Galleries - October 2011

neatly encapsulates it. ‘20 artists for 20 years’ includes national names like Roy Freer and Tessa Newcomb as well as some of her own distinguished discoveries such as Jack Hellewell and Alfred Huckett, not to mention Jake Attree, whose work she has shown in York Minster, and Len Tabner, at Newby Hall. Take a look. Glaswegian Revival Founded in 1861, in the heyday of Glasgow’s commercial prosperity, to bring contemporary visual cul- ture to the city – no Kelvingrove Museum then – the Royal Glas- gow Institute for Fine Arts (RGI) was an enormous and immediate success, both with the public, att- racting huge audiences to its early exhibitions, and artists, who, given the then stuffiness and intran- sigence of the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh, welcom- ed opportunities to show that it provided. Indeed it played no small part in the rise of the city’s artistic importance in the late 19th C. Then, as so often happened with such institutions, it fell into the hands of academic artists and it is only in recent times, with disting- uished figures like the printmaker Philip Reeves, its current Pre- sident, at the helm, that it took on contemporary relevance once more. Judge for yourself as it celebrates its 150th Open Show. Images from left: S arah R Key ‘Everything in its Right Place’ at Mall Galleries. JeffLowe ‘Some God in This Place No 1’ at Cello Factory. Jack Hellewell ‘Evensong, Bolton Abbey, at Kentmere House A Threadneedle Moment? On 5 October at the Mall Gall- eries, we’ll know who won one of this year’s richest art prizes, the £25,000 Threadneedle Prize for Painting and Sculpture. Given that she has been named as one of the seven shortlisted artists (an astonishing record entry of 4,350 originally submitted) the Tarpey Gallery in Castle Donnington, Leicestershie will be hoping that it turns out to be one of ‘their’ artists, Sarah R Key, to whom, (and in anticipation perhaps?) they are giving a solo show this month. In any event it’s a remarkable achievement for such a com- paratively new (2009) and, if they will forgive me, non-metropolitan gallery – and for the artist too, of course. Fingers crossed . . . Memento Mori A show in London draws attention to Welsh influence on the wider world, in particular the role being played by the Welsh Guards in the current Afghanistan conflict. Entitled ‘Wales Forever’, four British artists – two painters, a sculptor and a photographer, all with Welsh connections of one kind or another – come together at Gallery 8 in St James’s. The exhibition is dedi- cated to the particular memory of the regiment’s CO, Lt Col Rupert Thorneloe, killed there in 2009 and in support of the Welsh Guards regimental family, celebrating the Welsh landscape – ‘The Land of My Fathers’. A NTENNAE 10. GALLERIES OCTOBER 11 Group Spirit Given its distinguished 98 year history as the only surviving dem- ocratically-run group from the early years of British avant-garde art (look at the list of members on their website for a virtual Who’s Who of British art – Epstein, Moore, Sickert, Hepworth, Spen- cer, Bomberg, Sutherland for starters), I am always somewhat surprised as to how little a younger generation seems to know about the London Group and its enormous usefulness and import- ance. Too many galleries and exhibition opportunities these days perhaps, but then also many more artists out there. A puzzle, though a moment also to put things right and to see for yourself at the Group’s biennial Open show this month at the Cello Factory, where members and outsiders combine in an always wide-ranging and un- style conscious display. 20/20 Vision A city better known culturally to some perhaps for its Early Music Festivals, Viking and Railway mus- eums, York also has, of course, an excellent public art gallery and, for the last 20 years, Kentmere House Gallery , run by the determined Ann Petherick, to bring the visual arts of the city more into the con- temporary commercial scene. To celebrate that achievement, she is mounting a show (the gallery is delightfully situated in a former Methodist minister’s house) that