Galleries - October 2011

seems to exude; the still-lives and studio interiors convey a sense of inwardness worthy of a Dutch 17th C. Master, the nudes and figures a sensuality that begins to invite comparisons with his hero Balthus. Ancient & Modern With their willingness to show non- Western artists out of the global gallery mainstream, the October Gallery 's shows are consistently amongthe most challengingand absorbingof visual experiences in the city and their choice of artist to celebrate Black Aware- ness month this October – the extraordinary 'Microcon-Kusum' (Secret Signs – Hidden Meanings) paintings of Ghanaian artist Owusu-Ankomah – is no exception. Combining adinkra symbols used by the Akan people of Ghana and referringto sacred sites, with the shiningorbs of his own inno- vative microcon symbols, Owusu- Ankomah arrives at an astonishing visual fusion of ancient traditions of secret knowledge with the current speculation about the mysterious nature of a reality derived from theoretical physics. Finding Himself Comingfrom such a famous family of artists as the Nicholsons it can never have been easy est- ablishingyour own artistic identity. A nephew of Ben's and son of designer EQ, Tim Nicholson's vivid and utterly delightful paintings you feel owe more to the influence of John Craxton who came to stay with them in Dorset duringthe war than to any austere modernism. In this revelatory little show of his early and late work, virtually a mini-retrospective, at Slader's Yard , his bright colour and innate sense of design transforms cats, owls and all manner of natural history, into images of an almost heraldic feeling, full of wonder and delight. His own style, in short . . . The Power of Light Writingabout Nicolas Granger- Taylor's work 20 years ago, just after he'd left the RA Schools, I observed that, whether painting the female nude or a studio still-life, essentially he always remains “obsessed by light and the power of light as it reveals objects both animate and inanimate.” 20 years on and nothinghas really changed except, as this new show ( Jonathan Cooper ) demon- strates, the ever-developingsense of quiet authority his latest work Away Fixture Founded some 26 years ago by artist Chris Insoll (he had recently graduated from Falmouth College of Art) and his wife Andrea, the Portscatho Society of Artists has, despite its rather official sounding name, always remained a loose- knit association of painters linked, either through residence or friend- ship, or both, with Chris's New Gallery in the village. It does though, for all that, have a very clear sense of artistic identity – exuberant, colourful and eclectic – as this group show of 6 members at Life – The Gallery in Farnham, Surrey, makes abundantly clear. Italian Idyll Born in Canada in 1948, Gordon Breckenridge went to study art at the Accademia in Florence when he was 24. He never went back, fallingin love with the country and a beautiful Italian woman, even- tually settingup a studio and gallery in the Tuscan hill-town of San Gimignano where he has lived and worked ever since. In this show ( Air Gallery ) of Tuscany's evocative landscapes, gardens and houses, the classically-trained Breckenridge, always workingen plein air, conjures up a richly atmospheric sense of light, colour and warmth. Images from left T im Nicholson ‘Snowy Owl’ Sladers Yard Nicolas Granger Taylor ‘White Slip’ at Jonathan Cooper. O wusu-Ankomah ‘Thinking the Microcron No. 1’ at October Gallery 13. GALLERIES OCTOBER 11 THUMBNAILS