where his wicked subversive line and sense of fun is given free reign – ‘. . . My Wife Eaten by a Crocodile in Florida’ – and colours are “made to speak”, we move upstairs to something monu- mentally different. Large and medium scale canvases that demand to be lingered with – the unmistakable line is there but much else besides to identify Hilton as one of the greats of 20th C. British art. Pip Palmer THE OYSTER IS HIS WORLD Moving is an upheaval most people try to avoid, and when art- ists move from a place they have explored and made their own it can be traumatic. It is therefore a relief to find that Peter Joyce, renowned for his landscapes rooted in the basins and spurs of Dorset, has not only found a new territory to absorb his unquen- chable curiosity, but one that, albeit in a foreign land, yet has certain similarities to previous sources of inspiration. There is no break in the negotiation of ‘the wild regions of obscurity’. The cur- rent show organised by Anthony Hepworth , his dealer for 20 years, reveals an increasingly assured compositional strength and no lessening of the desire to capture the heartbeat of the landscape he has immersed himself in. Like the late 19th C. painter, Charles Milce- ndeau, a native of the Marais Breton who returned there to do his real life’s work, Joyce finds in these remote, watery vistas, these atmospheric strips of marshland, a never-failing stimulus for his brain, hand and eye. At Gallery 27 large works, up to 8 foot across, will be on view; later, at Campden Street, comes the turn of smaller pieces. Joyce tells us what he knows, and well he knows it – and well he tells it. Sarah Drury Peter Joyce ‘Overgrown Crossing’ Roger Hilton ‘C 1979’, oil on hardboard Philip Reeves ‘Aldgate East’, 1953 T RIPLE VISION