Galleries - April 2015

sculpture of the same period, Elisabeth Frink notwithstanding. It gives to Scott’s work, at Beaux Arts , a real strength and originality – you feel it is about something important and urgent, talking about impulses of the human soul in a way that is not de rigueur here. Animals are his preferred form of channelling these feelings; drawing on old Celtic mythology where human characters are likely to appear as animals and where beasts may have human souls. The pieces in this show each draw their title from a character in such tales. If this may all sound a bit fey just go and take a look at these wonderfully vibrant bronzes – all are very much of the moment. Stan Smith With nine children by four different mothers, clothes and shoes with gaping holes, old jalopies for cars not to mention a fondness for whiskey and red wine, among many other things, Stan Smith lived the popular notion of the bohemian artist. But beneath that rackety exterior was a teacher with a serious track record and a lifetime of teaching, ending up as Principal of the Ruskin School of Drawing. He also exhibited at the RA every instantly recognisable, the point of making it for him being “to try and discover in some way the meaning of your life . . . to see things achieve an existence independent of yourself.” ( Pangolin London ) Ana Maria Pacheco Ana Maria Pacheco has been a hugely influential teacher in her time too of course, above all as Head of Fine Art at Norwich in the 1980s, so it is very fitting that she is the subject of a group of some four shows being curated across various venues in the city for the Norfolk Contemporary Art Society in association with Pratt Contemporary. I say ‘various venues’ but when you find that one of them is the transcendentally beautiful Gothic Norwich Cathedral itself, then you know you really are in for something pretty special. The piece there, in the North Transept, is the major sculptural ensemble Shadows of the Wanderer that I wrote about when it was showing in London in 2011. This is clearly a masterpiece of 21st century sculpture, its intense, engaged humanity radiating out into this spiritual place and drawing back into itself something of the human energies of the place too. It is worth the journey from anywhere to see by itself alone but over in the Catholic Cathedral of St John there are two more significant sculptural pieces on the theme of St John the Baptist. The Gallery at Norwich University of the Arts has the haunting The Banquet and prints, and the Castle Museum has Enchanted Garden reliefs. It is, in a sense, a kind of mini-retrospective of one of this country’s greatest living figurative sculptors, so go! And if you find yourself on the other side of the country, take in The Christopher and Dorothy Good Collection of the works of Ana Maria Pacheco at Monnow Valley Arts. Anthony Scott Though of a very different generation to Pacheco, the young Irish sculptor, Anthony Scott, is equally absorbed in finding a contemporary idiom for the mythologies that absorb him, in his case those of Irish history and culture. I have been reading (and writing) a good deal about 20th century Irish Art recently for a big show next month at the Mall Galleries and have been struck by what a powerful and persistent theme this has been for many Irish artists right up to the present day, from Le Brocquy and Oisin Kelly to a younger generation like John Beehan, Conor Fallon and Kathy Prendergast. There is really no equivalent to it in English APRIL 2015GALLERIES 9 from left: A nthony Scott in his studio at Beaux Arts, London. Ana Maria Pacheco ‘Shadows of the Wanderer’ 2008, at Norwich Cathedral. Paul Tonkin ‘Sat-Nav’ at the Lovely Gallery Ana Maria Pacheco ‘Study of Head (John the Baptist III)’ 1992, at the Catholic Cathedral of St John Bryan Kneale ‘Polyphemus’ 2000, at Pangolin London