Galleries - November 2012

and these complex man-made geometries beneath them, Joyce seems to have found a hugely fertile and excitingnew pictorial language, one that may well prove to be quite as enrichingas Dorset ever was. Enfolding the World The great physicist David Bohm put forward a wonderfully satis- fyingtheory about the relationship between quantum field mechanics and human consciousness that involved the ways in which our mind and our senses – the explicate order as he termed it – was continually unfoldingeleme- nts from the hidden structures of the world – the implicate and generative orders – to give form to the world we live in. Lookingat the coruscatingbody of work in Dom Theobald’s new show at Hester Gallery, Leeds , with its myriad webs of vibratingabstract lines and marks and colour fields en- foldingtheir mysterious cargo of object/forms – shoes, petals, children’s toys, natural history specimens, bones and feathers amongthem – I become increas- ingly aware that the really good artists already know all this intuitively. Paul Klee, for example, to whom I find myself frequently turningto find appropriate analog- ies for what Dom Theobald is aimingto achieve, namely an impassioned statement of belief in how, as I have written before of his art, “the truly magical ordinariness of things can come to embody the . . . and Bloomsbury Too Our district focus this month (p12) is on the currently boomingFitz- rovia scene in London, but my money is on this spillingover into Bloomsbury sooner rather than later. Which would be nice for long-term Museum Street resi- dent Abbott & Holder, showing from 17 November Charlotte Ward’s recent paintings on wood. Change of Scenery When your work has become well- rooted in the look and feel of a certain landscape, takingon another, completely unfamiliar one, can be a distinctly tricky business. And you cannot imag- ine a more thorough contrast than that involved in the decision Peter Joyce took when he decided, in 2005, to start dividinghis time between the Dorset landscape he had been paintingfor nearly two decades and that of the Marais- Breton region of Western France. Yet, movingbetween the tucks and folds of sweepingdownlands, glimpsed sea-vistas and dense valleys of Dorset and the low-lying salt-pans and oyster-beds of a French landscape made by man only 300 years ago (when it was, in large part, recovered from the sea), far from provinga problem, seems, instead, on the evidence of this new show, ‘A Year in the Salt Pans’ at Jenna Burlingham , to have had a distinctly galvan- izingeffect. For, in the contrast between the huge, empty skies most profound sensations of the sacred and numinous.” Munnings Revisited There is perhaps no 20th C. British painter who has been so consis- tently misunderstood and misrep- resented as Sir Alfred Munnings. Still remembered by many only for his notorious 1949 Royal Acad- emy speech attackingPicasso and Matisse and thought of even by his more sympathetic admirers and collectors largely as an equestrian artist, it is to be hoped that this latest, and hugely impressive loan show, currently at Richard Green may finally begin to persuade people otherwise. Munnings certainly saw himself differently, I believe, in later life, often likingto quote the unattri- buted remark about himself “First you’re a landscape painter, sec- ond a pigpainter and only third a horse painter.” This seems to me, too, to get much closer to the truth of his art and, if you come to look at the work he produced at the beginning and end of his life alongside a highly selective best of the commissioned ‘horse pieces’ he did in between (as in this exhibition), there emerges a lyrical and often intensely poetic vision of the English landscape scene. In short put aside your prejudices and go to see this splendid exhibition. 11. GALLERIES NOVEMBER 12