Galleries - September 2013

dissemination of his work was the decision to take up screenprinting with Advanced Graphics in 1980, a collaboration that suited his exuberant and colourful abstract style perfectly. Now, aged 92 (sic) and still going distinctly strongly, Irvin is showing ‘The Complete Prints 1975-2013’ at the Atkinson Gallery , Millfield. It is, like his life really, some journey, as many of the titles of the pieces hint at – ‘Greenwich’, ‘Nebraska’ and ‘Crosstown’. Knowing Irvin, I suspect there’s still a good deal more to follow too . . . Satirical Bite The first major UK show – around 50 works – devoted to Berlin pai- nter, draughtsman and satirist George Grosz (1893-1959) since the RA exhibition some 20 years ago runs at Richard Nagy in Old Bond Street from 28 September until 2 November. Highpoints in- clude a recently discovered early watercolour version of what he considered his best oil, Germany, A Winter’s Tale , whose title alludes to the Heine poem, and items from the Ecce Homo series of 1923. Grosz (who anglicized the Georg as a protest against war- time xenophobia) was a natural caricaturist and his targets in Wei- mar Germany included militarism, Thackeray at 45 When Priscilla Anderson founded the Thackeray Gallery off Ken- sington High Street in 1968, the London art world was unbe- lievably small, nearer 60 than the present 600 plus as I remember it, and it was certainly the first gallery to open in that essentially resi- dential and shopping quarter. Now under the directorship of Sarah Macdonald Brown, it has since been joined by a small coterie of excellent, newer ones, S & D and Gallery 19 and continues to thrive. The celebratory show – with 28 artists – gives a fine sense of its past and present directions with examples of Kyffin Williams (a particular stalwart), Albert Morro- cco and Joanna Carrington being joined by newer stars such as Jennifer McRae, Judy Buxton and Anthony Garratt – one of 12 artists the BBC chose to paint the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Let’s hope it’s still there in 2058! 92 Years On Albert Irvin was already a well- respected figure when I first en- tered the London art world in the late 60s, though the stellar rise of his reputation since then, culmin- ating in an OBE this year, has been quite remarkable. Certainly a key element in the wider public 9. GALLERIES SEPTEMBER 13 Worst or Least Best? With Westminster Council’s final approval on the Cork Street/ Native Land development coming out at the beginning of August, ‘The Street’ now finally knows its fate, though it depends on whose story you believe as to what the implications and effects of it are likely to be. With approval being given to replacement spaces for three proposed galleries, West- minster are dressing it up as a new beginning but, when you then consider that some seven gall- eries will in fact be demolished (in January 2014), the net loss to the street is some four spaces. Not at first sight a complete dis- aster you might think – until you start looking at the kind of archi- tectural design (Richard Rogers) of these new spaces, i.e. largely glass-walled and high-ceilinged and thus far more suited to the requirements of fashion and des- ign houses than art galleries. Add to that rent increases, 2-3 years demolition and building work and the now prohibitive costs of relocation and you begin to get the depressing sense that, far from this decision representing the saving of Cork Street, as Westminster is trying to claim, it may well prove an ill-considered death knell, a melancholy lost opportunity. from left: P aul Wright ‘Clubgirl’ at Thompson’s Contemporary. Albert Irvin ‘Nebraska I’ at Atkinson Gallery. G eorge Grosz ‘Schönheit, dich will ich preisen (Beauty, Thee I will praise)’ 1919, private collection courtesy of Richard Nagy Ltd. Alberto Morrocco ‘Fishermen & Boat’ 1990, at Thackeray Gallery