Galleries - March 2014

16 GALLERIES MARCH 2014 PREVIEWS can also be seen in London this month with a show of his lithographs at the Leyden Gallery close to Spitalfields). David Carpanini’s show at Leamington Spa meanwhile is, in effect, a 50 year retrospective of a career that ranges back to 1964 when, leaving the South Wales Valleys of his boyhood, he went on, via Cheltenham Art School, the Royal College of Art and Reading University, to pursue a hugely successful teaching and painting career. In his art he never left the Valleys – “a man will always love that place on earth which nourished his boyhood” he once observed – and despite having lived for the last 25 years in Leamington Spa (hence the show) he is generally regarded as one of Wales’s best known and most respected artists. Etchings and drawings as well as paintings hold equal weight here – he calls himself a painter-printmaker – in works which provide powerful witness to a way of life and a landscape that is fast disappearing. It does so in a way entirely devoid of sentimentality and nostalgia – some achievement. NU Art Central Two excellent shows, strikingly different in character but geographically in close proximity, make the South Midlands well worth an expedition this month, or next in fact – ‘Moore Rodin’ at Compton Verney and David Carpanini at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum . The former includes substantial pieces by both artists displayed in the house’s exquisite ‘Capability’ Brown gardens as well as a further indoor display of drawings, maquettes and smaller pieces. Organised in a collaboration between the Henry Moore Foundation and the Musée Rodin in Paris, it explores an aspect of Moore’s work I have to say I had not really been that aware of before, namely the growing admiration he formed for Rodin as his career developed. A rarely seen archival document and photographs taken by Moore, included in the special indoor display curated by Moore’s daughter Mary, confirm this to intriguing effect. Meanwhile in the gardens there is the chance to see, among other things, Rodin’s Burghers of Calais in a new context away from the Houses of Parliament and ten other major pieces, Moore’s Three Piece Sculpture: Vertebrae among them. (Moore’s works on paper Green Fuse Ceri Richards (1903–1971) is one of Wales’ most important 20th Century artists, his rounded forms and fluid black lines echoing the works of his peers Henry Moore and Ben Nicholson. There’s a beautiful harmony too in this case in that, to celebrate the centenary of Dylan Thomas’s death, all the Richards’ works currently being exhibited at the Martin Tinney Gallery in Cardiff were inspired by Dylan Thomas’ poetry. Richards’ foraging birds and organic shapes demonstrate the same concern for the natural environment that is implicit in Thomas’s poetry. Meanwhile, annotating his surreal and musical landscapes are blocks of colour that appear to float across the page, as epitomized in the oil painting The Force That Through The Green Fuse Drives The Flower (1965). Standing apart from this is And Death Shall Have No Dominion (c.1965), a dark and poignant gouache and ink piece illustrating Thomas’s namesake poem with a memento mori of a skull presided over by a sorrowful owl (see image on page 20). Also exhibited is the complete ‘Dylan Thomas Suite’ of lithographs and the full set of Under Milk Wood lithographs, along with other related original paintings and drawings. Nicola McCartney from left: J ack Knox ‘Fish & Curtain’ at Compass Gallery (see p15). Henry Moore ‘Three Piece Sculpture: Vertebrae’ (1968 -69), at Compton Verney. David Carpanini ‘On Strike’ 1985, acrylic, at Leamington Spa