Galleries - March 2013

second show at the GX Gallery, Denmark Hill, ‘Earth, Sea and Sky’, celebrates his passion for nature and the great outdoors. Rough winds, stormy skies, frothingseas and billowingtrees emotionally engage the viewer with their large-scale and dramatic strokes. Sole believes that his unruly subject matter should be respected through a similar treatment in its depiction. He says, ‘energy must be met with energy’, and there’s no doubt that the physical process of drippingand throwingthe paint across his tilted canvases adds to the sense of movement these paintings emit. Indeed, on beingconfronted by the splashes of March Gale no.12 one begins to appreciate the complex, painterly process involved and how much an artist’s style and manner can complement and authenticate his subject matter. Sole’s artistic process and the scale of his work mean that his paintings benefit from distance, the best paintings being those with a wider perspective and almost aerial viewpoint. Though flatter and clearly Asian influenced, the technique allows the artist to expand his composition, often creating two landscapes in the one painting– sea/land and sky. Strongly emotional, Sole’s moody-scapes depict the darker side of nature – powerful, fearful and awe-inspiring. Nicola McCartney First Solo . . . Though Head of Sculpture at Camberwell until his retirement in 1986, this is, remarkably at 79, Paul de Monchaux’s first show at a private venue ( Piper Gallery, Fitzrovia). All the more surprising when you consider the elegant, enigmatic character and contemplative tranquillity of these pieces, qualities which have brought him considerable public sculpture commissions over the last decade. He talks of ‘leaving a trace’ or creating a landmark as his aspiration and these are sculptures which seem to do just that – quiet and thoughtful resonances on one’s imagination. . . . and a Thirteenth In the catalogue to her 13th solo show ( Gallery 27, Cork Street), Emily Patrick talks about art reducing the world to something we can hold in our hand which offers people a different energy based on tenderness, gentle beauty, delicacy, touch and the randomness of nature. In an increasingly fast-paced world, this appeal to the sensuous is intensely attractive and her subtle, contemplative paintings of subject matter drawn almost entirely from her domestic surroundings or the cityscape close to her Greenwich home don’t let us down – still-lifes and interiors of almost tangible textures, views of an almost Japanese delicacy. Monochrome Intesity There is a marvellous paradox at the heart of the late Jean Gibson’s remarkable white wall- sculptures ( S&D Gallery , Kensington). Created from dense, hard materials – tetrion, fibreglass and herculite and painted a cool, even white – they should be the epitome of Modernist austerity. Instead they vibrate with a barely concealed energy and intensity of feeling as the taut white surfaces, more like stretched fabric or elastic than hard plaster, crack or are burst open by forms erupting from beneath. In this sense of intense emotion silently made visible in a monochrome world, her spiritual father was the great Russian Constructivist Kasimir Malevich . A tough act to follow but Gibson, trained at the RCA in the late 50s, had the artistic strength of personality to take such ideas and make them her own. One of the ways was the significance for such work of landscape and natural forms: Breakout II (1985) for example, was part of a series of wall-pieces that derived from the changing patterns of shadows and brightness as wind moves across the ruffled surface of a pond. Her death at only 64 in 1991 robbed us of a wonderfully individual voice in full flow. NU Art and Sole A rising star in the landscape painting field Michael Sole’s 11. GALLERIES MARCH 13