Galleries - October 2014

Regent’s Park doesn’t hurt! – has been to the mutual benefit of bothit would seem. Now in its third year, the extent and quality continues to grow too, the 120+ international galleries often putting on solo shows of work of museum standard – the curated Spotlight section is specially aimed at focussing on gallery presentations of individual artists working in some 14 territories across the 20th C. Be advised though, it is absolutely huge, so allow a day . . . In Here Out There I have to say I am a sucker for looking at art in non-art gallery type spaces, so the thought of viewing some good contemporary sculpture in the incomparable architectural surroundings of Canterbury Cathedral’s Chapter House has me looking up train times. Entitled ‘In Here Out There’ – “to reflect the journey taken for a concept to become realised in the material world of sculpture” – and organised by Ben Kidger, a sculptor and teacher at the city’s well regarded art school, Canterbury College, it brings together a whole range of artists with artistic/academic associations withthe city. Working in all sorts of ways and withvery diverse concerns, the meeting of old and new it represents looks irresistible. OCTOBER 2014 GALLERIES 11 ambitious figure paintings of the 80s and lyrical landscape-based work of the 90s, to the abstracts that marked much of his work for the last decade or so – but one that may also, perhaps, account for the critical (and curatorial) roller-coaster his work seems to have encountered over the same time. The British tend to like their artists to find a readily recognisable style and stick with it – Hodgkin, Freud etc – and view withsuspicion anyone who changes things around from time to time as somehow not serious and intellectually flighty, eg Sidney Nolan. Hence no London full retrospective is being planned that I’m aware of despite the fact that he was Keeper of the RA Schools for six years and a member for some 14 and, much more than that, a painter of the most genuine lifelong integrity and originalty. How interesting and deserved that would be. Private Treasures Last month’s piece on Peter Cotterell’s Wenlock Gallery reminded me that we have excellent dealers listing in these pages showing year on year the most tremendous groups of Modern Britishand Post-War painting and sculpture but, because the focus of our limited 15th Birthday It seems like only last year that it started up in Battersea Park, so it was with some astonishment that I see that the Affordable Art Fair is now celebrating its fifteenth bithday. With all its offspring not just in this country but worldwide, it has been the most remarkably rapid rise to fame and fortune, one that appears to show no signs of faltering, according to the facts and figures for this latest edition, a full house of galleries and all the usual talks and events. Maurice Cockrill Having previewed his last show of small NorthWales-based landscapes at Fynn y Parc on these pages in May 2013 I was shocked at the news of his death, aged 77, a few months later, in December last year. He had seemed to be right on his very best form in these works, the return to a landscape he had known since a student at Wrexham Art School in the early 60s inspiring painting of real fire and authority. I’m delighted to be able to report now however that a gallery witha good reputation for dealing in post-war British painting, Waterhouse & Dodd, have taken on his estate and, to mark the occasion, are mounting a small ‘retrospective‘ – some 30 paintings – one that looks right back over his career. It is a rich and complex journey – moving from early realism via the Red Saunders ‘Cuffay and the London Chartist 1848’ at The Cynthia Corbett Gallery M aurice Cockrill ‘Yield’ at Waterhouse & Dodd Keith Vaughan ‘Bathers at Highgate II’ 1955 (detail) at Anthony Hepworth Fine Art