Galleries - April 2014

problems recently encountered by galleries operating ‘Own Art’, the Arts Council’s excellent interest free instalment scheme for buyers of contemporary art, set up in 2004. Briefly, the new regulator responsible for overseeing it, the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), has cancelled all previous licenses on 31 March, demanding an ‘interim’ payment of £150 before that date. That might not seem a big deal, but the galleries had already paid £480 (up from £50, valid for 5years from 2004) in 2010 for a license stated to be ‘valid indefinitely’. Nor have they been informed of the amount, timing or frequency of future demands. Many have withdrawn from the scheme or are intending to, whilst others have said they are not sure they could continue without it. The implications for artists as well as galleries are obvious. It should be stressed that galleries don’t make extra profit from it, indeed they have to pay a fee for every transaction to the finance company running it. The FCA is essentially a regulator for payday lenders and suchlike, to which this scheme – which benefits all concerned – bears no resemblance. If you feel strongly write to Martin Wheatley, the FCA’s Chief Regulator at . living space rather than a white- wall gallery – why change if it works? – and similar kinds of artists too. Young, international but hitherto unshown in London; Laure Hatchuel-Becker is on there from 14 April. October at 35 Readers of this magazine must be aware of the soft spot I have for the October Gallery in Bloomsbury, one of London’s real pioneer galleries, which has pursued a policy of showing non- Western and alternative artists for 35years. A charitable trust which has to sell to stay afloat, it is now riding the crest of a wave as the African, Middle Eastern, Oceanian and Asian art it has always supported has moved in from the exotic margins of the international market to the mainstream – they themselves have started showing very successfully in art fairs here, in Europe and the USA. If you don’t know the gallery, see their celebratory show ‘35Years of the Transvangarde’ (their term for this kind of art, much nicer than ‘global’) which, from 10 April, gives a good idea of their high levels of curatorship. And the café and courtyard garden are an absolute delight . . . Art Own Goal? I am grateful to Ann Petherick of Kentmere House in York for drawing my attention to 10 GALLERIES APRIL 2014 ANTENNAE Spaced Out For the first time both CGP London ‘s spaces in Southwark Park SE16 will be filled with works by the same artist. Mark Titchner has been commissioned in a joint celebration of the Cafe Gallery’s 30th anniversary and Dilston Grove’s 15th, from 2 April to 4 May. Titchner returns to wall drawing (which he explored on graduating from Central St Martins nearly 20 years ago) with a new series specially devised for the ‘white room’ style Cafe; for the contrasting big space of Dilston Grove meanwhile, we are promised a “hallucinatory new collaboration with acclaimed musicians Daniel O’Sullivan and Alexander Tucker . . . focused on the use of text and the voice”. Shchukina x 2 Gallery Elena Shchukina only opened in Mayfair last September but already the eponymous gallerist, Siberian- born, Sotheby’s Institute trained, has decided to launch a second space in Beauchamp Place. With the honourable exception of Crane Kalman on the Brompton Road , this hasn’t been a gallery area for many years now, so it represents a bold move, part of a growing trend I sense, for venues to get ever closer to where the buyers live rather than huddle in specialist districts. I gather it will follow a similar pattern to Mayfair, with work displayed as if in a from left: A ubrey Williams ‘Symphony No 10 Opus 93’ (Shostakovich), oil at October Gallery Titian (Tiziano Vecello) ‘Diana and Actaeon’, 1556- 59, oil/canvas, at Scottish National Gallery