Galleries - December 2013

is one ofthe most unexpectedly beautiful small gallery spaces in Outer London, its long, thin glass-walled structure designed by architect/owner Sam Kamleh opening out inside into a wonderfully light-filled and surprisingly generous hanging area (with room for her offices at the back as well). It would seem to have been deservedly successful too, as it is now celebrating its 5th birthday this month with an exhibition entitled ‘20:20 Richmond’, a solo show by artist Julian Bovis ofhis very large pen and ink artworks of Richmond scenes and landscapes. Nice presents for Christmas too . . . Kathleen Watkins We say a sad farewell this month to Kathleen Watkins who died in September after 47 years at the helm ofSt Ives’ historic Penwith Galleries . As curator of the Penwith (exhibition space of the Society founded by influential modernists Hepworth and Nicholson) Watkins kept a firm hand on the tiller but will be remembered as much for her striking appearance – jet black bouffant and stunning earrings – and her insistence on a 50p entrance fee as for her undoubted curatorial skills. The gallery, we are assured, will continue (now sans its entrance fee) but Kathy, with or without her earrings, will be missed. Pip Palmer wonderful insights into an artist whose reputation, always seeming to see-saw wildly, is now very much on the up. Finally a comparatively small but quite exceptional treat at Somerset House, where the National Trust is mounting the first in what will undoubtedly become a powerful succession of shows commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, with a show entitled ‘Heaven in a Hell of War’ and centred round Stanley Spencer’s astounding mural cycle for the Sandham Memorial Chapel at Burghclere. Now widely regarded as one of the greatest of 20th Century war memorials, these have only been seen in London once before, 33 years ago, at the great RA show and if you have never been to see them in place, then go now. In all the pageantry of church and state that now seems to surround Remembrance Day, Spencer’s intense and loving focus on the travails of humanity within the theatre of war comes as a necessarily refreshing and hugely moving reminder of both its hardships and its comradeship. Redemption, simply. Conveniently Situated On the most unlikely of sites, a former public lavatory squeezed between a road bridge and railway lines in Teddington town centre, The Architect’s Gallery 8. GALLERIES DECEMBER 13 ANTENNAE Following Up . . . When I was writing on the plethora of excellent Modern British shows in November – London Group, Spencer, et al – I was unable to mention several others that make for excellent further viewing in this area: in particular two on David Bomberg and one on Stanley Spencer. The first Bomberg show, at Waterhouse & Dodd until 7 December, has at its core a collection of works on paper from the estate of Bomberg’s granddaughter, Natalie Tachuk, which has never been on show or on the market before. It is, understandably, full of wonderful things, from early Vorticist via astonishing mid-period flower pieces to a wonderfully austere wartime charcoal drawing of St Paul’s that prefigures the work of his distinguished pupils Auerbach, Kossoff and Creffield. The other Bomberg show, ‘David Bomberg: Objects of Collection’, is at the new-ish Borough Road Gallery (to 15 December and then from 7 January), part of the London Bankside University that now incorporates the Borough Polytechnic, where he once so influentially taught. Drawing principally on the remarkable collection of his and his students’ work formed by private collector Sarah Rose and placed by her in trust with the LBSU in 2008, but also from their own collection, this again provides some