Galleries - October 2012

Sussex Duo There's a neat pairing oftwo Sussex Coast based painters at Highgate Contemporary this month – Piers Ottey from Arundel and Phil Tyler from Brighton. Their artistic interests and concerns, formed in the late 70s/early 80s, deriving from a similar aesthetic ofclose observational painting, the figure and the landscape in particular, give the show a nice sense of artistic honesty and emotional complementarity. A quiet pleasure . . . WD25 A quarter century oftrading under their own steam in the West End is celebrated in Cork Street (9 to 19 October) by (Ray) Waterhouse & (Jonathan) Dodd with an Anniversary Show of modern British artists (Hockney, Caro, Hepworth, Vaughan and more) joined by some younger contemporary artists. Mark Gertler 'Mark Gertler, Works 1912-1928' – at Piano Nobile (from 12 October) and discerningly curated by Sarah MacDougall – opens with works created soon after the artist graduated from the Slade, where fellow pupils included David Bomberg and Isaac Rosenberg (from similar family backgrounds to him), as well as Dora Carrington, Stanley More Sculpture As you will note elsewhere in the magazine, there's plenty ofgood sculpture around this month. Just room here to mention briefly some more, notably that ofthe great American Pop artist Robert Indiana at Waddington Custot , an important retrospective show covering all his major word/object sculptures ofthe last four or five decades – LOVE, EAT, ART and NUMBERS – the works conveying a still wonderfully fresh, vividly sparky aesthetic. Something completely different but no less memorable is at the lively October Gallery where the distinguished young Benin artist Gerard Quenum's sculptures and installations, composed ofrecycled objects and eclectic objets trouvés create mysterious, eerily resonant 'portraits' ofindividuals and types in his local environment – no wonder his work is now in the BM and National Galleries of Scotland. Different again, is the work to be found in Kensington's fairly recently opened Calken Gallery where Landseer Sculpture Prize winner Michael Talbot has set up to show the work of four contemporary bronze figurative sculptors – his daughter Rachel, Carl Longworth and Denise Dutton – plus himselfofcourse, and two painters; in October paintings by Annabel Menheneott are on view. Spencer and C.R.W. Nevinson. A 1913 tempera and gouache portrait ofCarrington (for whom his adoration was largely unrequited) evokes her vivacity and enigmatic, elusive allure. A similar immaculate modernity, rooted in study of early Florentine masters, pervades a disquietingly impish portrait ofhis brother Harry holding an apple. A tender 1913 pencil study ofa rabbinical- looking Old Man with Beard is miraculously drawn. The entrancing naive poetry ofhis first 'serious' landscape, The Black and White Cottage (1914) contrasts with the cultivated elegiac melancholy ofpostwar views ofponds at Garsington, Bloomsbury's country retreat. Vituperatively (fiercely?) realistic studies of female heads in profile, for his violently pacifist masterpiece, the semi-Vorticist Merry-Go-Round (1916), are revelations here. His 1918 paintings ofboxers, sparring in the ring or seated, have a sensuous vigour and athletic grace akin to that in near- contemporaneous abstracted works by Bomberg and Gaudier- Brzeska. Philip Vann From left: J ack Sawbridge ‘Balletic-Goniometer’ at Islington Contemporary Art & Design Fair M ark Gertler ‘Study for Merry-Go-Round, The Straw Hat II’ 1916, at Piano Nobile G erald Scarfe ‘Thatcher – Axe of Parliament’ at Green & Stone online charity auction Michael Talbot ‘The Veil’ at Calken Gallery 11. GALLERIES OCTOBER 12