Galleries - May 2015

Contemporary gives a 21st C. twist to the theme of ‘Men At Work’. Whereas Ken White’s and Jane Stobart’s workers evoke a past of hard, if not heroic, manual labouring, Toby Ward and Ben Kelly engage with leisure pursuits and sporting events such as gardening and bike-racing. As if highlighting that the recession is over, Steven Bewsher’s paintings are liberally endowed with the high-vis jackets of construction workers. Just round the corner off George Street, is Edgar Modern, a gallery which has made its name by championing younger up and coming artists. This month’s mixed show focuses on four of the more established of them –Paul Wright, John Harland, Heath Hearn and Carl Melegari. Finally, at the Victoria Art Gallery, in addition to loans of oils by Lowry and Trevelyan from the Swindon Collection, the 110th Bath Society of Artists’ exhibition delivers its usual cornucopia of expected and unexpected delights. In the unexpected category are 80 postcard-sized works donated by members of the Society. These will be displayed anonymously, so it’s a case of spot the talent and pray that your number is drawn at the end of the show. Jonathan Benington Anthony Hepworth Fine Art , in a show that supports The Hargreaves and Ball Trust by raising money for young musicians. In the same cobbled street that was recently used for shooting scenes of the forthcoming Christmas episode of Sherlock, Quercus Gallery displays Ed Kluz’s architectural dream- scapes. The show references Bath and other buildings with the works assembled, not from bricks or stone, but intricately collaged pieces of paper. Then, at Hilton Fine Art , located in the wonderfully named Margarets Buildings, is a show entitled ‘En Plein Air’, uniting five painters who, applying varying degrees of abstraction, use the outdoors not only for inspiration but also as a studio space – Ken Howard, Bo Hilton, Paul Wadsworth, Martin Yeoman and Arthur Neal. True to its media-bending (and blending) principles, Beaux Arts is staging the intriguingly titled ‘White’ with work by four artists – subtle watercolours with a difference by Peter Haslam Fox, porcelain perspective shifting sculptural pieces by Fenella Elms, ceramics by Sun Kim and bronzes by Irish artist John Behan. The latter’s mythical boat and animal forms have entered the collections of Presidents Obama and Clinton. Evoking Stanley Spencer’s dockyard scenes and Lowry’s cotton mills of the 1940s, Bath 12 GALLERIES MAY 2015 BATH en fête The 2015 Bath International Music Festival (15 to 26 May) embarks on its 67th season with an impressive blend of classical, jazz, world and folk music. To match the great musical performances, the private and public art galleries in Bath have traditionally staged their best shows during Festival month, this year being no exception. It is a great time to gallery-hop, and as the city is so walkable you have the added bonus of looking at the gorgeous honey-coloured Palladian architecture. Many of the ‘names’ of modern British art are paraded in two exhibitions. The Holburne Museum’s ‘Gwen John to Lucian Freud: Dexter Dalwood selects from the Swindon Collection’, profiles an impressive array of paintings, drawings and sculptures, from Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant to Howard Hodgkin and Michael Craig- Martin, all on loan from Swindon Museum & Art Gallery. Meanwhile paintings and drawings by two other great figures from 20th C. British art, Keith Vaughan and Prunella Clough rub shoulders with ceramics by Elizabeth Fritsch at from top left: E d Kluz ‘Cannons (Middlesex)’ at Quercus Gallery. Keith Vaughan ‘ Laocoon Figure’ at Anthony Hepworth. Paul Wright ‘May's Runners’ at Edgar Modern. John Behan ‘Ghost Oar Boat II’ at Beaux Arts Bath.