Galleries - July 2013

enterprising exhibition at the 12 Star Gallery in Europe House in which 20 ofLithuania’s leading younger artists have been asked to produce in an identical digital print format, an image using or documenting one oftheir best known, seminal or iconic works. Neatly entitled ‘Part ofa Larger Whole’, it not only suggests the fact that these poster print trailers are highly compressed images standing in for a much wider practice but also that, with at least a third ofthe artists taking part in this project spending the greater part oftheir working life outside Lithuania, pinning down exactly what the ‘whole’ ofLithuanian art might be at any given point, is no easy thing. Given all that, this sparky show is no bad place to start. Meanwhile Lithuania’s more troubled 20th Century history is given a thoughtful and quest- ioning look by British artist Naomi Alexander. With Lithuanian family roots, Alexander went on several visits to the country from 2002, to discover more about that past. In 2006 she published a highly evocative and very moving book ofpaintings, watercolours and drawings recording her travels and discoveries in the country and recalling the last remnants of Jewish heritage to be found there. These now form the basis of a thought-provoking exhibition at the Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead (opened recently by the Lithuanain Ambassador) that looks clear-eyed at the issues raised by the deeply troubling, really trusts the situation and that the march of fashion from Bond Street is perhaps inevitable – though I really hope I’m wrong. 50+25 Two big birthdays to celebrate this month: one ofWales’ longest est- ablished galleries, the Tegfryn on Anglesey, which is turning 50 with an impressive Summer Exhibition that features some of its major Welsh stalwarts like Kyffin Williams, Gwilym Pritchard and Clive Hicks- Jenkins and its rising stars too, such as Iwan Gwyn Parry and Meirion Ginsberg, while Rebecca Hossack to whom, it pains me to recall it was so long ago, I once taught art history, is celebrating 25 years in her Fitzrovia HQ (same area but different spaces). She’s doing it in style too with Part II ofa major retrospective ofthe late, very well-regarded abstract artist David Whitaker, whose reputation Rebecca has done so much to revive over the last decade, at her main Conway Street space. With a further gallery in Charlotte Street and now another in New York Rebecca certainly isn’t slowing down! Things Lithuanian With Lithuania’s Presidency ofthe EU in the second halfof2013, there is, not surprisingly, quite a lot going on about the country’s past and present cultural life at the moment. Reflecting the present day situation there is a remarkably 8. GALLERIES JULY 13 ANTENNAE Mixed Bag Mixed reports coming out of Cork Street following the apparent good news that Westminster Cou- ncil, in granting the developers, Pollen Estate, permission to deve- lop on the east side of Cork Street, has obtained an agreement from them to increase the number of ground floor retail units to match current levels and to provide the same amount of art gallery space as currently exists on the site, the retail spaces to be let only to art or antiquary galleries at reasonable market rents. So far so good in that fears of a letting to one, huge, Gagosian-style gallery, a move that really would have altered the whole character of the street away from the smaller, more individ- ualistic dealers that have always provided its essential character, now seem to have been firmly squashed. It doesn’t do anything for those directly affected of cou- rse – for example Waterhouse & Dodd have gone, Mayor are go- ing next month and Beaux Arts in December, when they can find a new space. However there is a court case still imminent apparen- tly – about what no-one feels able to tell me – and, unless the out- come of this affects it in some way, digging and destruction will start by the beginning of the New Year. It involves deep basement holes too, so not very nice for all those galleries staying – or for potential visitors either. I still get the slight feeling that, for all the reassur- ances and agreements, no-one