Galleries - September 2013

put together when working in the Indian Police – gave his son, among other things, a box of Dodo bones! On his own retire- ment after a lifetime largely spent abroad, Ralfe built a new home on the family estate in Sussex and, calling it The Dodo House, set about collecting everything to do with the Dodo. This exhibition itself can only hope to give us an in- triguing snapshot of its astoni- shing variety – though the photo- graphs in the excellent little cat- alogue make it plain just how wonderful and whacky the colle- ction must look in situ – but, still, go and be utterly amazed and captivated by this real oddball of a show! Meanwhile back up in London, New Zealand born artist Jan Coutts is having her first solo show at the Belgravia Gallery . Trained at St Martin’s and the Royal College of Art (presumably in its one-time wonderful Natural History Drawing department?) she has built a strong reputation over the last twenty years with her technically remarkable and artist- ically dignified depictions of a wide range of wildlife, for the most part in Africa where she has been travelling for many years. By this last remark I mean that the focus of her gaze seems rather more intent on getting ‘inside’ the ani- mal and its environment and not just giving a picturesque, illustra- tive rendering of the animal in a romanticised, touristic setting as can so often happen in this art. It also takes away any possibility of sentimentality – one of the other bugbears of the genre – giving us instead a powerful sense of the heat and dust of this rugged geo- graphy, the ferocity that exists between the hunter and and the hunted. After all this foreign travel there’s something reassuringly British about the Society of Eque- strian Artists exhibition at the Mall Galleries (9 to 14September). Is there a country in the world, after all, that could begin to muster some 400 members for a society that paints nothing but horses? Founded in 1979 to “promote the practice of equestrian painting and sculpture and to promote the public education and appreciation of this art” it would thus seem to have done the first part of its job with consummate success, so it is only to be assumed that this year’s members’ show, entitled ‘The Horse in Art 2013’, will prove equally popular with visitors. Certainly looking at the press images available it covers a wonderfully wide range of angles – from race horses to cart horses and everything in between. profiteering, political corruption and hypocrisy; he successfully combined mordant satire with deft and delicate technique. Ever in trouble with authority, he moved to the US as the Nazis came to pow- er, returning to Berlin in 1959 (“my American dream turned out to be a soap bubble”) only to die shortly afterwards from a fall. Rather like buses, with nothing for ages and then two appearing together, Goldmark in Upping- ham are also holding a Grosz show – all 100 prints from the Ecce Homo portfolio for sale as individual sheets. The catalogue, with an essay by Max Waterhouse, reproduces them all and is well worth having in itself. AA Dodos, Zebras . . . There’s a pretty exotic range of animal art about this autumn (the Society of Wildlife Artists’ show at the Mall Galleries is next month), the most unusual of this month’s offerings being Monnow Valley Arts ’ extraordinary show dedic- ated solely to that most tantalizing of all modern age extinctions, the Dodo. Formed by one man, Ralfe Whistler and consisting of literally hundreds of paintings, objects, books and memorabilia, it started when Ralfe’s father, Hugh, who himself had been a formidable collector – some 70,000 bird skins 10. GALLERIES SEPTEMBER 13 from left: J onathan Adams copy after Roelandt Savery 1626 painting ‘The Dodo’ at Monnow Valley Arts. Sally Lancaster 'Simple Elegance' from The Society of Equestrian Artists exhibition at the Mall Galleries. C harles Harrison ‘Cipher’ at Woodbine Contemporary Arts