Galleries - April 2012

ers to go and look, love and ad- mire also. And then, secondly, in varying degrees, in part as an out- come ofthe war, his profound knowledge and understanding, not to mention strong faith, be- coming himselfone ofthe most prolific and admired contributors to their 20th Century enrichment. It really is an extraordinary story, one that a wonderful loan exhibi- tion in Dorchester Abbey in Ox- fordshire (his local!) organized by the Bohun Gallery (from 21st April, Map 18), tells with tremen- dous verve. With stained glass de- signs, tapestries, never-before shown church vestments, not to mention paintings, drawings, prints, books and photographs all on show, the verve and intellec- tual range ofhis achievement will come as something ofa revela- tion. And in the most stunning of Medieval architectural locations. Combining Forces I am continually surprised by the number ofextraordinarily knowl- edgeable and remarkably enter- prising dealers that I come across working outside both the London courage a useful sense of owner- ship in the area. That certainly seems to be the case with the Reading Contemporary Art Fair (28 to 29 April, Map18) which, now in its third year, seems to be well on the way to becoming a perma- nent fixture with some 80 artist and gallery stands exhibiting a wide and realistically priced range ofwork: £40–£4,000. They seem to be alert also to the fact that their particular local audience may be rather more inexperienced and unconfident when it comes to buy- ing contemporary art than Chel- sea, making the theme for this year's fair, 'Art for You', target peo- ple who may never have been to an art fair by using every user- friendly means at their disposal. Piper and the Church There’s a nice story about the youthful John Piper which re- counts how, by the age of13 or so, he had visited (by bike) practi- cally every church in Surrey from his home in Epsom. Ifthat sounds just a touch ofthe trainspotters, Piper’s extraordinary artistic and intellectual gifts and sheer intelli- gence soon turned it into some- thing altogether more interesting and significant. Firstly, through painting, printmaking, photogra- phy and writing, making the most evocative records ofboth the buildings and their contents, he has enthused generations ofoth- art market and, by and large, the fair system as well. Take for exam- ple the latest venture by two of them, Christopher Gange ofKath- arine House Gallery in Marlbor- ough and Sue Askew ofAskew Art in Henley-on-Thames, which aims to show the capital just how good some ofthem really are by com- bining forces to hold a joint exhi- bition in Cork Street this month ( Gallery 27 , Map 30) that encom- passes their shared enthusiasm for certain aspects of Post-War British Art. Quite apart from the more obvious financial benefits of sharing the not inconsiderable costs involved in hiring and publi- cising a London venue/exhibition, there are some interesting artistic benefits here too, not only with more varied stock but also a stren- gthened representation ofthe many artists they 'share' in com- mon – e.g. Francis Davision, Roy Turner Durrant, Martin Bradley and Frank Davray Wilson. Indeed Christopher Gange is already talk- ing enthusiastically about similar ventures with other enthusiastic collaborators, Michael Cane down on the Devon/Somerset borders among them. Watch out London! S arah Bowman ‘Sweet Peas’, oil on canvas, White Space Art at the Chelsea Art Fair. Alison Britton ‘Uncovered Jar 2011’ at Contemporary Applied Arts. A drian Henri ‘TV Drawing III’ at Twenty Twenty Gallery. Interior, Mall Galleries. Frances Davison ‘Black Sea Aldeburgh’ at Katharine House. 11. GALLERIES APRIL 12