Galleries - July 2015

JULY 2015 GALLERIES 53 picked up and discussed between the Roman gentlemen of the day, who were engaged with the relatively new interest of discussing, debating and collecting art in a systematic (what we would now call modern ) way. Such conversations endure today, between collectors, connoisseurs, and curious spectators, and it is a broad but not untrue observation that the old master collector is likely to move deliberately in forming relationships and selecting works – a characteristic that Whitfield Fine Art celebrates. London Art Week encourages viewers, old and new, to come, look and discuss, so why not start at Whitfield where there is ample food for thought. F rances Allitt either Or Roni Horn’s show Butterfly Doubt at Hauser & Wirth is a kaleidoscopic display of shredded words, colour and shape, reconfigured in new and surprising formations. Bringing together three of the American artist’s most recent series, Hack Wit, Or and Remembered Words. Horn is best known for her minimalist sculptures inspired by the Icelandic landscape and these drawings play with similar subtractive and additive techniques. She has described her drawings as central to her artistic practise, but does not develop them for the viewer. Rather she creates them for her Light that Strikes One of the key paintings on show at Whitfield Fine Art during London Art Week 2015 (3 to 10 July) will be Ludovico Carracci’s scene from The Flight into Egypt, ‘La Barchetta’. The scene is quiet, though populous; each figure carries a sombre weight, the men and angels classically muscled, in a frieze- like arrangement. However it is the light that strikes the forms with a selective intensity that animates them and moves them across the canvas. Ludovico and his cousins Annibale and Agostino were three of the leaders of the Bolognese School that included Guido Reni, Domenichino and Guercino. At once responding to the classical forms and incorporating a rich and dramatic light, the Carraccis, their followers and collaborators, created works in a fluid space – they can be labelled, rather unfortunately, as ‘transitional’ painters – between the Renaissance and the Baroque. For Whitfield Fine Art, which has specialised in European and particularly Italian masters since 1979, the Bolognese masters make a natural group to feature during Art Week. The suitability of the artists comes not just from their status as Italian masters, but also from the place they occupy in history. When Annibale Carracci moved south from Bologna to Rome in the 1590s, he developed a rivalry with Caravaggio. Far from remaining a personal feud, the rivalry was use: to explore the composition of relationships between objects, words and lines, exploration which later feeds into her sculptures, photographs and installations. Five of the large Or drawings are shown, each over two meters square. It’s hard not to imagine her way of working: layering the powdered pigment within graphite lines and then cutting, twisting, sticking, writing. Each curling bundles of navy blue, red, gold and brown split by Horn’s craft knife. One smaller piece of white paper sits inside a larger one allowing the shards cut in the original piece then to travel into its container, leaving a strange, empty space behind. Graphite lines suddenly are stopped short of blankness thus making the organic forms seen from afar. Sometimes words are also cut across, but often written on after the paper has been reshuffled. Words sometimes rhyme, but more often they bear no relation to one another. Horn uses the graphite scrawl found in Or in Remembered Words but to lesser effect. In Hack Wit, scribbles are replaced by bright block words. She cuts paper to disperse tiny rectangles of the block words around the rest of the page. Horn’s Or drawings are the strongest series on show here which is perhaps why they were given a gallery all to themselves, displaying her unusual technique to its most effective as she draws not just on, but with paper. E mily Medd CODA Ludovico Carracci (Bologna 1555-1619) The Flight into Egypt ‘La Barchetta’ (detail) oil on canvas, at Whitfield Fine Art