Galleries - November 2011

Expressionism at first hand. His early mature work, for example Billboard (1961), showed a strong Pop Art influence, such depictions of‘product’ parodying the consu- mer culture ofpost war America. However, Smith’s interest in such popular iconography sub- sided over time and was, as he said, not a major component of his art after about 1965. Rather, he seems to have married a certain Pop boldness ofcolour and shape to a more nuanced Abstract Expressionist attention to surface texture, giving his later work a cer- tain sensuousness. Untitled , 2011, evokes this coupling particularly well, revealing Smith as a daring, gifted colourist, a painter still at the top ofhis game. Clive Joinson Jules Pascin Bulgarian born artist Jules Pascin (1885-1930) was revered by his peers, which included Chagall and Modigliani, and his work is exhibited by several major mus- eums, including the Museum of Modern Art, NY, and Centre Geor- ges Pompidou, Paris. Yet, ‘Pascin: Master of Line’ ( Aktis ) is the artist’s first real UK exhibition. The show, presenting some 50 of his works on paper, is a hand- some celebration of his drawing skill, which is fluid, eloquent and joyful. His characters are en- dearing; from Lazarus to the Parisian bourgeois his subjects are indulgently cherubic and cheeky. A single varied line standing male nudes in pen, sepia and wash from 1941 reveal him at his expressionist best. An intense personal anguish reinforces the outcry against the horrors of war. His 1950s bathers have a Medite- rranean feel with an increasing freedom of line and colours as time passed. But even as the war- time gloom receded, Vaughan’s insecurity about his achievement and his repressed sexuality end- owed his Arcadian semi-classical figures with a heightened tension. This is also apparent in the un- inhibited erotic drawings made after 1968. The huge popularity of the gallery’s last major Vaughan show five years ago has stimu- lated fresh appreciation and pub- lications in anticipation of his 2012 centenary. Corinna Lotz Richard Smith An important exhibition at Flowers East marks the 80th birthday of the painter Richard Smith. One of the key figures in that extraord- inary explosion of British painting in the 60s, Hereford-born Smith studied at the RCA between 1954- 57 before, crucially, going to live and paint in New York just two years later. At this time New York was, for artists such as Smith, Caro and Richard Hamilton, what Paris had been for a previous artistic generation. The ambitious Smith now had the opportunity to absorb, and later challenge, the then prevalent style of Abstract from page 9 another: the list could go on and on. The reasons remain, after decades in the business, entirely mysterious to me – reticence of personality and isolation from the mainstream must have something to do with it. Certainly not the utter distinctiveness – and distinction – of their work though, as the exhibition of 60 or so later Eurich works from family holdings (all for sale) currently at Leeds’ Hester Gallery makes immediately obvi- ous. Richard Eurich’s quiet poetry and fresh-eyed, intensely sharp (and often very witty) vision remai- ned intact throughout a long and highly productive life right up to his death aged 89 in 1991 – his time must surely come. NU Keith Vaughan Keith Vaughan’s work will be fam- iliar to lovers of English painting from the post-World War II period. But Osborne Samuel’s current offering helps reassess Vaughan’s achievement in relation to near contemporaries such as John Minton, Roger Hilton and Graham Sutherland. Work in three media reveals a fascinating evolution from the war years through to the 1970s – in style, themes and mastery of colour. Vaughan, who constantly veered from elation to self-doubt, was called up in 1940. Despite a shortage of materials and poor conditions, he drew incessantly, and eventually made the male body his main focus. Two 10. GALLERIES NOVEMBER 11 PREVIEWS