Galleries - March 2015

mimic the meeting between the two hills behind them, and sly suggestiveness in the close-up of a swollen stream gushing from a sexily tufted cleft – more Courbet’s Origin of the World, than his Source of the Loué . Paul’s light-touch mastery of her different media – whether soft-ground etching, pencil or watercolour – is essentially poetic. The wet-in-wet technique brutalised by Marlene Dumas becomes tender in Paul’s transfigured Sunlit Head . I know which I prefer. Laura Gascoigne Norman Town A previously unknown but significant body of visionary paintings and drawings will be shown at London’s Maas Gallery (organised by The Canon Gallery ): dozens of wartime works on paper by Norman Town (1915-1987), retrieved from an abandoned scrapbook about ten years ago. In 1941, Town had served alongside fellow conscientious objector Keith Vaughan at a Wiltshire military camp where – in cramped barracks, and enduring what Vaughan called the ‘mental coma of navvying’ – they enjoyed a vivid cultural efflorescence. Vaughan described Town’s ‘transparency of person and lack Shaping his World Ever since he first emerged as a painter of personal, often domestic, narratives in the early 60s, Anthony Green has always seemed to go against the grain of his times and always done so with great success. Trained at the Slade, the studied geometries and perspectives of Coldstream et al were rejected in favour of a distinctly idiosyncratic figurative style of often eccentrically shaped canvases and teeming, ecstatic detail, Stanley Spencer on speed almost, that gained him a remarkably contemporary following. Showing at the wonderfully individualistic Rowan Gallery alongside artists as various as Bridget Riley, Barry Flanagan and Andy Warhol through the 60s and 70s, Green steered a very successful and largely joyful path between the angst-laden figuration of Bacon and Freud and the thickly- painted surfaces of the ‘hard-won’ painters – Uglow, Auerbach and their like – on one hand and the New English tonal painters and realists on the other. He was, in short, unclassifiable but, elected to the RA in 1971, that seemed to make little difference, the taste for Green’s work seemingly proving indifferent to fashion. That was to change somewhat in the 90s but, undeterred, Green went ‘on the road’, creating and making his own shows for a variety of venues, a cathedral tour among them, and winning a whole new ‘out of London’ audience. This new exhibition at Curwen shows him in as irrepressibly exuberant and affectionate form as ever, the rococo excesses of his shaped canvases, as always, not simply whimsical pictorial devices but like pieces out of some existential jigsaw puzzle, hinting at some bigger, more complete picture being played out in the artist’s vivid and loving imagination. NU Celia Paul Breaking waves, grazing sheep, a sunlit hamlet tucked into a coastal inlet – these are not subjects normally associated with Celia Paul, best known for her penetrating quasi-visionary portraits of her close family. But recently Paul’s focus has expanded to take in views of London plane trees, the Post Office Tower and the British Museum from her studio window, and notebook pages in her new exhibition of prints and works on paper. Orginised by Adam & Rowe at Enitharmon Gallery, it takes us further afield to Cambridge, Pembrokeshire and the Exmoor of her youth. Don’t expect innocent pastoralism from this complex artist. There’s visual humour in the way two nose-to-nose sheep MARCH 2015 GALLERIES 9 from left: P eter Hayes ‘Wall Mounted Disc’ raku and resin, at Circle Contemporary. Gerhard Richter ‘Abstraktes Bild’ 1986, Sotheby’s sale. Rebecca Gould installation ‘Pot Pourri’ at Ucheldre Centre Celia Paul ‘Gill’ (detail) at Adam & Rowe. Anthony Green ‘A White Tureen of Blue Hydrangeas in front of a Green Painting’ at Curwen Gallery. Alfred Kubin ‘Schwabing Nachtbild’ Bonhams sale